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19th May 2010 Dance House, Dublin Dance Symposium Deirdre Mulrooney: Hello everyone. Welcome. My name is Deirdre Mulrooney and I'm from Graduate School of Creative Arts & Media . I'd like to welcome you all, fantastic to see you all here to explore the many bodies of contemporary dance. This is the theme running through Dublin Dance Festival, thanks to Laurie Uprichard - our hope in Graduate School of Creative Arts & Media is that this symposium will.... with international and national dance. It offers a cornacopia of cutting edge dance artists around the globe. Also to use the online forum creativeireland.com. We are extremely fortunate with our line up - Raimund Hoghe will kick off in conversation with Tere O'Connor whose world premier - with Jean Butler happens this evening. Raimund Hoghe was here with Swan Lane previoulsy. Started off in Germany, I met him in Wuppertal in early 90s , I was lucky enough to witness his first shows in Dusseldorf. He 's multi talented - dancer and choreographer/s . Tere's - at Smock Alley left an impression on us in 2008. He is a seminal figure in New York dance creativity. He has won numerous Bessie Awards . He is descreibed by New York Times as 21st C leader - I can't wait to hear him. Unfortunately, David Bolger is looking after small injury and can't be here, he is contributing on online forum, you can interact with him there. He will be on Network 2 on Thursday night. We will begin with Caroline Bowditch from Girl Jonah. Met her in 2008 in Dublin, after that we will listen to John Scott when he shows up , whose new duet is part of showing here at Dance House this weekend, also on network 2 tonight. Then we will have 20 min coffee break, then reconvene with Mary Kate Connolly , dance writer, has written extensively on Raimund Hoghe 's work. Standing in for David Bolger we are lucky to have Cindy Cummings with us, she is independent dance artist. Now we invite you to listen closely and think how it resonates with you what you have seen so far. Jot your questions down for later. Hand over to Raimund Hoghe and Tere O'Connor now. Raimund will begin by reading a text. Raimund Hoghe:


I'm sorry I have to leave meeting after this for rehearsals. For many years, I was writing this work - the body behind the words was invisible. With my body and body of dances, writing this work. Only that the body of the author is visible on stage. Bodies are telling a story. When people ask am I still writing I mostly answer no, I am writing with words. I don't like competition on stage, everyone has their own quality. When I started to work on first dance pieces I wanted to express with the body what I can't express with words. Text is a text, if it is strong.... I try to make people listen to this text. Listen when there is nothing to see... I try to give people possibility to see and to listen. When I played in rehearal - technical quality of recording was not good and difficult to understand. At the end, nearly nothing to see on stage but I could understand the text. You could see the images come up in the darkness. I was guided by no system, only my ear to help me. In 1994 I created piece, I don't dance to the text, standing behind moving stand and reading text from papers in front of me. When he dies of aids, the 27 year old... When I create a piece it is important that I know the text of the songs, if in language I don't speak, I try to find translation. Different if you understand lyrics of Peggy Lee. I discover more and more power of music. Maria Callas, for example - beautiful arias. She asked and answered herself. Life is hard. Since I was a child I knew I have to help myself - after this sentence she sings Spring is the beginning... You listen not only with your ears, can understand words and language you have never spoken. Structure of piece should be clear. Have to come from one point to another. Everything should be connected with everything as in life. Deirdre Mulrooney: Thank you. Tere O'Connor: Ask you some questions. Interested in language and dance and new way of looking at that. Something about the layout of the work and your relationship of the songs, how does that come together in your writing? There seems to be important authorship there, your point of view is important. How do you work with that and forward movement in time? Raimund Hoghe: Important that dancers connect with music. Strong experience with young people young girl - some people come and touch her. Peggy Lee song. Also song by Petula Clark - it was fantastic.


Then I play Peggy Lee, immediately something happened with the dancers, they could connect. If they can't connect, I have to find something. I feel that we can go from one point to the other. 3 afternoons in Ireland to work with the young people, they listen to the music, feel comfortable - everyone can do. They don't have to sing. It's very natural. If they have a problem, I have to change. Tere O'Connor: When Emmanuel was dancing - many layers - his age - I enjoyed - it was almost a history through his body. Raimund Hoghe: Christine and Lorenzo - first cast - was studying film, was older. He was doing Crawford, much involved in films. He was not a trained dancer, but did it perfectly. For example, when he is playing this requim... When I mention some names e.g. Petula Clark, surprised people know - Cilla Black also. Tere O'Connor: Want to ask you about the front and back of the reference - people at the front looking at it, and you at the back. There's a chronology of reference. Yet you have a personal connection, are they entangled for you? Raimund Hoghe: Separate. I see they are connected. Yesterday, dancer - he brings another universe to the community, he moves, walks different. Many things are going on inside him. I met him through John, thankful to John. He is doing beautiful work, to see the beauty he can bring. You feel something very different. It's not about the tshirt or the haircut. It's the personality of the beautiful young people. I'm interested in people 's lives, not just the haircut. Deirdre Mulrooney: Can I ask a question? When you are casting pieces, are you aware of the personality, the technique you are looking for? Tere O'Connor: People who do my wrk have to have very veratile body and have to have completely forgotten that and gone somewhere else. I use an origamy of those things in my work. Important they see themselves as my equal. I have to be very close to them, they have to be like family. Deirdre Mulrooney: You collaborate for a long time. Tere O'Connor: Yes, have people in my company for a long time. I don't like people working as an object for someone. I'm weaving with them. Now I'm pretty at good at smelling who can do that.


Raimund Hoghe: For me it depends on the project e.g. Swan Lake. Classical ballet. I work with well trained dancers. People are connected with the music, some dancers are good dancers but not connected. They have to be connected. With Lorenzo, did several pieces. We all live in different countries, we don't see each other, just come together few days before the show. We don't share our lives, spread out in different countrires. Everyone has a different passport. Tere O'Connor: Something I've been saddened by - I came from small family. Families made dances and showed them to each other. I work under that as imaginery studio. Working with Jean has been very interesting, everything she's going through is a shaping of something on the body, it's been an interesting process. Liberating myself from any training. I have a sense of projecting that. Raimund Hoghe: Starting point for me.. Political statements.. if I have to do statements, have to do it with my own body, can't ask other nationality to talk about German history. For me, it's important different bodies exist on stage and in life too. It's selection of people. It is important that people see different bodies, see that they can live. You do so many things with the body - change, transform. Who is saying what's beautiful? Botox in the lips - it's so ugly. When man is kissing, it must be terrible. People say they don't have feeling any more in the lips. For some people, one man is most beautiful man on earth. Tere O'Connor: Beauty and ugly are entangled, exist with each other. To recontextualise the question - a new question ... Deirdre Mulrooney: Can only happen contemporary dance. Tere O'Connor: If you honour ambiguity, the ethics fall on the viewer. Question is do you see this? I'm moving far away from self expression, I see dance more as a documentary form, you start into motion and things adhere to it, it's more the viewership than the authorship. It's about creating context for people to interact. It becomes a document of the moment it's in without being descriptive. Politics can be contained in one word. Deirdre Mulrooney:


It embraces that ambiguity. Tere O'Connor: From modernism to now - this is my translation of that theme - I don't see that. That limits it for me. Instead of being the surgeon of the work, I'm the nurse. I'm not trying to make it look like me, but to see what it is. I'm going down this road outside of good/bad paradigm. Ugly versus beauty - integration and co-existence is new expression. Raimund Hoghe: We don't thing about it. Just see human beings. Deirdre Mulrooney: It's fantastic. This co-existence of many bodies on stage. Tere O'Connor: There's definitely a detachment of dance body. People in my company look very different from each other, they are a vision of themselves. You have to assimilate your technique not wear it. Aout your work - light touch - it's like a thousand touches. Once you get to be 51, ??? becomes your favourite book. Deirdre Mulrooney: Great. Thank you. Moving on now. We have Caroline Bowditch now , then John Scott. Welcome John. Thank you Caroline. Caroline Bowditch: Hearing both of you speaking raises lots of questions, also thoughts and was quite reassuring, makes me want to move countries. Tere O'Connor: Don't rush. Caroline Bowditch: The idea of moving away from having memory of training, not locked into it. In the world of disability in the dance world - how we fit into it, to be more fitting into dance world. It heartens me to hear that you have moved - that it's a memory, found that fascinating. Raimund was talking about telling a story - raises question - whose stories are we hearing? It's an ongoing issue for disabled choreographer/s particularly in UK. Making a work that's seen as valid and interesting. Dublin Dance Festival is exception to the rule where work is being shown on international scale. Fascinated by the idea of the tortured body - Raimund alluded that you are doing work with people who have come from countries where torture is an issue. These are all very bitty thoughts! I've had fascinating conversations last few days - been talking about - disabled bodies often concluded in a way that's a bit cameo. Sometimes, we look in a framework of


measuring - I was watching the other night - looking to see who was dancing, were they dancing solo, how much were they dancing, didn't think like that last night at Raimund's. The way everyone moves is fascinating. Last night, I became fascinated by people 's hands, also how people take their shoes off. I'm sure there was more - but they are my immediate ... Deirdre Mulrooney: I have a flyer here for Scottish Dance theatre. Caroline Bowditch: Dance agent for change, I have been involved in codirecting piece - Not Quite Right - patients got access to their medical records 1988. A difference that couldn't be pinned down to a diagnosis. Highlights what we experience . Society pigeon holes us. What's our income bracket, what's our interests? NQR is exploring all of those things - it was a 3 way collaboration, a lot about getting from point a to point b. There was some weaving. Deirdre Mulrooney: Great. Thank you. Move on to John Scott, IMDT. John Scott: I've had a lot of issues and questions about dance and the body. Started at 22, it was a struggle, ballet. I come from background of musical theatre, theatre, ran round Europe chasing living theatre , they were doing radical things, chaining themselves to police stations - it was a real education. Then went into a ballet company - Nutcracker... It was eclectic, different types of ballet and they were looking for men. They dragged me in. Nearest thing I found to what I was looking for was living theatre. That did more for me. I became aware of post modern dance, the whole canon of post modern legends, I was being tortured in ballet company - didn't feel I had a future there, you try to get your steps. Did that for a while. I knew I didn't want to do that any more. I'm also a classical singer and was doing this. Eventually, I formed a company IMDT - worked with Virtuosity, made work - it started to make progress, felt sometimes things were missing. Felt I was only seeing half of it. Was compulsively writing ideas, have boxes of them at home. I became infatuated with Joanna ?? , retired dancer, was learning from her movement. I did not put myself in my own work. Took workshops with ?? Nelson and others in short space of time, knew I had to perform, was terrified. As I started to age ... I put myself out there, the dancers working with me gained a lot. The dialogue of my body... the more I worked,.. I love making steps, they started to seem more and more superfluous. 7 years ago, started to work with people who are asylum seekers - agreed to do workshops, went into their building, worked in small classroom - I had a man who had 5 back operations, he was Kurdish - he said Iraqis made him hang upside down - I had to stop what I was doing - we got into circle, had people all different shapes and sizes - some skinny, also woman from Uganda who has marvellous arms. We did


nothing, just breathed, slowly raised our arms. I thought what will we do next. I knew I couldn't ask what was happening next, didn't want them to be traumatised. Something started to make sense, I was fascinated, moved - I had just come back from seminal work.... they were in the room with their arms up - I had to stop myself from crying, never been so inspired, there was something in the movement - the necessity, the reality - compensating for the guy who had the operations. Was working with another Kurd - was very talented, wouldn't point his feet, I said he had to. Came up to me afterwards - all the tissue was gone on his leg, he had completely burnt skin - he had been hung up. I don't know all their stories. They started poetic theatre in early 50s in New York. Arto's theories. Were involved in dance in early 60s in New York. I have maintained contact. The torture survivor work I was doing - some of them were so talented - I always have apprentices with my company, brought some of them in as apprentices. Sometimes there were 15 people there, one night there was only 1, a soldier - could do incredible physical things. I said let's cancel the workshop, and said let's have a cup of tea, he burst into tears. We did the workshop! I had to calm him, using any tricks I had. I got him to breathe, to move with his breath, he started to talk in bad English. I asked him his name.. I said to him speak whatever language you like. He spoke a dialect which is spoken in Congo - I didn't know what he was saying - started to move his arms, body completely changed. I notiecd in the workshop - you couldn't ask them to turn off their mobile phones. He spoke in his language, he said that was the language he had spoken with his family. I got involved with Sebastia - it was interseting putting him on stage, bodies not trained but had richness, most of them didn't have legal status, had no identity, rights , not allowed work. At that time, there was referendum on citizenship. Lamil - they wanted to deport him. I found myself in the High Court against Minister for Justice re deportation. I don't do it because I'm a good person. I'm probably what you call a young choreographer/s in a lot of ways. The tortured survivors are always right - whatever they do I learn from. It's a journey I'm still making. Deirdre Mulrooney: We will braek for coffee in a minute. Just a question - I was lucky to be in Ramala dance festival with John, what's amazing


about the White Piece is how you have integrated - Joanna 70 yr old and the survivors, also highly virtuosic dancers. Has your journey changed - what you look for? John Scott: It's made it harder. The virtuosic compensate. The tortured survivors don't audition, they turn up. The virtuosic have to compensate. We are diverse community. We have Palestinian dancer also. We went from Haifa to airport, she was not allowed in the grounds of the airport . There's some social thing in my work. Deirdre Mulrooney: It's amazing how contemporary dance can embrace so many bodies, issues, beauties. I'd like to thank Caroline, John and Tere for their contribution. Coffee now for 20 minutes. We will save the questions til the end. 2 more speakers, then questions. So jot down your questions. 2.15 now, back here at 2.35.

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Deirdre Mulrooney: Thank you - welcome back everyone. Nice coffee and chat. It's fantastic how diverse all our speakers to illustrate contemporary dance. Now we will have Mary Kate Connolly who is a dance writer, writes a lot about Raimund Hoghe 's work. Then you will hear from Cindy Cummings, independent dancer. I will be ready to direct questions then to panel. Mary Kate Connolly: Hi everyone. I've written a lot on Raimund, also other dancers and performers. I felt a little overwhelmed when thinking about today. It's a very wide topic, impossible to cover it all. Will pick up on a few things we talked about before, also about the body inhabiting the stage, the empathy it can foster with the viewer, also storytelling in dance. I apologise in advance, have been scribbling furiously, not quite confident that it will be coherent.


I was struck looking at young people and voices last night - how many ways are there to kick a football, answer - how many bodies to kick it. It looked completely different on every single dancer, that s without being technical or flashy. For me, that resonates that sense of a lived body on stage. There's a difference, as a view er looking at body inhabiting the stage, rather than a commodified moving vessel, it's more a passive absorption. I feel that watching a body lived and the difference is the uniqueness, it's a more generous experience as a viewer, because of inherent openess. Viewer can come to that as a sense of exchange. There's an onus on me to come collaboratively and view it. In terms of empathy, the word love came up a lot, the sense of kinship, also the affection you have for the dancers at the end of the piece. The uniqueness and individuality of each dancer was highlighted, you have this feeling you know them at the end. It's present through the use of the body, not striving for uniformity. Moving beyond technique, not being a slave to it. It's moving past that. It's a rich viewing experience. Tied up in that exchange, watching textured performance is story telling, was listening to you Tere - in terms of dance, the possibilities for story telling lie in the bodies on the stage and in the medium of dance, rather than layering on top of that. I think subjugating the body can give you a diluted version. Dance has this inherent story telling, through humour, trace - you are not being told the story of each young person, getting trace of their personality without being battered over the head with it. Also, Dance is arrived... world - that sense of exchange where the audience have all these references. The story telling is a 2 way street, everyone brings reaction , memory in response to Peggy Lee or whatever. What's good about seeing range of bodies on stage are strories extracted/held in the bodies. Sometimes you have essence of performer coming across without detecting why that is. They are not telling you that, it's leeching out through the movement. In terms of training, that also comes across - thinking of Orna ?? who has worked with Raimund, she is exballerina. Other dancers - that sense of trained body inhabiting the stage but allowing sub text come through. Also Jean Butler, watching her solo last year was fascinating to see remnants of training in traditional Irish dance come out as reflex. It's a blending that's interesting, excited to see the new work in that context. There's so many things to think about - re-phrasing the question rather than having a difference on one side or the other came across strongly. I like what Caroline said everyone fascinating to watch. It's not just difference in isolation. It's diffrence in terms of contrast, texture, layering - that's fascinating. I think the text you had - different bodies dancing the same dance differently. That's what makes it rich. In Raimund's work, it's where he uses his body, how his body looks beside Ornella who is clasically trained or Lorenzo who is not, but is young , tall, strong. It allows the spectator to inhabit the in between spaces rather than receiving something in passive form.


Finally, apologies for the ramblings... for me if there is a question around excluded or different bodies - should a dancer such as Raimund or Caroline be viewed as someone who has overcome, something, or does it redefine? It just redefines because they are dancing. For me it's that rather than should someone be classed as a dancer. Deirdre Mulrooney: Made be think about ?? not casting dancers, casting people. Also the many bodies of contemporary dance referring to the audience, the experience that is watching contemporary dance. Mary Kate Connolly: There is a sense of exchange, allowing someone to experience reality. Stealing a line from... when I dance, I feel like you, ... It's made all the more rich, when it's not just highly trained bodies. Deirdre Mulrooney: Thank you. Moving on to Cindy. When I first met Cindy Cummings at a workshop in 90s in DCU Tere O'Connor: She doesn't remember you! Cindy Cummings: Most people know me and know what I do. Feel being called in so late in the day my job is to respond. A few things struck me - one is language , not just physical but written/spoken word. I saw piece the other night, after the show there was huge discussion about language in the piece. At one point she took the language, but it left a big gap. It was a monologue built on responses to the work. They collected responses like 'oh, you are so beautiful, you are amazing... ' Laurence came forward and spoke directly to the audience telling us how beautiful we were - he was watching us as much as we were watching him. I was very struck by Raimund's saying that he 's a writer but writing with bodies. Tere's view of being egalitarian with his dancers - see themselves as my equal. Seeing that dance is a language of itself. Caroline's comment - dancers are the stories... NQR - this idea of being not quite right. John, was struck by what you said about your dancer's language. The spoken language was the way to release their expression. Also the word 'other'. For myself, being born in America but living in Ireland for 20 years, despite that, I fell I fall between two cultures. I don't have the dance background.


Necessity of other - for me it's develop your unique language as a dancer and develop a community of people who understand and appreciate. Deirdre Mulrooney: Thank you for jumping in so late, really appreciate that. We'll open up to the audience for questions. Any questions? Put your hand up and introduce yourself. Geoff Gormley. New Speaker: Struck by a few things - the variety. I'll say some obvious things - a variety of bodies on stage is richer - makes a richer canvas for my story. I'm thinking about my life, often feel that the bodies of dancers are like mirrors. The idea of going beyond the technique - the body is something I see - but Tere has talked about trying to get the vocabulary to disappear. Raimund talks about people responding to music as he is working with them, something else going on other than gesture. There's a feeling that if you can get beyond the visual something can come through. The word love was being used in connection with Raimund's show. If you get beyond all of that and the dancer opens up space where you can come in , question what are you looking for to come through, what would you like to happen, what are you searching for, what are you smelling? Deirdre Mulrooney: Thank you. Tere O'Connor: That's a big part of what I'm working on. What I'm saddened by is that I have a body, it's an obstacle to what I'd like to do with dance. The bodies are like a spray bringing it into vision, an asymbolic journey I'm on. People try to stop along the journey. It's a conjugation of the same image over and over again. I'm trying to look at what is consciousness, not how to create a tunnel of smaller idea to create for the audience. I'm working hard to detach from the history of narrative as a prison for dance. Conceptualism - this is my concept e.g. Swan Lake - I am detaching from it and creating something that is non representational - that's what I'm trying to work towards. Directing the dancers every day - a whole context of editing comes up. Raimund uses episodic, it's related to naturalist theatre. The idea of erasure of the visual is something I'm trying to work on. Does a body that is differently abled represent that? See it relative... This research that I've been on has led me here, everything I try to do is not legible. Dutch artist - he was amazing illustrator, in his last works I still see portrait, landscapte still concept of representation. I've wanted to start this fake historical group. He was beginning to puncture through these modernists, I think he did it. Deirdre Mulrooney: Fascinating.


Cindy Cummings: Did adaptation of Deborah Hayes ??? - it was difficult - title was so loaded, how do you go on stage without being beautiful. It take months to challenge myself. Just being a conscious body on the stage with representing. It became this thing I had to get past. Do you think it's time - physical time spent on an idea? Tere O'Connor: I think it's time and intention. I've learned that I want to unhinge myself from that. There is an exactitude to their interrelatedness, that's what choreography is for me. You couldn't make a cottage with a 20 ft pole at the end of it. The beauty thing - it's like re-phrasing the question , also the relationship with differently abled bodies. I grew up with a teacher, she became almost an aunt. Assumptions.... If you put the word dance, - a whole different way of looking at it is what I'm interested in. This idea of saying something that words can't say... Deirdre Mulrooney: Tere O'Connor: e.g. I've set this thing up today , I'm going to go home feeling proud. The delivery system is much more important. Deirdre Mulrooney: Anyone else? John Scott: I'm curious, the editing - after /before? Tere O'Connor: Ongoing. Last pieces I made, editorial last minute. I did a piece called Baby where I incorporated a technique where I didn't edit anything. Since the language of this form is from this to this, where could I contextualise that? Someone might say I love that part when they were like a ?? - and I say , I didn't see that! You're never satisfied. I was doing synchronised swimming, my hands were detached - some saw it as fear. Synchronisation in dance is like a tower that's falling down. Deirdre Mulrooney: Something to hang on to. Tere O'Connor: It's the closest you get to death, it's the not knowing, nothingness, it doesn't have an arrival time. It's fearful for people. Deirdre Mulrooney: Can't wait to see your show. Question from Anna, Sweden. New Speaker: Raimund said - no one knows the tshirt or haircut.... Was thinking that's because the


piece has worked. If you had noticed tshirt and haircut, then it would have been something that didn't fit into the piece in itself. Beauty - what is beauty, what is the fitting in? If the piece works for me as an audience as a whole, doesn't it mean that the dancers, choreographer/s have made it and everything that sticks out, be it whatever, does that mean failure, ugly? Why can't it be noticeable. ? These are my thoughts, could someone expand on that? I had a feeling people were afraid of something ugly. Caroline Bowditch: We have these fantastic costumes, fringe, bra and knickers. Fiona in mid 40s. Piece about not being scared about what was happening with our bodies. One thought - do I really want to expose that bit? It comes back to presence on stage and this element of the beauty or the ugliness becomes irrelevant. I think people are scared of ugliness. My fascination is about trying not to be dancers any more. e.g. Can you make it less dancy? It probably doesn't answer your question. It comes back to the thought, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it's an individual choice. Deirdre Mulrooney: Talking about the charismatic. John Scott: The piece, material. Cindy Cummings: Attention to the moment, knowing that's the best you can do, no matter what shape, just attention to the moment. John Scott: A problem I found, with professional dancers when they start dancing, especially with familiar material, they leave the work they're in, become the trained person. They become who they were when training. It's something I always have to watch when hiring trained dancer, because they become less human, they lead the piece. Tere O'Connor: Maybe their leading piece... John Scott: They go into another state. Mary Kate Connolly: Work like Raimund's ... what's the nature of co-existence? If not classifying in terms of ugley, beauty, it's erasing the question entirely. In those terms, if you really noticed the glossy... Tere O'Connor: Nobody was ugly in that group of people. Then there's the layer of the romanticisation of the music. Mary Kate Connolly: Coming to look at that work now... coming from his dance background in Germany - oh , I have to get to know you. This contextualise layering disappears and something does sink which is different to 20/30 years ago.


Deirdre Mulrooney: Question, Tara? New Speaker: I think a lot about inclusion, bodies on stage, all the things you have talked about today. I'm interested in where are we going. Where do we want to go with this sense of inclusion? Where else can you go? Second part of question - I work specifically with people with disability/s , am interested in how we can support them in their professional development. What does that mean, where can we go? New Speaker: I work ???? We talked about bodies on the edge, people on the edige of society, their form, training, struggling and what that has produced. Should other people coming through have to go through that struggle, that rejection, to make dance great dance? Sometimes, I don't think we realise the journey you have been on. Caroline Bowditch: Having technique to not having technique, that interests me. What am I trying to change in the world? I know I'm not doing it single handedly, that s a good thing. My ultimate goal is that we don't need to have these conversations any more, where we're not having to break down into those categories. Just looking at bodies in space. Cindy Cummings: Creating opportunities in different ways, for people to experience, explore their physical language. The more opportunities are created for people, not necessarily coming from classical. Spending time doing it, talking about it, looking at it, developing language - all of those things. The more that happens, the more spectrum of bodies. Deirdre Mulrooney: What I'm hearing came out in answer to Geoff's question. Tere O'Connor: I don't house my ethics in my work. Most violent work I've seen on stage - they could be works of art. I have to think about activism, think one layer is writing, everyone involved in dance should write these questions. The funding bodies have to be kept up to date. They are big ships that take a long time to turn around. Helping young people is very crucial. It's not just bark for money, but teach for money. I was a closeted gay human being, that was horrible, but in the past. You are in the culture, but not at the same time. Box office etc are used to grow the form , but the form should just grow but not like a tower of one voice, so as many voices in there to dismantle - that's important from everyone who is practitioner/s. New Speaker: Jenny Roche - looking at trained dancer - we talked about standard things are measured against. The trained dancer becomes invisible, erased. I was caught by ???, someone I looked up to - she 'd had vertebrae removed, hadn't achieved goals and dreams, often disenfranchised. I wanted to represent that body of contemporary dance.


In terms of training systems, that's where things can start to shift. Breaking of the binaries between beauty and non-beauty. Mary Kate Connolly: In terms of training systems, looking at how people have got to where they are, there's that thing of 'oh, we had to go through it' . It's self replicating. I think it's a good point in terms of that division of going down one trained route, dissecting yourself and having to round to find yourself again. It doesn't have to be one or the other, can be completely different route. May dismantle the more stringent, going towards this classification . John Scott: Heard at a conference - the Cathac? dancers are not as good as they used to be, not allowed to beat them! Tere O'Connor: There's an erasure of using historical forms, the dancer creates the technique they will be using, that's how I teach my class. They create power and release inside. Attempting to become something according to authoratarian voice. In our graduate programme, create physical practice, research paper. We're kind of doing that. Then all bodies can be included, there's no standard.

Cindy Cummings: That's good to hear. Main story we hear is you go through training, make your own style, so many other stories we don't hear - different methodologies. Tere O'Connor: Just simplistic idea - I'm doing this against that. I'm doing this in response to that'. John Scott: There seems to be a lot of pain and endurance competition. Even in companies that I know, they have their rivalries - the person that has the better tilt, higher jumper. The pain.. I liked it.. it hurts. Tere O'Connor: That's why people feel so bad! Deirdre Mulrooney: Megan? New Speaker: Megan Kennedy. Raise issue of inclusion. How we combat that from here on. Is it society that has to turn around? As Caroline said, no longer need to have this debate. Caroline Bowditch: I think we have to start doing it. Need to support each other to do it. There's no guide. All our practices are different. It's about confidence, opening communication, that's how you make things inclusive. It's up to us if we're interested in


it, it's what we've been doing over last few days - in a room asking each other what we are doing, supporting each other to do it. Tere O'Connor: Think the way question is constructed is problematic. How do we get to oneness? Big problem in contemporary dance is this - what is the voice that defines contemporary culture, rather than how big is that voice? Biggest thing dance can dissassemble is one agreement - I would shy away from that. Deirdre Mulrooney: We all disagree then! Tere O'Connor: Looking at th way we construct our thoughts is more important. I learned that from my choreographer/s. There's a trickery in how people use commas, construct grammar, something much more important going on there. Deirdre Mulrooney: Great, any more questions ? New Speaker: Geoff. We all want to be back in the mystery. Everyone wants to dance to the max' Question of how we make it easier - then question is what is dance, does it happen in a theatre? I've strong intuition that dance is this chalice, it's very rich. Everyone has a dance, everyone negotiates bodies in space all of the time. It becomes not question of technique - whereare their spaces to dance in? John Scott: There aren't any rules. I didn't decide to work with refugees - things happened and I went with them, I learned from them. I can't really answer. I don't consider myself an expert. Mary Kate Connolly: To dance and not be looked at... something rich about criteria on being evaluated.. It's like children in playground going 'what do you think of this?' Tere O'Connor: There's a serious idealism - not a mandate, but a re-imagining. Cindy Cummings: Like a mystery. I think we get bogged down as dancers and dance makers about the practicalities. New Speaker: Are you dancing for yourself - or is that more important than the audience? Tere O'Connor: Binary... It's not one or the other. It's that and that and many other things together. He's pointing to imbalance. That a balance would include more as opposed to how do I kill that other thing... It's the biggest problem on earth - the this and that thing - you said this, I said that. What dance can offer could mitigate that, no this and that, there's only everything. The more we construct things like that, the more


we will stay in this idiocy we are in. Deirdre Mulrooney: We've gone somewhere today, from many bodies to every... If no more burning questions, I'd like to thank everyone for being here, thank our amazing diverse fantastic panellists. Also Raimund and David Bolger who you can connect with on our forum. Thank Elaine, Graduate School of Creative Arts & Media, Mick, also Laurie Uprichard for being so open to our idea. All our Dublin Dance Festival , also Paul Johnson everyone here at Dance House. It's a wonderful space. Also Create , Arts and Disability for putting this event on their mailing list, supplying speedtext with Ruth and Bibi for filming. Also the Web designer. Please continue discussion in virtual world. Tere O'Connor: I'm starting a blog in second week of June tereo'connor@dance.org I was thinking of writing a book, but will do a blog. Think it would be more interesting. We will use it for people to talk after our shows. Thanks to all of you.

Transcription of 'The Many Bodies of Contemporary Dance'  

from The Irish Dance Festival 2010

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