“reinkommen” (July2021) von Sharón Mercado Nogales, ins Deutsche übersetzt von Auro Orso
Photo: Alice Heyward
Because I looked at my feet I saw my bright red shoe
I usually don’t use rings
but I can recognize the sensation of the warm metal around my finger
I could remember the uncomfortable feeling of my hand
I feel strange in this position
After 20 seconds I question the possibilities of my body.
On Friday, July 9, ada studio opened the doors for “reinkommen” where young choreographers open their work process to the audience and get into conversation. On this occasion Alice Heyward shared her research around what I will call -new perceptions to experience a performance-. By reading in the program “…how dance and performance goes beyond its visual form” I started to imagine the different possibilities of experiencing a certain performative situation without the eyes.
It’s Friday night and everybody gathered outside to get their tickets, once the studio was filled, Alice introduced herself and the material she prepare to share after working in the studio for two and a half weeks. The roar material she shared, are body practices in dialogue with audio descriptions she found during her research. As an audience member, I very much appreciate the clarity and the simplicity of the structure she found to start and retake live performances at Ada studios again.
I keep on thinking how valuable it is to have a live audience for this kind of research and at this point of the work process of Alice. It made me wonder about the relation between Performer and audience and the many possibilities of interacting beyond the dance.
The performer sat down with the audience and with her eyes closed, she started to describe a particular space using the “we” as a manner to involve us in this narrative. It became like zooming into a very specific description, going from a landscape to our bodies and later to our sensations and feelings. At some point, during this description, she walks to the space to move and follow the movement narration. Unconsciously I was trying to look at the coherence and the synchronicity of the movement and the voice, which made me question how fast we acknowledge movement and how fast we acknowledge words. It look as if I want to synchronize the words with the movement of the lips and the mouth. In the practice Alice shared, she played between the “we” and “I” which created the sensation of doing the practice with her, without her, alone or just simply seeing what she does or hearing what she says. As a dancer it blurs the experience of perception through imaging my body doing the movement and choreography. What happens when you are not a dancer? And you have a different connection to your body.
If I could choose where in my body I could place my eyes, where would it be? I find body description very political, in the sense of what I will describe will be in the frame of how my body experience is built. What kind of words do I choose? I just mention these comments I wrote in my notebook during the performance, to communicate the babbles or first impression I had last Friday.
After 1 minute I decided to stop
I stop rough and dry
I looked at the sky with the tiny toe of my feet
While my shoulder shift its view towards the left
I don’t know where is my face
The second practice was dealing with questions: Do you trust your eyes? I immediately answered No, I asked myself no? Are you sure? I affirm yes, of course no! For a long time I thought that my eyes are the struggle between what I dance with what I think I’m dancing. The question of trusting my eyes kept me busy for a while. This second part changed my logic completely. I was deciding between watching the performer move or hear all the questions she’s saying. Even I decided to follow the thought of that specific question in my mind, while the dance was continuing as it would feed my vision and for some moment it would catch the thread of my thought.
For the last practice, the performer moves in the space with arms and legs as if they want to draw specific patterns in the air. Seeing her constant movement with slight changes, made me open the subjectivities that are beyond the words and beyond my thinking language brain. Within this practice I thought about subjectivities that can’t own a translation, subjectivities that come just to visit without explaining themselves or maybe it carries a simple “I don’t know” inside.