Additional Project Details
The incorrectly translated quote from Voltaire "Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats” feels appropriate now. Our heavy online dancing and balcony singing has given people a sense of joy and community during forced international isolation. Dance has kept us healthy and connected to others beyond words and more connected to our own bodies and creativity. It has helped foster our health on many levels during a global health crisis.
HISTORY, SYMBOLOGY, LANGUAGE
Sharing dances arcs back to more traditional ways of communicating, where dance was a way to pass on messages to onto the next generation. In this time period, shared dance online, a new wider international cultural system (much more noticeably active than before) has new meanings and potential. I feel that although we have these awakened online platforms for dance, the pandemic "Tictoc" viral dances usually don’t contain the clear symbology, or understanding of the important information stored and shared through the body in the valuable way traditional cultural dances have acknowledged.
I would like to create a platform where people could share dance moves they invent or connect with, dance moves that mean something to them. The symbology and history of a dance move they’ve found can be archived for years. These dance moves operate as ingredients for the audience to include in their own dance dishes. This site is like a dance pantry. It is a highly inclusive and shareable platform for people to use as they wish in their own free dancing. Once the site and app are created, the audience can input and share their own content, the management is more data entry and archiving and realistically achievable within the time frame and budget.
Defining the symbology and history of a dance move may change the way we use such movements and gives them new life. To consider the history of that move, symbolism, means we become more privy to a hidden narratives... dance is also sign language and body language. We can question what these movements have come to represent to us. In doing this, the individual unit of a dance move, moves back into an older form, back into a clearer unit of language, a more defined symbol. We can mark ourselves, our history within our body movements. We can mark moments from characters, politics, public historical events that define us as individuals and our collective cultural history whilst still having fun.
We are in apocalyptic times, and the ancient skills of storing information through dance can be of use. The more ways we access information through our bodies, the better equipped we are to remember it and transmit this knowledge. Stroke victims who have lost their ability to speak, may still have the ability to sing. Music is stored in more areas of the brain, dance is stored in more areas of the entire body. Our collective muscle memories are activated in conscious recognition of our movements. In these apocalyptic times, who knows what will become of us, what we can store and pass on. This is another way to pass on what we have and internationally in a universal language.
WHY WOULD ANYONE BE BOTHERED?
Most of us would likely not be bothered learning or sharing dance moves much before this budding pandemic home dance explosion and most of us would absolutely not have time to explore dance at home on top of all the other things we have to do. I would never propose this work pre-pandemic. But, this is a very different time. The new abundance of online home dancing is a clear beauty emerging from this lockdown. On a biological level, maybe people may have a greater desire to be more in touch with their bodies when there is less physical interaction with other bodies.
Considering how reliant this work is on audience participation, marketing and encouragement of online involvement is key. A large portion of the budget will go to marketing. I will need to start with roughly 40 dance moves from myself, friends, and colleagues. I will pay a few professional dancer friends to submit some extra great moves for the more advanced dancers too.
The void that dance is filling for many, in this time, alone, is a special awakening. It feels like a unique time to dig further into this right now and see where this momentum takes us.