Today I was at a showing of videos to celebrate twenty years of the Berlin international dance festival 'Tanz in August'. The general public had the opportunity to vote for their favourite works from the past twenty years and they were shown over a three hour period.
Intially I was attracted to the event because it was free (over all the festival seemed to suffer from a common case of 'over-priced-festivalitous', which unfortunatly restricts people like me in to making decisions by cost rather than choice) but I'm glad I went. It was a good idea for an event.
There were four 'programes' running simultaneously. So the audience could choose one programe of films they wanted to watch from start to end, or (what actually happend) people could move from tv to tv as they desired.
I was watching 'Appetite', by Meg Stuart's company Damaged Bodies. And it was beautiful. Clever. And the dancers were both soft and hard at the same time. They rose out of the floor with out any sign of effort. But how they rose took hard work. I marvelled at their skill.
And I remembered a little anecdote I wanted to blog. After a beach volleyball game I leant right back over my chair to stretch my back. As I returned to sitting my friend's friend looked at me with great concern 'are you ok?' he asked. 'Er, yeah. Just stretching me back'. It was a normo vs dancer moment.
I'm so used to being around people moving and stretching and twisting and clicking their body. It was a reminder that not everyone does this.
I was discussing this little curiosity with a fellow Grupooito member. She told me that after the last performance she had been chatting with a guy from the audience and he was lasting impression of the piece was that (to his sheer amazement) one of the dancers could tie her shoes without bending her legs. No mention of the physically demanding choreography or acts of strength performed by other company members.
It was a informative insight in to what the 'general public' can relate to. If you've not really danced you don't know the difficulties. But everyone ties their shoes laces. It was kind of sweet but irriating at the same time.
All that hard work - irrelevant. As long as I keep those ham strings supple and tie my shoe laces straight legged I will always impress someone.
Or maybe just remember that every moment a dancer is on stage effects at least one person.