Thursday, 7 January 2016

Dance and the communication between bodies

I think it is probably appropriate for my first post of the year to be related to the PhD I have just started at the University of York on gender and abstraction in women's video art. Lately, I have been doing a lot of reading on LA-based artist Sharon Lockhart's interactions with and rereadings of Israeli choreographer Noa Eshkol's work.

In a volume printed on the 2012 exhibition Sharon Lockhart | Noa Eshkol, Daniela Zyman expresses Eshkol's approach to dance as mirroring the ways in which our bodies interact with one another on a day-to-day level, the pedestrian dance, if you will. She says:

"The dancing body for Eshkol, was never singular. She never wrote dance compositions for soloists. The dancing body is always a figure of two – it reminds us that outside the sphere of self-referentiality it encounters, harmonizes, and withdraws from other bodies. It also reminds us of being totally one with ourselves, enclosed in an abstract sphere of coordinates. The body is always on the boundary, movements emerge between bodies, bodies touch, intertwine, embrace, and encounter” [1].

My hope is that this notion of the conversations between bodies will fuel a significant portion of my dissertation, whereby I hope to read the collaboration between Lockhart and Eshkol through a feminist perspective in which a certain democracy of gender becomes possible. 

[1] Zyman, “Who Am I, Dancing Body?”, 29.

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