Preservation of Modern Dance

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/magazine/08cunningham-t.html

This article poses wonderful questions about choreographers and the longevity of their work posthumous. I’m disappointed Arthur Lubow didn’t mention Alvin Ailey and the successful growth of Ailey’s legacy many years after his death. Nevertheless, the death of Merce Cunningham brings forth the necessary discussion on the temporality of dance.

I’ve studied Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis. While dance notation definitely gives you a strong vernacular to discuss and describe moment, when it comes to using LMA to recreate dance or write down your choreography the language is somewhat useful.  And film renders the body 2 dimensional, so 33+ % of a performance is lost.  So much of a dance performance happens in the moment. I’ve come to terms with never  ever ever having an adequate way to preserve anything that I create, perhaps attempting to do so is wasted effort. Dancing or performing with the human body is in some ways a selfish act most enjoyed firstly by the performer.

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