has yet not
been performed as a lecture demonstration. Originally
it is an essay, that I wrote for the TANZZEIT Kalender
in 1999. The English translation was published in the
newsletter of the International Performance Network and
given as a reading at King Alfreds College in Winchester,
Great Britain in 2001. I always wanted to transform the
text into a living lecture with a second dancer
in the space or a whole wall of monitors as a backdrop
but for the moment theres just the text:
Dancing is for most people a
social activity. For dancers it's a lonely one as well,
particularly if they are working outside of a group or
company and are training alone. The step into professionalism
involves autonomous practice without instructions and
supervision from the outside. Practice can be a way to
establish a dancers identity.It's hard to work on one's
own. One doesn't come across one's insufficiencies in
comparison with others, but in relation to what needs
to be done.
What needs to be learned. Without a piece of work in mind,
which needs to be invented and manifested, practice becomes
an endless task. A "time horizon" opens out
that makes everything seem possible, boundless, --- where
to start and what to start with?
To train on one's own requires discipline. What one has
decided to do is what then must be done; doubts and excuses
have to wait. It might prove helpful to set aside a fixed
time for practice.
There is a state of mind in practice that arises due to
a certain degree of awareness, interest and care
but also due to a composure of just practicing and trusting
that the body learns what needs to be learned.
Both the amount of time we spend practicing and the quality
of how we do it gives depth and meaning to our dancing.
The biggest artistry is to practice within the void, without
any request from the outside. To practice without a fixed
idea of what it might become, without a thought to possible
gain, practice for eternity, practice for Africa, practice
for practice's sake, practice to be there and ready when
the spark wants to catch fire that makes the universe
come into being.
© Eleanora Allerdings, May 1998