After Trio AAndrea Božić (HR/NL) | Koreografkinja: Yvonne Rainer
Original Title: Trio A (1966.) & No manifesto(1965.)
25.5.20011. | 21:30h | ZPC
About the Show
Video/concept: Julia Willms
Music, sound installation and live performance: Robert Pravda
Original dancers: Dereck Cayla and Neda Hadji-Mirzaei (note: in Zagreb we expect that local dancers will perform, announcements to follow).
Light Design: Henk Danner
Producer: Tanja Hendriks for ICKamsterdam
Produkction: ICK Amsterdam in coproduction with Theatre Frascati in collaboration and commisstioned by Cover #2
"No to spectacle. No to virtuosity. No to transformation, magic and pretence.”
(from the No Manifesta, Yvonne Rainer, 1965.)
After Trio A is based on the minimalist choreography by author Yvonne Rainer entitled Trio A (1996), and on the work No Manifesto (1965). Trio A reduces dance to its essential elements and is considered the start of post modernist dance. Originally the choreography was part of a full-length program entitled The Mind Is A Muscle. Rainer turned the prevailing conventions in dance and the perception of the body upside down with her remark that „dance is not very visible”.
‘My anger geared towards the lack of ideas, towards the narcisoid, towards the hidden sexual exhibitionism which is evident in many dance works, can be considered as moralizing and coming from a puritan. It is however true that I love the body – its real mass, weight, uninhibited physicality. My biggest concern is geared towards revealing people who are engaged in different activities – alone, together, with objects … (Yvonne Rainer, 1968.)
After Trio A is a commission from project Cover #2 which reflects on parts of dance history. This performance is not a remount of the original work entitled Trio A, rather it is a dialogue with that work: it’s a piece about the transfer of knowledge and memory.
Contemporary French philosopher Jacques Rancière wrote a text entitled “The Emancipated Audience” in which he calls for a “theatre without an audience”. In this theatre the viewer can actively learn from the theatremaker , not merely sit and observe the action unforlding. Rancière doesn’t propose that the viewer be physically present in the actual piece, however that they be engaged through observing and through thinking, just as is the case withth exhibits at the Hayward Gallery; interactive theatre is a statement, a point of view and a point of thought.
Educated as a dancer and choreographer in both Croatia and in Amsterdam, Božić creates works in which the focal role is the relationship between reality and fiction. For the project Cover, which invites choreographers to create their own versions and reflections of some other dance pieces, and Andrea chose the part from Trio A, the work of renown American choreographer Yvonne Rainer. Božić feels an affiliation with Rainer’s radical stance and quest for transparency. Aside from Trio A, another one of Rainer’s works served as an inspiration to Andrea: No Manifesto from 1965. With this manifesto, Rainer wanted to break away from the virtuosity and the spectacle of dance. “Ne to spectacle. No to Virtuosity. No to Style. Ne to courting of the audience through the acts of the performer.” This in particular is evident in the performance of Trio A.
Andrea Božić: “Rainer’s piece Trio A, just as mine After Trio A, in principle are based on the continuity and the role of the audience. Continuity means that dance leads us to a climax, as is typical for most of the dances of the western world. In Rainer’s works, all movements are equally important and not subjected to the climax.“ Furthermore, Rainer wanted to break with the tradition of the superior and narcissistic dancer and his/her relationship to the audience as the voyer. According to Božić this has to be seen as a political statement: “This truly is a way that people deal with each other, and how we position ourselves towards the world. In this dance, the dance never completely faces the audience, the face of the dancer is always turned away, or the eyes are closed.”
Yes to mistakes!
Božić commences from two crucial moments in Rainer’s piece: continuity and the role of the audience and she takes this relationship a step further in her title. In brief, in the performance After Trio A, we can see a grainy video tape depicting Yvonne Rainer dancing her own choreography. Two dancers on the stage are requested to simultaneously copy the movements directly from the video, without having seen it afore hand. They learn and dance the given dance in front of the audience. The first dancers learns directly following the video and observing Rainer dancing; the second dancers learn by observing and repeating what the first dancer is doing. Both are trying to learn the movements and they repeat them over a period of twenty minutes, and at times even without the assistance of the video.
Each new performance is somewhat different, because they learn something new, and because they also forget at times. As a member of the audience, you see it all – you too are part of the this learning process, you watch the dance together with the dancers, you try to to remember yourself the correct movement and you compare this to what the dancers are doing. Watching and learning in this way, you can see how the dancers retain the movements and they become their won, how they explain them, how they differ from one another. Božić places the dancers into a very vulnerable position while the audience is never in quite as critical a role.
„Yes to Presence. Yes to Courage. Yes to Mistakes.” Writes Božić in her After No Manifesto, as a reaction to Rainer’s own. After Trio A is not only a work in which the ideas of Rainer and Božić combine it is also a work which deals with issues of copy, interpretation and reaction. “Rainers’s manifest is impossible to materialize simply because it says “no” to everything” says Božić. “During the 60-ties, they knew what they don’t want, however they didn’t quite know what they wanted. We are still in this time frame in which we must find answers to the challenges that they brought forth. Kako do we relate to each other, and how do we related to the world?”
Its high time that we not only remove the boundaries between the artists and the audience, but to question them. In dance as in any other art form, one strives to establish open and sincere relations with the audience. Observing is not only sitting down: observing becomes learning; learning becomes thinking; thinking becomes action. This requires courage, and from the position of the one creating and from the point of view of the audience, hopefully we will then see that theatre will become interactive. “Yes to Courage!”. (excerpt from „Watching is Doing”, Roos Euwe; February15, 2011.)
Photos from the performance at 28th DWF:Foto: Ksenija Španec