artist feature with pavleheidler
mediated dancing, a developing queer critical practice
tracing the landscape between disappointment and hope in the time of socio-economic upheaval, the pandemic, and the continuing fight for equality, diversity, and social justice OR why dancing matters
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Location: On Zoom
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ABOUT THE OFFERING
since the beginning of the pandemic i’ve been asking myself this question, why is dancing valuable? and why does dancing––which it clearly does––remain valuable in the context of reduced social and physical contact? one of the most impressive changes i’ve witnessed take place since march/april 2020 in the shared consciousness i have access to is the changing attitude towards mediation: yes, Zooming sucks. but yes, i keep on Zooming, because dancing together––even when apart––is still more satisfying and purposeful than dancing alone is, or, lest we even dare consider, not dancing at all is.
what i didn’t expect to gain from dancing with others via video-conferencing and writing and drawing and singing and speaking and dreaming was perspective on, basically, the monopoly that theatrical dancing has over the specific ways “dancing” has been defined in the west (or at least in europe, i’d be eager to discuss the spatial relevance of some of my observations) and especially in the context of professional dancing.
i would like to take the opportunity that are the six scheduled meetings to share and discuss some of the observations i’ve made since the beginning of the pandemic. i would like to share my observations in the relation to things i’ve read, things i’ve seen, things i’ve learned, and the experiences i’ve had managing creative endeavours, collaboration, mental health, and relationships during these difficult times. this pool of references will include references to my own works and the works of adrienne maree brown, judith butler, paul b preciado, leslie feinberg, octavia e butler, margaret atwood, jeanette winterson, and many others. some of the observations i am thinking of sharing will be shared through conversations, others through somatic work, dancing, guided meditation, and dancing in the dark.
i am hoping to utilise the time in between scheduled meetings to engage you, the participants, in the forming of in-formative relationships based on the exploration of apprenticeship, a (lost) form of studying by working under each other’s wings. i am imagining the establishment of a temporary, sensitive, and fluid network of attention to be given and received, within which knowledge is discovered and shared, and dances are made, dances are experienced. the specific methodologies and goals will be defined in-real-time with the aim to satisfy each person’s specific interests.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
i have been dancing-performing, studying, writing, and coaching dancing professionally since early teenage-hood; inevitably considering my varied engagements with the field of experimental dancing and choreography–where choreography is understood to be an expanded practice–as opportunities to continue studying the notion and the practice of (0) embodiment, (1) expression, (2) performativity, (3) relationality, and (4) successful communication. i like to say that i am a dance artist and an amateur scholar working in the field of queer critical practice.
since the beginning of the pandemic, i’ve mostly engaged in intimate professional relationships with single individuals one at a time, exploring the notion of mediated dancing: dancing writing, dancing drawing, dancing speaking, dancing video-chatting, dancing dreaming; incl. dancing disappointment and dancing hope. i’ve self-published several books and co-organised a number of online gatherings in celebration of this topic.