Temporary Excursions with a Relative Departure in Mind
Temporary Excursions with a Relative Departure in Mind is an original performance developed in collaboration with choreographer Bala Sarasvati and students from the departments of Dance and Music at the University of Georgia. The work was shown at Judson Church and Danspace Project in New York, in a performance tour of the Republic of China sponsored by the US-China Cultural and Educational Foundation, and is now a regular part of the modern dance repertoire at the University of Georgia.
The work is informed in part by the history of Rudolf Laban (1879-1958), an Austro-Hungarian choreographer, dancer, teacher, philosopher, and writer who developed a system of movement notation. Laban sought to develop a "natural dance for all people" and established "movement choirs" comprised of both trained and untrained dancers. An unpublished manuscript by Laban describes the concept of a "Film About the Harmonious Movement of the Human Body":
Introduction: The Dance
A figure appears in front of a dark background. He/she breathes, walks, bends, and stretches.
Close-up shots of limbs and torso
A second figure joins. Both move against each other and with each other. This formulated movement for the two figures is rhythmically accompanied by two voices.
Close-up with increased volume of sound
The dark background becomes spatially formed. One can see the inside of a crystalline cavity. Movements are adapted to the spatial organization.
Following the movement lines the space suddenly starts to be transformed. Lines drawn into space by limbs (arms, torso, legs) become visible as shining circles, clusters of rays and rotating ribbons.
The figures disappear. The spatial structures shrink and expand. A new musical chord sounds at every turning point.
The video projections created for Temporary Excursions with a Relative Departure in Mind extend Laban's concepts of movement choirs and dance on film by using scanned images of people from the backgrounds of vintage postcards in a series of animated sequences.