A Dance Phantastic, That Shine Shine Shine

12 Mar

Dance suffers. Yes, dance suffers tremendously from a decease that is really quite difficult to recover from. It’s not like hysteria, which is like covering ones own’s tracks in order to not have to face the fact or something. This is worse. This is like the doctors and nurses, everybody is like pretending you are not sick, you are perfectly well and super fine. But we are not. We so are not even close to acceptably alright. Dancers, choreographers, dance makers in general, even performers from time to time have this creepy feeling, a suspicion that there is a conspiracy going on. Like, when I was a kid and my parents suddenly started to speak English, but this is worse – not only cuz most people speak reasonable English nowadya, no it’s much worse. This conspiracy is slow and is often inserted into the maker or doer already during the first amateur classes. Do you know why ventilation is so intensified in dance schools? It’s not the sweat smelling, fungi, macrobiotic fart-fest that’s the real deal, no those ventilation systems are fitted with extra ordinary devises that slowly poison all of us. All of us, slowly but consistently.

We can’t be sure about who started it all, if it was FBI, August Bournonville, Deborah Jowitt, Karl Regensburger, a British choreographer called Wayne, or perhaps the French. There’s definitely something going on with the French. One never knows but they sure have Rancière on their side. It might be that it’s all those residency venues, or perhaps artistic research – Göhö – or what about social choreography, they are certainly involved perhaps they have some agreement with performative architecture or performative in general. It is my guess that performative is knee deep involved. But in fact its been going on for ages, really.

What I’m talking about is a decease called neutralism. No no, not naturism that’s only Xavier Le Roy’s personal ghost. Don’t worry thas’s not contagious. This is neutralism, or Neutralism, and we suffer deep and intensely. I wonder why is our art form, so freaking neutralized. It’s like all, or close to all, dance performances are from Sweden and Switzerland, completely average. Like the only good thing that Sweden has or had is an eminent social welfare system. Think about that an entire art from whose only radical feature is a great social welfare system.

But seriously when did you last encounter a dance performance that wasn’t absolutely conventional, more predictable than Carlos Santana, grey, sympathetic and just about an hour, with two to seven people on stage executing something fully and completely agreeable. We suffer from Neutralism, and they want us to stay sick – festival directs, dance school directors, people called Barbara all of them. I find it phabtastic how all those performances that could be done by people straight out of school almost exclusively is evaluated by people that are from seven thousand years old and counting. The people that judge, contemplate and don’t program your pieces have no idea what dubstep is, and if they do they think it’s still hot, they don’t know the difference between Cheap Monday and Wood Wood and they still think identity politics is currency. You know what, they might just ask you if you have seen The Wire.

We are of course not alone, but damn if other art forms favor a slightly different generational distribution. In visual art there are curators, all the way up that’s so young they don’t even shave their legs. Moreover the presence of freelance curators, something that is largely absent in dance and performance produces a necessity of orientation, productive competition for good or bad. As we all know the fact that the administrative director is also chief curator is a freakin’ disaster, as it means that the status quo and next years funding with never be jeopardized. Never. And in the rare cases that freelance curators are invited, or a team is established, why is it the most grey people in the history of mankind that’s engaged, the most safe and polite people ever, the very centerfold of nice and neutralism. How many times do I have to hear, “you know, we have to curate a healthy mixture between local and international work” – no you don’t! You don’t need anything at all, you have a job and that’s to be artistic director, curator, make the fuckin’ program. Not to be a neutralist that serve more neutralism and stick to protocol. Every time you make concessions, every time you swallow policy documents from local funders, every time you agree to present something from your EU network because you don’t pay for it, you sell your soul to, no not to Satan, he wouldn’t want you anyway. You sell your soul to Italian politics that how bad you are. Stand the fuck up, your job is not to save your own ass, and you certainly are not responsible for mine or any of my colleague’s, we can mind our own business and will not miss your theatre or festival the day it doesn’t happen anymore. You know, we’ve managed fairly well for all these years without your help, so if your venue is remodeled into a Wholefoods, some office or just bulldozed away, we’ll be fine anyway. And don’t come around with democracy arguments, you as much as I know that creative processes should be strictly elitist and btw how far does your democracy reach. Art council democracy, EU funding democracy, neutralism democracy, kickstarter democracy.


Recently, I sat through some sort of performance where a bunch of curators exposed their perspectives on whatever to the public. At some point a voice over asked the curators, as if was some sort tribunal, what they would die for, implicitly if they would die for art. Now, the whole situation is obviously rather embarrassing, and obviously to die for art is in the first instance quite extra uncool, but you know what, these curators what they answered was that they would die for family, for their families. One after the other, no I wouldn’t die for art, I would die for family, to save my family. Can you believer this, for family – to state that in front of an audience… like seriously, in some sort of spectacle. Would you do that? It’s theatre for godssake. Die for something cool you neutralist policy sucking shit head, die for something heroic, something like a firefighter would die for, die for something ridiculous like poverty or ecology, peace on earth anything, but no “I would die for family” – can you imagine, those are the sort of people that promote you for a residency, those are the people that propose that your new peace will be shown on a Tuesday in the small space, those art the people that sit in the board or panel deciding if you will be the chosen one for the EU funded network. Those people, those people, no wonder our art form is suffering from neutralism.

And you, you – maker or doer, don’t think you are any better. Stop making performances that are just about an hour, stop making work with two friends your age and fit for fight for a ten by ten space, stop making dance shows where you go into states and flap around like some fuckin fish, stop making pieces without makeup, stop making pieces without costume changes, stop making piece with anything grey or black in the costumes, stop making performances without too much set design and props, stop making shows that make any sense at all, stop making nice press photos, stop that fuckin dramaturge [fire him], stop making performances thinking about the budget, stop making performances that you rehearse for three months, stop making performances in Essen, stop making performances where somebody sings a song, stop making performances with somebody playing synth a bit bad, stop making anything at all that’s not totally fuckin psychotic, stop making performances that don’t have a lot of zombies, stop making performances that don’t make you afraid of yourself, stop making anything on the premise that you are a perfectionist [you are just so full of yourself], stop anything that has to do with ecology, stop working for William Forsythe or even in the same city, stop making pieces for the audience, for any kind of satisfaction, stop it right now.

The real problem however, with neutralism, is generational and it’s all about aura. Yep, the folks that curate, program, decide, organize, critique, make books, inhabit the main venue, they all have grey aura. They might think they are witty and nice but no they are just grey. They like careers, nuclear families, evolution, they consume porn with a bit of guilt, they match their clothes and have a goatee, they don’t buy fashion over internet and argues against instamatic. And they like that kind of dance, exactly that kind of dance – well made, structurally orderly, recognizable, dramaturgical, consistent, clear, that one knows what it is about, stuff that can be understood as one and so on. So no wonder they program Rosas for the seventh hundred time, no wonder they still present something Austrian, no wonder they adore work made in Brussels, no wonder they still go to New York in January.

Our real problem, exactly, is that those people cannot, it’s in their blood, it’s on the edge of genetic. They cannot feel it, can’t dig it, they don’t have the sensitivity, they feel physically bad when they encounter the work of young choreographers that don’t suffer from Neutralism, makers that have resisted the poisonous evil. Yeah, this is goddamn scientific. Individuals born after 1985 they have a different aura, theirs is no more grey, it’s indigo. Yes, indigo. They new aura is indigo and check this out it’s not just a color, but an entirely new mindset. Indigo people are not good at all but whatever they are they operate differently, they’re too smart to bother about career [I get one when I need it], they all grew up in composed families, they multitask and are thoroughly digital, they are deeply post-ideological, post-television, don’t even care to remember who Jonny Rotten was, they are all p.i.p. generation (post internet porn), don’t bother with definition especially not concerning artistic work. The awesome indigo kid is somebody who decides to work long term as a carpenter but still tours with the band, have a tattoo studio with two friends and work as a cameraman mostly for music videos. Indigo is over emancipation of any kind, they are so not into being special, they live in Brooklyn [and I have a crush on one of them], they are hyper conscious about fashion but too cool to show it. The indigo is consciously not conscious at all, it’s down dressing and remixed. The indigo person is somebody who is so not allergic but is very careful about diet, gluten, dairy and is definitely vegetarian. The indigo personality is somebody who is convinced that addiction is a choice, and she is so right. That’s the mindset of artistic production today, it’s like fucked up different, and we have job – to let if goddamn flourish. We need to chase the grey people out of the temple of dance, do it once and for all and get rid of all of them. If we don’t, if we don’t and with emphasis dance and choreography will never free itself from the Neutralism. It will never free itself from it’s historical ballast and join the contemporary, and will forever be haunted by spirals, somebody called David, season programs, production value, and will never change the world. Fuck they grey, bring in the indigo. Once and for all, and abandon Deborah one more time, and Judson Church and everything 60s. Allow all those new colors in, new forms of obscenity, nothing special, self-indulgence, even long boards, silly webpages, non reflected passionate dance, that is as much a Youtube clip as it’s a dance show, a hang out, a kind of zombie being together where friending is as important as the light changes, that are lateralized to the extent that the make up and glitter is equally important as the dance material or some whatever activity. And don’t you dare consider that they don’t know what they are, they do and far more elaborately than you could ever imagine. Indigo people make what they do because they know what they want, they don’t need a dramaturge (certainly not one from Belgium), this is what it should look like, it’s not a mistake it’s the future, and it’s amazing.

Let in those chatty performances, that speak blurry and use a language that sounds old school but isn’t. Make it happen, those performances that allow themselves to use editing that appear totally ridiculous but itsn’t, that don’t bother to learn the material properly, that don’t give a damn about high res, and does things for their own sake, let them happen these dance shows that are phantastic and absolutely incomprehensible, sentimental and giggle a holographic bubbles and glitter and shine shine shine.


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