Whose dance is it?

In April 2018 the Writing Movement Network 2.0 went to New York on a study trip, checking out the dance scene and reflecting on dance, democracy and corporealities of 2018.

With Susan Klein at her studio on Beach Street

I’m on the dance floor performing with others what I just was instructed by Katie Workum and colleagues to do. Sensing the dance rather than seeing it. Perception through action, together with my fellow audiencedancers in that moment. Doing and being at the same time.

I’ve landed at the famous Judson Church in New York. Famous for experimental dance, for dance that asks questions like what is dance and manifesting dance as an independent art form.

It’s 2018. It’s March. We landed this afternoon. Not yet too tired, – will be later though.

Will have jet-lag. Will be in close proximity to the other writing Movement Networkers with whom I’ve arrived to this famous destination in this famous city which is like it was, but different, but like it was. Susan Kleins studio is the same but the building is different, – the neighbourhood is different. Saint Marks place and church, which I only visit later that week with my sister. It’s been 27 years since we last hung out in New York together.

It’s cheap jeans, it’s lots of students, it’s some dance, some famous dance companies, it’s the high line, – wasn’t there earlier, it’s Brooklyn, rough and ready, for vegans for art, for lifes with tiny incomes.

It’s artistic souls who worked their asses off, low wages, not ok treatment from employers, – still hanging in there.

The Brooklyn ferry, the sunny relaxed westside of Manhatten.

Open performance space @Eden Expressway dance studio. Laurel Snyders voice and body. The demons of her performance-in-progress makes me think of the Indian dance Kathakali, – eyebrow dance as my son calls it.

Matita from Movement Research has brunch with us. Wants to go to Sweden, is from Mexico. At the Swedish consulate we learn about a new literature festival and an artist exhibiting her art at the Swedish Church just down the street. The ground floor of the church is a library. You can buy open faced egg sandwiches with salted herring. A Japanese throat cancer survivor singer sings to a dedicated audience, we are tired but manage to rent a meeting room, must however be out before the bride and groom of a wedding to take in the church arrive.

Gibney Dance, vogueball at home in Brooklyn, a Friday night community effort to bring street- and other dancers together (beers allowed).

Sierra came to New York to get away from something. Established the Icelandic connection, – entered our circle, enriches it with her soul and tenderness and her artistic input. We will miss her and New York.

/Kamma Siegumfeldt June 2018

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