This project investigates the notions of friction and tension as a constructive potential for the field of choreography. In general, these notions are rather seen as negative forces within the dance world.
The aversion to friction and tension is expressed very explicitly at the level of dance technique. From classical ballet’s danser sur les pointes (the nec plus ultra of reducing friction) to release technique in contemporary dance: friction and tension seem to be the two antagonists against which the aspiring dancer has to compete.
An aversion to friction and tension on a figurative level is something I observe on a daily basis in my practice as a contemporary dance maker. Contemporary creations seem to follow a work ethic that regards the acknowledgement and naming of tensions and frictions as some kind of taboo. Yet these creations tend to be characterized by a particularly high level of frictions and tensions, among other things, by the collaborative structures they opt for and by the economically precarious context in which they occur.
This project wants to investigate on a technical, dramaturgical and sociological level whether the notions of friction and tension can also be used as constructive forces within choreography. More specifically, can choreography that explicitly relates to friction and tension teach us something about the different (coping) mechanisms with friction and tension (e.g. by looking into the role and importance of resistance and suppleness)?
Annelies Van Assche