Artist Blog – Angela Blumberg
Initially, I created (a)Muse(ment) for a different purpose and when I was given the opportunity to choreograph a piece for musician and dancer with both performers expressing themselves through movement. Thinking of a movement vocabulary that could suit a non-dancer I was attracted to gestures that happen naturally when we interact with another person: small inclinations of the head, hand gestures to emphasize what we say, a particular extension or flexion of the chest expressing excitement or defeat.
The idea of creating a dialogue suggested itself and with it the idea of using a voice-over. Taking my partner’s profession into account, musician and composer, I started to write a dialogue based on misunderstandings and friction taking place at two levels: the usual misunderstandings of yet another complicated relationship; and the misunderstandings between two people with different backgrounds (composer versus dancer). The final and probably most important aspect of the dialogue was the use of language itself: its intonation, rhythmic patterns, and balancing abstraction versus narration or poetry versus content that the audience could follow.
After I had come up with the initial concept and created the first two scenes of (a)Muse(ment), I decided to do something completely different with the musician (this always happens to me: I create enough material for an evening program only to start again – why?) and forgot about (a)Muse(ment) for a few months.
In late September last year, when I was flipping through my dance video catalogue – I have an endless library of filmed rehearsals, half-finished works, movement research, and short scenes, I found (a)Muse(ment) and felt intrigued enough to revisit it. Over the course of several months I wrote, edited and recorded the dialogue many times and developed movements that correspond with the rhythm and content of the text. Below is the complete text in writing as well as a voice recording. Interestingly enough, already in the process of writing the text I perceived it as spoken word - a difference, which the audio sample tries to illustrate. The short video To Talk shows some early research stages of exploring gestures and dialogue through dance.
Video: To Talk
Scene 1 (0’00 – 2’08’’)
He says: Inversion.
Mm mm, no passing note, note to self: keep it simple. Inversions only.
Great, we gonna omit that last section and instead - transpose it.
Transposition of the inversion.
We gonna repeat that
we gonna repeat that
Augmentation – and then we just need something dramatic to finish.
Pa-di-da-da boom – boom.
Scene 2 (2’10’’ – 3’00’’) / Note: layered voice-over
She says: honey, I think it’s important to have a conversation
He says: I think it is important to have a conversation, honey
She repeats: honey, I think it’s important to have a conversation
He says: of course, honey
AUDIO SAMPLE: https://soundcloud.com/user-573798657/part-2-01
Scene 3 (3’01’’ – 4’35’’)
He says: it could be so easy
And why not faster?
Why not? She was amused.
He says: everybody needs a muse. It’s a must. I must have a muse and you amuse me.
He says: it could be so easy.
She wanted. He was a must. You are a must, she said. He was amused. She tried.
And why not faster? It could be so easy.
She says: we need to talk.
He says: really?
Scene 4 (4’36’’ – 5’19’’) / Note: layered voice-over
She says: wished, I wished.
He says: wished
She says: wished, I wished
Really? I wished.
He says: really?
She says: but you didn’t and never and I couldn’t
Oh oh oh
Scene 5 (5’20’’ – 9’30’’)
He says: where are you going? Escape is not a solution. He says: escape is not a solution.
She says: honey, it’s an inversion.
He says: believe me, escape is not a solution. I’m confused. What should I think? Laterally? Believe me, I’m confused. Escape is not a solution, believe me. She says it’s an inversion – I wished! Side-shifting of the inversion, I’m thinking laterally. I want to transpose all of this. I’m confuse. We all make minor mistakes, some make major mistakes, I’m confused. I wished, she’d stop. This lateral inversion is confusing. It augments my fears. No, we gonna omit that last sentence – I’m confused. Music, we should be music.
She says: I’m amused.
He says: oh!
She says: and why not? Especially –
He says: music. We should be music
She says: we should and who says we shouldn’t.
And why not? Especially. It’s a must. Especially.
And why not faster, why not?
It’s so easy, music.
She pauses. Especially, she whispers.
He whispers: it could be so easy.
He says: it could be so easy.
He whispers: and why not faster? Why not?
She says: stop, stop whispering, it’s not working. It’s not working.
It could be so easy.
And why not? Why not? I really want to talk.
Talk – stop – talk – stop – talk – stop!
Scene 6 (8’48’’ – 11’01’’)
It could be so easy
She tries, he tries.
He says: and why not faster
Why not? She was amused
He says: I remember
She says: oh please, please, why rewind?
I must have become memory
Why did I become memory?
I try not to be amused
Rewind, you became nothing to grasp
You must know that I wished
I’m amused and I must say -
You are nothing to grasp
You are everywhere where I’m not
I must say, I try not to be amused.
Nothing to become
She says: I border on you with everybody
He says: nothing grasps me
She says: you became nothing to grasp
He says: really? You used to be everywhere
Please, you must know that I wished
That I wished.