Dancing at Home
One of the things we cannot do since COVID-19 outbreak is to go to dance studios. I sometimes go to a dance workshop; when I was staying in Tokyo, I used to take contact improvisation classes at AAPA. While I was living in Montreal, Canada, I sometimes went to Studio 303 when I was curious about workshops by guest teachers from around the world; also I took intensive workshops at ImPulsTanz in 2016 and in 2017 in Vienna, Austria.
These days, I participate in Annie Abrahams’ “Distant Movements” session which lasts for 15 minutes every Wednesday. It takes place on Zoom and is open to everyone. While closing eyes, Annie, Muriel Piqué and Daniel Pinheiro guide us in English and in French. The instructions (in the sessions I joined) are mostly focusing on movements from inside the body: for example, paying attention to breathing to move certain parts of the body, or letting the arms move while imagining wind (the cover photo is from one of these sessions). They have been working on networked performances for many years, and during coronavirus outbreak, they also organize a contemplation session every Friday.
AAPA started remote dance workshops; although there is a time difference, it was perfect time for me as the workshop took place in the evening in Japan, which is in the early afternoon in Germany. I was the only participant but they kindly gave me a workshop. Most of the time was for warmup, and at the end we were immersed in a remote dance session. Nevertheless, one hour is too short for a workshop and I missed workshops in a dance studio.
However, after a few days I started to realize the benefit of a remote dance workshop. Before I took the workshop, I already began a daily routine to stretch every morning, and what I learned from the workshop is directly applicable to my warmup. Of course, I learned a lot from the past workshops I attended before; however, the learned movements always feels alienated when practiced at home. The remote workshop or the dance workshop “at home” helped me understand how to move in my room, for example, knowing the distance to the furniture and walls, and the movements I acquired connects myself and the space.
I have been thinking about remote dance workshops and performances should take advantage of the remote nature, but now I am interested in focusing on “dancing-at-home” aspect of the remote performance.