©Jana Unmüßig
Lisa Densem gives a workshop on breath and movement at Südufer Freiburg.

Lisa Densem was yesterday with me in Freiburg. Lisa is a freelance dance artists originally from New Zealand but living in Berlin since over 20 years. She is a prolific dancer and performer who keeps performing Sasha Waltz´piece Körper. Lisa has also been engaged in working processes by Sergiu Mattis, Hanna Hegenscheidt, Laurant Chetoutane. And she performed in several of my works. In addition to her performing and dancing practice she also teaches BreathExperience – a variation on the practice of Ilse Middendorf Perceptual Breathing.

Thoughts after yesterday:

  • I make this distinction between three ways to deal with breath in performing dance: 1. representational mode when the performer performs the mainly the breathing out just a bit more audible than what it actually is.they project the sound of breathing out into the audience space. 2.breath is made tangible (audible, perceivable) because the performer is pushed to such physical and/or mental limit that their dancing is exhausting the body. the physical / mental exhaustion renders breath tangible for an audience. (I think of the work of e.g. Meg Stuart) 3. breath is used to synchronize with the other. (I think of the work of e.g. Jared Gradinger/Angela Schubot)

The question: What can I contribute artistically with breath if I don’t wanna do any of the three in my eyes predominant ways of dealing with breath in contemporary dance and choreography?

The question is how to talk about breath in a non-essentialist way? Without going too esoteric and yet acknowledging that there are effects of breathing that touch on the somatic at least?

Talking yesterday with Lisa we discussed how and how not working in choreography and dance with perception, included breath, is or is not actually ethically possible. More on this in an other moment.

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