Interlude Docs

Doc 031: Eleanor Bauer

repetition, repetition, repetition
/ The Forming of a Form

each repetition announces both a loss of detail
and an acquisition of other details
repetition forming not necessarily certainty
but a container in which uncertainty thrives
and proliferates
each repetition solidifies a structure
contributes to the instances that
once accumulated, form a number of instances
large enough from which to deduce
a common denominator
a palimpsest of back-formed reasoning
because who really knows
who really really knows
for certain
why it became this and not that
how anything became this
and not some other this
of all the possible thises and thats
all the possible thises and that’s
building up an archive of unique and equally complex
irreducible and singular interpretations
of a thing passed-on, copied, performed and re-performed
until we can identify a pattern, extract a model
and call it choreography, call it the writing of the dance
choreo | graphy
When does all that ongoing moving and wording form
an invariant?
Is it in the repetition of a given name or in the redundancy
of actions?
In traditional Aboriginal naming processes, one is given a name
not for life but for the role one performs in the community.
As one’s role changes over time, so does one’s name

begin with an individual and you find that you have created a type; begin with a type and you find that you have created – nothing
  – F. Scott Fitzgerald

I have nothing to say and I am saying it” – John Cage

explanations only possible in hindsight
so many explanations plausible or true
so many explanations necessary
for getting close to something like
the full complexity of circumstances and forces
that brought anything to be
and maybe the choreography was never simple
was never a pattern or a plan reducible and abstractable
maybe it was the whole culture of the room and the people in it
the weather, the politics of the time, the music and the fashion
hence the palimpsest
of back-formed why’s
because hindsight
so they say
is 20/20

And what if I’m certain of nothing yet I can’t stop repeating myself?

Despite all my obsession with complexity and change, what if
I can’t keep from reiterating things about this self-thing, producing
certainty out of flux, making a thing out of no-thing, stumbling
on this habit-forming “I” that reappears to faux its flux into a fact?
Dancing teaches me that I’m changed by all I do
and reminds me that old habits die hard
Dancing makes me feel that I’m more than alive
and reminds me that everything else is too
in light of which there is no need for “I”
in the continuity between me and not me, here
and there, this and that

“I” always slams me in the face like an upturned rake I accidentally stepped on, when I forget to hold it up, carry it around, stand it up right on its capitalized serif-supported base.

How do you pronounce “I” when it’s horizontal, laying on its side?

If there is anything of which I am certain it’s that I will never be certain in my skin. In my guts I am sometimes certain but my skin keeps me doubtful, curious, touchy, porous, stretchy, foldable, soft, impressionable, scarred, dried, squishy, wrinkled. Contained, but barely. Bleeding, pushing, cringing, sweating. Hanging off of my skeleton and holding up appearances, clinging to my buoyant flesh, blurring my edges.

What it feels is hard work for words but that it feels is for certain. The only certain thing. ding!

Insert here a poem from your timed dance-writing
this many lines more or less or a bit shorter
or a super dense run-on block of text
like blablabla but very inspired
choose a juicy and passionate one full of urgency
because Charles Bukowski says,
“Don’t write a novel unless it hurts like a hot turd coming out”

la ballerine appauvrie / O, Poésie

There is no way to properly translate what I’m doing, to reduce
it to units of exchange.

This woman says five times to the waiter “and can I get extra bread?”
Does she doubt that he will give her extra bread, or does she want
five times extra bread?

Sometimes repetition is the only way to produce certainty.

Sometimes repetition dulls the brilliance of the initial flash.

Sometimes repetition hammers importance into a random thing
while other equally worthy things disappear in the wake of
a stubbornly repeated thing.

What’s worth repeating – is the question of choreography

What’s worth solidifying from the indefinite dancingness

What’s worth carving in stone, what’s worth writing

What choreo is worth the graphy

 

And why should writing be the measure of worth, you ask.
Why should writing something increase its value?

Writing makes permanent, permanence makes property, property
makes value, however virtual or impermanent value may be.

Property. Thingness. Invariance. Repeatability. Identity.

And so the world turns as if not turning at all, invariably, repeating.

Yet change is movement

             Or movement is change

                                        And so it goes

                                              that dance is the brokest of all the arts

                                                                     next to poetry, of course

O, Poetry

You, writing that betrays property
that fixes nothing
that proclaims so little and says so much,
You that fails to identify
who makes so many little things worth repeating o’er the ages,

                         and yet

                accumulates

         so little worth,

You, which binds to experience and springs from its depths
who anchors in the humble view
and moves through words like worlds

You, who knows that less is more when humility beats hubris,
and that quality beats quantity,

                                                 when what’s left unsaid

                                                                      lets the rest resound

Eleanor Bauer is a choreographer and performer working at the intersections of dance, writing, and music. Originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Bauer holds a BFA in Dance from New York University, is a graduate of the Research Cycle at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels, and is currently based in Stockholm where she is finishing a PhD in Choreography at Stockholm University of the Arts. From solos to talk shows to large ensemble pieces, her versatile works range in scale, media, and genre, and have toured internationally to critical acclaim. Bauer has worked as a performer with, among others, Matthew Barney, Trisha Brown, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker/Rosas, Xavier Le Roy, Boris Charmatz, David Zambrano, Every Ocean Hughes, The Knife, and Ictus contemporary music ensemble.

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