CriticalDance Forum

"Release Work"
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Author:  Maggie [ Tue Jul 11, 2000 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Release Work"

Trina, I thought that was very good. It would probably be a good idea to rethink some of my opinions. I will look for more examples of good release work. I still don't care for Trisha Brown, though.

Author:  Prisanh [ Tue Jul 11, 2000 9:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Release Work"

Nice. Thanks, Trina. That certainly helps.

Author:  grace [ Thu Jul 20, 2000 6:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Release Work"

Image <BR>a 1999 UK article related to use of release work, which might be of interest: <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A>

Author:  BabsLights [ Fri Jul 21, 2000 3:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Release Work"

We were just having this discussion in the office the other day. Our Artistic Director is on the release side of the scale...but he doesn't come from that background. During the course of this conversation I noticed that the dancers I was speaking with were using "release" the same way they used the word "Graham" or "Cunningham" or "Horton". (I had asked what makes Horton technique what it is.)<P>Our AD was alreadt working on more of a release thing and then he became involved with Body-Mind Centering in an attempt to help his brain-injured child. The child was helped a bit. but even more greatly changed was Mark's exploration of his work. You could now best describe his work and his dancers as having the movement start not from the muscles and not from the skeletal system, but from internal place or organs and then flow outward. It may sound like nonsens, but when you watch a newer dancer trying to emulate the feeling and movement, you see the difference when they actually understand it finally.<P><BR>

Author:  trina [ Sat Jul 22, 2000 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Release Work"

The question I've always had about release technique and more specifically, body mind centering, is that it always seems more like dance therapy or an extension of bodywork" to me, rather than a specific dance style or technique. I find these are good for individual exploration or therapy, but not very interesting to watch as an audience member; ie. not very physically "daring". As an educator, I acknowledge the importance of such work, but in terms of choreography, I feel that, in my opinion (of course!!), it can be a "starting point" or point of departure for more "physicallized" work. That is, it sometimes gets a bit "self-absorbed" or introspective at times, from a "watchers" standpoint. It depends on what your point of view of performance is---??

Author:  Prisanh [ Sat Jul 22, 2000 3:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Release Work"

That's an interesting conundrum (sp?) - something called "release" comes across as a self-absorption. I guess I would hope that somehow releasing joints and limbs would result in some emotive connection - that having this great, expansive body would extend to the face. That is one kind of extension many dancers could use more than the leggy variety. "Dancerface" often kills lovely movement for me.<BR>

Author:  Azlan [ Sat Jul 22, 2000 5:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Release Work"

Prisanh, what is "dancerface"? That's a new term to me...

Author:  grace [ Sun Jul 23, 2000 12:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Release Work"

Prisanh - this is way off 'release work', BUT....gretchen ward warren, who wrote the world's best book on ballet technique (NO two ways about it!) has a page of facial expressions in her ballet technique photo-pages. she told me that that one page had prompted more comment than any other, all over the world! teachers will instantly recognise the 'pained' expression, the'poor-me' expression, etc....(those are my descriptions, not hers) - worth a look, good for a laugh! Image

Author:  Prisanh [ Sun Jul 23, 2000 7:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Release Work"

Azlan, Grace pretty much got it by referring me to the Gretchen Ward Warren book with the page of facial photos. I've mostly noticed this mask in modern dance I've seen and (unfortunately) done. In fact, I think I noticed it first in myself and then in others, as I looked outside of my own shell for a solution.<BR>We've all seen dancers for whom energy seems to clog up mid-forearm or mid-calf, preventing arms and legs from reaching their full length. Dancerface is the result of a clog of confusion somewhere in the neck, frequently caused by lack of adequate direction from choreographers. Cases of dancers over or under-thinking these directions also may occasionally develop into acute dancerface.

Author:  Azlan [ Sun Jul 23, 2000 7:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Release Work"

Grace & Prisanh, do you mean this book:<P> Image <P> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><BR>/sr=1-2/103-5817372-2264635</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 23, 2000).]

Author:  trina [ Mon Jul 24, 2000 8:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Release Work"

I should say that we can find evidence of "Dancerface" in all techniques, I think. This type of training (learning how to use the face without phoniness or exaggeration)is very difficult to teach, and this type of training is sorely lacking, at least in the US. I don't know if release or any other post-modern style could specifically address this issue. But any tool is worth a try-right? PS Do we want to start another thread for this?

Author:  BabsLights [ Mon Jul 24, 2000 9:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Release Work"

I agree, that the BMC work can make some dancers turn completely inward...especially dancers just starting. But a great dancer can take that knowledge and end up flying.<BR>And some can't, and they always have A) "dancerface" and B) no relationship with the audience and C) no reason for me to keep watching them. They don't engage me.<P>

Author:  trina [ Tue Jul 25, 2000 8:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Release Work"

Everyone: I've started a new thread/topic called "Dancerface". I thought it would be appropriate to discuss this issue, since this thread is supposed to be "Release Work" . For those who are interested, it will be under "Studio".

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