Right so straight off – I haven’t made up my mind.
I have an idea of dance made just for the radio. Dance that opens up to me, to any audience, through what is audible. The privileged sense is hearing rather than the visual that we tend to go for with anything other than music (and now we like to have a video at least to go with it).
Miguel Pereira’s Opus 49 features a sounding of a theatre, a listening to the floor and the walls and the empty auditorium, to the body of the performer and the world backstage (as he exits the theatre for a smoke) and eventually to the audience itself.
Nadja Hjorton’s Radio Dance (2012) is a solo dance performance that deals with dance and history filtered through a personal life story. Nadja Hjorton uses the radio format, and her performance moves through a subjective dance history that makes visible, and questions, a general dance history. In the performance, Nadja is broadcasting her radio program live, a program that covers her own life from childhood to adulthood with Sweden and the world's political climate as a back drop. It is a program about dance and dancing.
A score might be created for broadcast, the recording of a dancer in motion podcast and of course people might discuss dance. We might get to hear about dance and dancers in the same way that we do about film and books and music and the artist who make this work.
It could be inspired by my childhood experience of snooker on the radio (are you old enough to remember that let alone admit that you enjoyed it). Or is it down to a later an understanding of the joy of cricket on the radio. Or perhaps more likely this is a reaction to dance on screen……
Why is it that as a live art form we seem to leap quite easily to the idea of dance being represented on TV or film? It isn’t a purely visual medium and the kind of work that tends to get made then reinforces the idea of dance being about telling stories or exploring relationship – or both (what we think that drama is about), as well as making beautiful bodies move beautifully, Ah now that really is what we think dance is about.
So perhaps with my limited interest in this kind of work – yes I do like technically well made, virtuosic movement, ‘aesthetic’ dance, even dance that tells a story (I have a background in theatre after all) perhaps the problem is that I understand that this isn’t all or even the best of what dance can do.
I understand the importance of the body in dance, I understand the importance of space, and the importance of time. I think I understand choreography. And if I then was imagining that dance could be made in any number of ways and places then what might I imagine dance would be on the radio.
Claire Hicks writes
a collection of thoughts about this project and what others are already doing