Thursday, June 14, 2007

constructing failure

I bought Steven Hill breakfast in order to get information from him. I wanted to know his thoughts about clowns. I wanted to know if the virtuosity of the clown could be compatible with the fluid virtuosity of a dancer. (He agreed that the Pierrot of opera and ballet was pathetic - "a gutted clown" ). A few things that resonate with me:
The clown is the outsider
The clown is political
The clown is about failure
The clown is about shame

As I work on the solo, I wonder what it means to construct failure.

Failure is not so far in concept from loss. And dance is about loss. The attempt to capture that formless space between two concrete points. As the pathways become more known to you, however, through training, through repetition, the eternal question is how do you construct the physical tasks so that you can continually inhabit the unknown.

I thought about the little film in Philippe Decouflé's Solo where he dances with the long ribbons, at first clumsily - we laugh at his failure here, he is clearly in clown body - and then magically this transforms into a fluid virtuosity and we laugh even more. What are we laughing at here? How are we laughing?

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