Writing to movement(s)

I’m writing for Chocolate Heads. What does that mean, however? What does it mean to be writing for dance/movement/sound/experience? I don’t have the answers, but those are questions that have been troubling me for some time. I don’t think I have the elegant distance of an art critic. I have a more intimate connection to the world of creation (rather than critique) because so much of my writing is poetry, spoken word at that, meant to be performed and hyper-performed. There is gesture and movement built into our words that make us slam poets the next of kin to the dancers in word world.

So this feels strange. And as overused and poetically unappealing as that adjective is, there’s mo other word for it: strange. We live in times and spaces that privilege the labor of the mind over that of the body (it’s a false binary, I know it, but that doesn’t make the privileging any less real). I’m an activist, an organizer before anything else. I narrate my worlds in networks of privilege and complications. Reifying privilege is generally not on my agenda. What does it mean for my products to be on this site and mere imprints/images of dance and music of Chocolate Heads to be up? Who has governance over permanent spaces?

But I also need to interrogate why I think these written words are anything more than an imprint of my own thoughts and overall writing process? That the space where my thoughts are stored here are no less transient than the images (sometimes moving) of dancers and movement that fill other spaces here.

Aleta has been emphasizing that our rehearsals, our auditions, our workshops, any time together: it is all Chocolate Heads.  So too are all the people who make our production, who create with us: they are all Chocolate Heads.  These are inspiring and overwhelming sentiments (giving us the feeling of constantly prototyping).  Yet those are also humbling sentiments.  There is no more significance in my finished words than in the writing steps along the way.  My experience up until now, my worst moments and best, my worst poems and best, they have all shaped me into my particular instantiation of a Chocolate Head.

So I will write humbly and excitedly, and simply ask for days to come, what am I to explore?  The experiences I have in rehearsal, certainly.  Some of the concepts my dancers and peers are exploring, and those I’m exploring in tandem and parallel.  My struggles and happinesses writing for this project, this world.  On poetry, movement, and design.  On the persons, the Chocolate Heads themselves. Topics that are variant with time.

-Janani

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