THE HOT ONE HUNDRED CHOREOGRAPHERS
ON THE PROCESS
THE HOT ONE HUNDRED CHOREOGRAPHERS was created for the “15th Cultura Inglesa Festival” in Sao Paulo/Brasil. Within this context, each artist seeks to relate to the work of a British artist. Peter Davies and his text-painting The Hot One Hundred was the starting point for the creation of this dance piece, created and danced by Cristian Duarte, made in collaboration with Rodrigo Andreolli.
THE HOT ONE HUNDRED Choreographers
Inspired by the work "the hot one hundred" by Peter Davies.
This creation arouse two challenges as starting point: first, how to make a list with dancing, making it clear that it is not a representation of excerpts from works by other choreographers. Second, who are the one hundred?
I will try to discuss about how we worked, and provide some clues about the aesthetic and conceptual universe we draw on this one.
The choice of one hundred:
We adopted as a criteria for making our list, the choreographers and shows that, somehow, I have gone through along my career in dance. Things that (in)formed my dance education and training. Many of the shows listed, I had the opportunity to attend in person, which makes my relationship with the choreographer/piece more complex in this quantitative puzzle. Other choreographers/works I met through this research in the virtual environment, which was shared with Rodrigo Andreolli, a partner and collaborator on the research and creation of this dance solo. Thus, another criteria was absorbed along the process - to list only the choreographers who have their work available on the internet (youtube, vimeo, website or similar). Hard work, because in some cases, we could only find the choreographer but not the piece we wanted to include in the hot-list. When this happened, we had the following options: choose another work extract, remove it from the list or seek the chosen piece in another type of collection/platform. We chose … the latter option.
Therefore, a very personal list began to be developed, which allowed me to recognize and think about my own aesthetic choices. During the process the hot-list showed some flexibility, gaining the status of a provisional-list, a list that could always be changed, and therefore always becoming (an)other list.
Perhaps, flexibility is a strategy to deal with the difficulty of making choices.
Perhaps flexibility is in me, to be able to find over a hundred shows choreographers that I consider hot, or perhaps my concept of hot is quite flexible. In some cases, I find hotter the choreographer rather than the work listed, because of my perception of his trajectory, mode of existence, assemblage of what he/she have done or is doing. In other cases the work would be hot even if it were anonymous.
Some names and performances got in and out of the list a few times, some entered and stayed, others left and did not return. Sought to defend the legitimacy of the hots based on coherence and integrity in relation to my experiences, memories, perceptions and approach as a dance artist today (2011).
I found myself in many contradictions, but I decided to understand such contradictions as part of a reflexive process, part of what puts me in a state of doubt, and that could expand possibilities and experiences in my artistic journey.
Making a list also means making a cut that separates all that is outside/outcast. Therefore, this list is also one reminder that there is much more, so many more hundreds, which could produce many other lists. The list I present in this solo, crops at the same time it demands a series of et ceteras, in both – the selected fragments and for what remained off the list.
How to organize that amount of references and on the formulation/understanding of choreography:
Quite contaminated by the book “Vertigine della lista” by Umberto Eco, the list under construction oscillated between a practical and poetic list, because as a textual list, it was possible and finite - one hundred choreographers and one hundred existing pieces - punto! But, to be exchanged-translated-transposed to a body in motion and take shape as a choreographic formulation, it needed to divorce any attempt of representation and become understood as a list-index: a collection of et ceteras that would favor the in-betweens, the switching tonalities, maneuvers and articulations that should happen in passing from one reference to an-other.
As a strategy for studying, we organized the list contents in casts by choreographers-shows based on our understanding of coherence between them, or affinity of language, or time/context. The casts received nicknames, such as: primordial cast, judson cast, impro cast, modern cast, companies cast, among others. These casts have become objects of study, which later made me understand that they were also clues or ignitions, something more complex and intangible.
With a series of casts in hand, I threw myself into a dance studio, in a virtuosity of fragmentation, which in addition to providing me with hours in front of a computer, also launched me into space, made me move, sweat, made my chances? to become more elastic, either physically and conceptually, and it was within this vertigo, watching videos, fragments, pieces, crops and trying/tasting them, that we visualized a form.
The form we found for the practical list, dialogues with the colorful work of Peter Davies and earns a radial format which lists the contents by color, without assessment by numbers and unsecured fixed places, in tune with the understandings/studies of lists of Umberto Eco. The 100 color buttons with the choreographers/works-listed are repositioned at every entry in the webpage that hosts the radial list. Each button leads to a choreographer/work/link or site that was found on the internet (youtube, vimeo, website...). We did not upload any content. Our hot list is made by the already existing links in the virtual scene, and because of that it needs constant maintenance as the virtual scene is quite volatile and contents are deleted quite often.
What I call poetic list is the performance itself.
Some metaphors/keywords that were part of the creation process, which serve as clues to understand how the material was handled reaching the current resolution: satellite, orbiting, appropriation, hot soup, made in china, index, homage, documentation, translation, study, ownership, credit, resolution, definition, opacity, in-between places, vertigo, cast, concentration, irradiation, discontinuous flow, gesture, shape, change, without stopping, move, movement, dance.
Cristian Duarte, May 2011.
"In its own way, the practical lists represent a form, because they give unit to a set of objects that, even seeming nonconforming among themselves, they follow a contextual pressure, or because they are related or are expected all in one place or constitute the end of a particular project ... A practical list is never incongruous, since it identifies the inclusion criterion that governs them".
Umberto Eco in The vertigo of lists.