Original Source

Axis Mundi – Danza Ballet – April 2012

XX International Festival: Dance in the Desert: Mexico
Dramaturgy, gestures, and interpretation: a system for building contemporary dance


Playwriting, gestures, interpretation, these are three issues, though not the only ones, directly pertaining to contemporary dance. To reach a definition of each, and then establish a structural and functional system, between them, is the task of every choreographer in each staging. This premise is the subject of analysis in this paper, referring to the twentieth edition of the international exhibition Dance in the Desert, held from April 19 to 29 in Hermosillo, Sonora, northwestern Mexico.

Although there are exceptional cases, as Maureen Fleming, all the choreographers participating in this show seem to be in the ontological construction of their discipline. For the sake of assessment - which can be done in one way or another, the program show span from witty, with "Lamb" by Phillip Adams, to more poetic, with "Axis Mundi" by Maureen Fleming. No surprise there. The policy of this annual exhibition has been, since its inception in 1993, the diversity in its program.

Gestures: between academic art and playful exploration

Choreographers usually like to apply the language or vocabulary of dance to body gestures expressively organized at the scene. In the twentieth edition of the international exhibition of Dance in the Desert two major trends in gestural exploration could have been seen: the gesture as a projection of a formal technical training, and the gesture as more or less extensive exploration of the expressive human body.
Lola Lince and Maureen Fleming successfully enroll in this latter trend, as they both are at least partially inspired by Butoh. The gestures that both artists explore in their works reach for their domain beyond the art, expression levels that reveal the poetic authenticity of the choreographers. The Graham technique, ballet, or any other system of training and dance training are expressed in the curriculum of the artists in recognition of those concerned, but not in any way obstruct the physical embodiment in the scene. Neither Lince, literally wrapped in clothing nor Fleming with her nudity, lack the demonstrations of technique. The very idea (to stick to the technique only) is alien against the softness of contortion, bold defiance of balance, revealing at the same time both human need and form of expression, beyond the vertical attitude that evolution has demanded from homo sapiens.

Other choreographers, however, choose to stick to technical gestures (moves), or try a combination of both trends.

Bottom Navigation