a wakeup call to deadened urbanites (Steve Paxton)

Jan 06, 2011


I think that one of the reasons I got involved in dance
is to finish my movement development.
Because I have a hunger to find,
and to finish,
and to explore,
to do essentially what babies do when they begin to move.
A hunger to find out more of what movement is or can be.
I think it provides a service to keep the search alive
in a culture,
which has engineered an environment which requires physical and sensorial suppression to exist in.
Most of the people who study dance aren't ambitious to be dancers, in fact.
Or aren't serious about that ambition.
I think they're trying to complete physicality
that gets messed up by sitting for 12 years in school, or longer.
Essentially, urban civilization has cut off from movement and sensorial development which would occur in a natural environment.
I mean the sense of smell is leaving.
The sense of sight is rigidly controlled by readings,
by television,
by school,
by signage,
by words everywhere in the city.
In fact there are many kinds of of control or implicit visual message
about how to interact with the city.
Here there is more neon than nuance.
Food is advertised rather than hunted for.
Entertainment becomes divorced from ingenuity.
I'm not complaining because it is about 15,000 years too late to change direction.
I have found the cities very interesting places,
but when I return to the country I am struck by the difference in what is required by the senses.
It is appalling how we disuse the body.
Dance remind us about that.
Dance explores some of the physical possibilities.
Dance refocuses our focusing mind on very basic existence,
and time, space, gravity, open up to creativity.
This seems to me a reminder of nature, of our natures,
and as such it provides a service to us in our physical doldrums.
It is a wakeup call to deadened urbanites,
a stimulus, to work-habituated bodies,
a promise to developing children...