Constellations and Influences: Melanie Maar
October 17, 2013
My most significant artistic influence according to my mother happened when she went to see The Nutcracker with me in her enormous belly, because as soon as the Russian dancers came out stomping and flying I was kicking so strong, making her feel that I was doing the Trepak inside of her. Her being a dancer might have exasperated the perceived excitement in the womb.
Being in and also looking at the piece I have been making for Danspace, this moment of familiar oral history is threading something together I have just recently seen more clearly. That most things I approach, my dances especially, are about experiencing, objectifying and sharing the “inside outside phenomena.” What I experience inside a process, a performance has as much significance to me as how it is experienced from the outside. The form as considered as the feeling. Inside the specificities I intend to leave space for spontaneity, listening and as some call it “catching the spirit.” My hope is that this is enough space for the audience to come in and become part of it.
It is like a feedback loop between realms that can only be understood and worked with in isolated focus. The whole can rarely be perceived. In the making of the dance we approach aspects – this body, this shift, this idea, this feeling, this meaning, this task, this desire, this risk, this connection, trying to control the specifics, the environment it relates to, let it go, control it again, hopefully let it go by premiere night…Letting go and the desire to connect separate aspects of my self, release that tension, dance my heart out, catch the spirit, is what made me wanna dance in the first place.
Even then when the piece is so called finished, it’s hard to explain and talk about it when asked what it is about. I cannot grasp what this piece is about, what it means, what the forces are that hold it together, or make it fall apart. But as I am anxiously feeling the clock tick towards the eminent premiere performance at Danspace I sense I can enjoy the Trepak passion of the moment of sharing with others the unknown and known that our body minds reveal in movement….
Melanie Maar premieres Our Other, Thursday, October 17 – Saturday, October 19 at 8pm.