“quixotic essence of a breath movement / 1×3” is a performance about walking, movement, the meeting of people in space. Walking is dancing in its simplest, its most basic form. Steps follow a line, form a diagonal, a parcours. Movements synchronize, converge, drift apart. They define a terrain, conquer it through the physical presence of a body, or remain aimless, refusing to measure distance. The pausing and aligning of the gaze resembles the invitation to do something in space: to walk or dance. Even breathing influences movement, changing the body and its posture.
Inspired by Judson Dance Theatre, Daniela Georgieva, together with five dancers in solo, duet and group form, designs an open arrangement of gestures and movement patterns that adapt situationally to their surroundings. How many possibilities are there in a seemingly mundane activity like walking? How does the person walking change the space in which they walk?
Judson Dance Theater, a brief but influential New York-based collaboration of dancers, choreographers, and artists, has made the potential of everyday gestures and movement patterns the material of their performative works. Judson Dance Theater’s performances took up the structures of games, simple tasks, and social interactions, emphasizing spontaneity and unconventional compositional methods.
Daniela Georgieva is interested in such movements derived from everyday life and based on improvisation as a pursuit of freedom and diversity in a dance that makes familiar movement patterns conscious. She further develops the minimal narrative language associated with Judson Dance in her own dance-choreographic work, but with an increased focus on the relationality of body and space. Simple forms based on graphic patterns such as straight line, diagonal, circle, cross, initiate a complex repertoire of movement patterns, which in their repetition produce further variations and are carried by the individual interpretation of the dancers.
The breaking out of the straight line in walking marks that moment in which everyday movement is transformed into dance. The movement in space, which divides it like a diagonal, fills an otherwise undefined zone with imagination. Light, sound and voice correspond to this improvised and choreographed approach of the body to its surroundings. Collage, fragmentation, loosely structured scores, chance and spontaneity also characterize “quixotic essence of a breath of movement / 1×3”. “1” stands for the body, “3” for music and language, and “x” for space in the sense of that place where all elements meet.
The piece, which is always different in its processuality, unfolds a field of tension between choreographed and everyday movement, between subject and object, spectators and participants. It productively subverts expectations and attributions in order to ultimately activate the sensitivity and self-reflection of the viewers. As a performative format in the institutional space of art, it shifts the focus to what can be experienced “live” on site. The concentration is on the presence of moving bodies and the inevitable transience of the event.
In itself, “quixotic essence of a breath movement / 1×3”, the first institutional solo exhibition by Daniela Georgieva, should have been a project that unfolds in time, making the NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein a resonating space of movement and encounter. It would have been a presentation of scores, of videos and objects, and series of performances in different personnel constellations, whose traces and framings would be there even when the dancers are not. Unfortunately, the current restrictions due to Covid-19 make such a format, which relies equally on the physical presence of actors and visitors, impossible. Therefore, instead of a temporary exhibition and regular performances on site, there will only be a one-time livestream and a video of “quixotic essence of a breath movement / 1×3”. The experiment of a performative exhibition becomes an online project. This also raises the question of the media transcription of the dance: What happens beyond the currently visible, because cinematically fixed performance? What resonances does the movement create in the space and how can it be documented?
At the same time, it can be stated: The space sets the frame, but the performance does not find its conclusion there. It will continue to change.