Years ago someone preparing to write about Grand Union came for an interview. She asked about our philosophy. I said we had none, only the tacit accord not to plan ahead and not to repeat. Of course we carried with us our individual and collective experiences as dancers, performers, choreographers and livers of off-stage lives, but we had no explicit formulation of our process or intent, much less a theory of performance. She said that that was impossible, of course we did, everyone has a philosophy, stated or not. Hackles rising, push tug pull. The right, "experience-is-all" arm of my inner monster unsheathed its sword and prepared to lop off the left, the egregiously academic limb. Seeing, however, that I had unwittingly roped up with her, and that we were already bivouacked high on Mr. Reason, I offered only that it might be a worthwhile philosophical project to ask why some who could, don't attempt to translate their "mere" living or performing into theoretical discourse.

 

Excerpt from Dancer Out of Sight,
The Collected Writings of Douglas Dunn


Image credits:

Top image by Tom Caravaglia, Comme Si, 2013; Dancers: Jules Bakshi, Jin Ju Song-Begin, Paul Singh.  Bottom image by Robert Cooper, Aubade2014; Dancers left to right: Paul Singh, Jake Szczypek, Emily Pope, Christopher Williams, Alexandra Berger, Jin Ju Song-Begin.