Last week I posted a survey about what your expectations are of any art performance. I gave three options to complete the thought, “I feel most satisfied when…:
I experience something (visually, emotionally, aurally) meaningful and I walk away confident I understand what the artist is trying to tell me.
I experience something (visually, emotionally, aurally) meaningful, and I’m left curious if it’s what the artists intended me to feel. I am satisfied when I can bounce my impressions off the artists and hear their perspectives.
I experience something (visually, emotionally, aurally) meaningful and I walk away content with my own way of experiencing what was put before me. I’m not compelled to know the artist’s intentions.
The bold answer won by a slight margin over the third. The first option failed miserably. But I suppose those of you who answered, as fans of Frame, are probably not going to choose the first option. If I had a sample size that spanned the state, or the country I think option one would probably have had a larger voice. Thank you for taking the survey, it’s always fun to hear back from readers.
At the Dance Magazine awards this past fall, Ohad Naharin (Batsheva, Graham, Bejart, etc. etc. etc.) gave this advice to critics. I think there is a lot to take from these words as an artist, audience member, choreographer, and human.
• Go see dance shows that you don’t have to write about.
• Don’t let a point of reference prevent you from having a moment of a fresh new experience.
• Connect to physical pleasures of life.
• Remember that there are always people in the audience who are at least as smart as you are (and it says here, “especially if you are from England”).
• Never, never, write during the show, unless it is the likes of a fashion show, mime show, ice skating or a beauty contest.
• You don’t have to understand the work you are watching. The creator most likely doesn’t care to be understood; he/she just wants to be loved.
• Remember, if you can describe what you are watching you are probably watching bad choreography.
• If you didn’t change your mind lately, you are probably wrong (again it says, “especially if you are from England”).
• Dance yourself a few minutes every day, until you sweat and/or you are experiencing a burning sensation some where in your flesh.
• Watch stuff with your eyes going out of focus; you will see more and miss less.
• While watching a dance, don’t look for national, geographic connotations. Anyway it’s almost never there.
Which of these stands out to you? Do you disagree? Agree?