Thin Line

Dance & Dare – Essay on Even Worse

In an episode of the Dutch TV program Anita wordt opgenomen, Anita Witzier visits a geriatric ward in a hospital. An elderly woman comes for her appointment. She sits down in the of ce of the geriatric internist. The internist says: ‘Your GP sent you to me for falling, I gather.’

The woman is not falling, she is sitting quietly on her chair.
The woman does fall actually, and she admits that she can hardly eat anything these days because eating on your own is so dreadful.She curls her ngers into the shape of asmall coin and says ‘I can just about manage portions this size’.

Three dancers. Strong young men stripped to the waist, wearing short grey sports shorts and black sneakers with brilliant white soles. No music. No plot. Occasional drum tapping, like rain. The occasional familiar gesture: clumsy hug/moves on the catwalk/boy band pose. Much dazzling of lights. Much trem- bling, like Parkinson patients, like divers with symptoms of hypothermia, like new-born foals. Much arranging of limbs and entire bodies in space.

The bare floor is an empty canvas, the dancemovements are brush strokes.
But there is a difference: this paint dries invisibly and you can paint over the same spot over and over and over again.
Where someone was just lifted up, someone else is now being put down.
Where someone was just being held, someone else is now being released.
Where someone just lay down, someone else is now getting up.
And lying down again. And getting up again. And lying down again.

If it happens accidentally, we call it falling.
If intended, we call it dance.

Essay from masterclass participant Elske van Lonkhuyzen on Even Worse by Guilherme Miotto. Written in the context of Writing Course Dance & Dare, a project for creative writers who dare to seek new words for dance, by Domain for Art Criticism & DannsBrabant (Sept. 2017 – Jan. 2018).