Vessel Metaphysics


I am not a dancer. Many years ago, at summer camp, if your bunk was the last to sign up for an elective you got stuck with Dance. One of my bunk mates really developed a love of Dance and learned dance moves and choreographed dances and eventually started selecting Dance even when we could pick fun things like water skiing.

I never understood it.

Mysteriously, I have been interested in Dance as of late. I am capitalizing Dance and that is intentional. Over the years I have tried to understand what is going on in dance. I would watch Youtube videos of Agon and then watch explainer videos.

I recently read Yvonne Rainer’s autobiography feelings are facts, because I am so interested in feelings these days. This led me to watch a lot of Trio A on youtube. This is not Trio A – but I saw I on vimeo and it is from 2020 – people wearing masks. I was watching it with one of my kids, who was not enthralled but liked snuggling with mama, so I’ll take it.

Somewhere Rainer said that you cant learn her dances from watching a video. That is a problem when you want to teach a particular dance (especially if the choreographer dies). Although now with some fangled new dance notation this may be less of an issue. I am finding a connection with dance more and more via my practice of tai chi, which is all about these subtle movements and focus of attention that impact your larger more obvious movement.

As I meditated on all this – I realized – dance is a space. That we can learn or transform by participating in these more specialized spaces, dance, games, theater. I always thought there was something reductive about games and rules – that I was able to focus less, or shut off part of my brain – but perhaps it trains us in participating in spaces through dance, through theater, through ritual- what do these different modalities offer us. Is it pedagogical or transformational/

Then – as I am writing this – in real time – I think of Huizinga and games and ritual and maybe Artaud. His name is floating through me. I am thinking about spaces and containers as spaces and containers for all types of things. Everything is a space of some sort. This is sort of like a metaphysics of the vessel. Maybe I’ll finish reading finite and infinite games.

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