Rachel, I've never seen you dance. Are you a real dancer?
Yes, although I don't point my toe quite enough. I've trained in various Modern dance techniques but, unfortunately, my training is mostly in improvisation, alignment-based techniques and Japanese performance art informed forms.
What's the difference between Butoh and booty dance?
Not much, except that Butoh is a bit scarier, more nobbly and often moves more slowly than booty-shake informed arts.
Do you have to train to improvise?
Technically, of course not! BUT[T], like any improvisation - music, theatre, legal, social, grammatical - the more you practice, the more skills you have to draw upon.
Erm... none of this sounds pretty. Dance is about beauty, no?
Well, yes, of course, dance is essentially a celebration of female grace and the straighter the leg, the better. Hence this kind of thing cannot compare in dancitude to this kind of thing, which is pure beauty and imagination. But no, I can't disparage that dancer's excellent control and lifelong commitment to training. Still, you apply your own score to the first example.
What was that first thing you posted?
That "thing," as you so disrespectfully put it, is one of the more vigourously perceptive and committed performers I've met and - to answer your next question - she's a butoh dancer and yes, I'm training with her this week in Berlin.
So this is the kind of thing that's just done like in Berlin, right?
Right. It's not meant for 'the real world', nor is it meant to challenge anyone else's sense or understanding of self-reflection except those who have access to a Berlin travel pass.
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Fine, I'll cut to the chase. Basically, Butoh engages with both internal and external processes of the dancer mind, just as many other post-Modern forms do. Except, really, this extreme level of embodiment allows the dancer to see their body as both what it is and what it isn't, therefore exploring a kind of anthropomorphism or semblance of another existence. I guess you could say a lot of performance focuses on how to inhabit character or just how to communicate one's internal workings on a social level. But it's not just Butoh - you have many disciplines, performers, dancers, choreographers who do this. What I love about dance is finding the milky lip, the tender borders that divide all that is inhabited within the skin and intention of our bodies // mind, thought, sickness, evolution, joy // and sending it directly to the body of collaborator, viewer, etc. What stirs in me may shake in you. I don't know. But if your eyes are open, we may find out. Best way to do it is to let me come to your house and perform for you.
Uhhh, that's a bizarre offer.
Well... I would. I would genuinely love to do that.
What about your songwriting - where has that gone?
It's still there. I mean, of course it is, although writing words that seem to cut out much of the mystery of the interior is less interesting to me now BUT I think there's a simplicity of saying with mouths that can be more easily digestible. I love writing songs and love listening to them. It's just that dance makes me want to live.
You win the interview battle.