abjection — Rehearsal 5

There was a rehearsal yesterday, but it was rubbish, so I left early. Best let that one die miserably. Today though, was rather good. Sometimes rehearsing alone just feels like a very long self-indulgent body maintenance programme. Some floor yoga, some pseudo-Klein, kinesiology stuff, lots of merciless, slow pliés, improvisation scraped from various people in the past — Forsythe, Greco, Lachambre — so far from the roots that it’s probably only me who thinks it bears any resemblance to what they taught, occasional pauses to eat fruit … trying various things to see what’s possible with knee and achilles …

Whatever it is I’m trying to do, it seems that certain things generate a corporeality that suits this, that somehow generates an intensity in muscles, limbs, joints that if I don’t do these ‘warmup’ things, doesn’t appear. Tonight was five hours of this. Alone is surprisingly uncomplicated; it takes around two hours to get through all the ‘warmup’ stuff — somewhere during that it turns from warming up to actually working, but I’m not really sure what is what, probably some time after the plié barrage. There’s moments of “What am I doing, for fuck’s sake?” but usually just a change of music solves that.

And tonight’s music was: Abruptum, Bolt Thrower, a little Burzum but it felt too Nazi-ish and that line isn’t one I want to go down in this work yet, Deathspell Omega, Gorgoroth and Mayhem of course, and finally Sun O))), (who are playing in Berlin soon!). Getting the music right is a lot of it. I was thinking about mosh pits and other sublime moments of punk gigs, and that there’s something in this of a mosh pit, or one where there is only one person, or the expression of hysteria of a metal gig, a little of headbanging, though the more I work on this stuff the clearer it is that the way one dances to the music — mosh pit for punk, headbanging for metal, something entirely other yet from the same world for black metal and doom — describes the music. It is the expression of worship, or of sublimation.

Tonight it seems I’ve finally made sense of a bit of this, I know what goes on, what I have to hang on to in order to last the ride. I also know a bit of what isn’t there, that too, the absence of the future of what it is beyond where I’ve got to. It’s potentially longer than I expected, which raises a question of what is the actual music for this, given that what I’m rehearsing to isn’t what I’d intended on using.

Another small realisation came about when I tried using Wolves in the Throne Room and reflexively slapped on Antichrist. There’s a genre of black metal, and separately a philosophy (Black Metal Theory) that touches on this genre, which takes the particular musical elements and aesthetics — the drums, guitars, voices and turns them from darkness to transcendentality, which yes, this can be serviceable for, but not here. (As well, I’m not so interested in a lot of North American metal, it’s a bit too full of bros swinging their dicks, or to put it another way, the cultural landscape in which black metal exists is a reflection of that culture, and in this instance, the US is synonymous with obnoxious.) abjection goes … well, I think into the abyss. It’s not satanic exactly, though uses those tropes, but it’s more of an extreme atheism, possibly not even philosophy. It might be a nihilism that seeks its own oblivion through the the act of destroying everything else. In this you could say it’s pretty negative.

So it’s starting to make sense, which I think is going to help a lot with the other parts. The next two weeks I’m rehearsing a bit more, also splitting my time with Melanie Lane on something I have not a clue about yet, except it might be called dust will not account for everything, and perhaps is influenced a little by Derrida’s essay in Writing and Difference: The Theatre of Cruelty and the Closure of Representation.

As for the video, it’s just a sketch of some ideas I’m dredging up, as well as a dialogue with my knee and achilles tendons — it’s peculiar to dance constantly paying attention to localised regions of catastrophe.