More About the Adaptation, 2011

The following thoughts are inspired by Igor Stravinsky’s “Poetics of Music in the form of six lessons” in particular Lesson #6, “The Performance of Music”. In some instances Stravinsky’s phrasing has merely been tweaked to accommodate my interest in further defining adaptation as a medium for the transmission of dance.

The performer who adapts one of my solo works calls into action 3 parallel roles: the dancer, choreographer, and the executant. Executant means “putting into effect the exact demands” which underlie the practice of performance of my movement material. Each dancer must be a conscious executant. At the same time the virtues of “fidelity and sympathy” with my choreographic preferences has to be felt. I run a risk every time my dances are performed because a competent practice of the work depends on the unforeseeable and imponderable factors that make up the performer’s virtues of fidelity, sympathy, and streaming perceptual challenges.

Every adaptation includes the execution of the specific, non-specific, yet easily discernible material within the written dance score that I provide. No matter how detailed or broad the language, between the written score and the performance are hidden elements that cannot be defined because my “verbal dialectic” is deliberately powerless to define the performer’s movement dialectic.

The significance of an adaptation includes the limitations imposed upon the performer by my choreography and/or the limitations that the performer imposes upon himself/herself.