a speaking dance project
make the dance audible

choreography _ text _ recorded voice _ editing    paola bianchi

NoBody is a choreographic tale, a detailed and precise description of every smallest movement of a ten minutes solo dance specially created for this project. A dance performance without vision, its main core.

Let’s start with a general question. Tell us about your artistic research.

I am a choreographer and dancer. The body is my specific language, it is my tool, but it’s also the area of investigation, around which my research and my poetics of the body revolves. Everything that happens to us on a daily basis, even the smallest event, returns in our body: digested, metabolized, vomited, enters and leaves the body, leaving traces. 

The body is the map of the feelings, of our emotions, it is the writing of our lives. The body on the scene is therefore the subject of my search.

When and how did you start working with sound?

I’ve been interested in sound for a very long time. I have always preferred recording sounds over taking photographs. Playing back an audio file recorded in the underground in Vienna or at Termini station in Rome, in a crowded beach or on top of a Mayan pyramid, brings me back to that place, more than an image could do. The image shows the vision of the place, but this allows you to be just the viewer, the external eye, excluded from the scene, out of it, my memory is confused and shaped on that image. The sound manages to recreate the situation, made you part of it, immerses you in that space once again. I collect sounds as notes of memory. I fix the images by relating them to sounds, and every time I listen to them t I immerse myself in the same emotional condition, in the same colors and temperature of the primary experience. 

To create a contemporary dance performance also means paying attention not only to what happens on the scene but also to the sound of the scene, its quality, its source, the position of the source. Sound, along with lights, space and action contributes to the sense of the work. The sound source, the direction from which the sound is emanated, the volume and the quality of the sound itself generate emotions and they contribute to assign moods where the action takes place. The same piece of music creates different emotions if it comes from a theatrical system or if it is sent by a single small source. The sound creates the substance, the thickness of the air, the texture of the place, the color of a space. 

For some years now I take care of the sounds of my work, recording them and manipulating them according to the scene - for the music, I rely to musicians instead.

Can you introduce NoBody, the highly detailed descriptive audio you will present at the festival? This work seems to have a very theatrical feature. What were the aspects that you wanted to investigate with this work?

For a long time I’ve been wondering how to bring dance into the radio, not only as a critical analysis or as a summary description, but as a way to “see” the dance through the ear. 

As an assiduous listener of Radio 3 I have often felt the desire to listen to a danced radio drama. Just as it is possible to transmit a theatrical play why can’t you do the same with a dance show? Of course, dancing is vision, motion picture, is made of bodies, of actions, but also a theatrical performance, if only listened, loses part of its essence, it loses the power of bodies, their posture, their tension, their location in space. 

I then tried to return what I was missing: the vision of the scene. Removing the attempt to generate excitement through the interpretation and working on the cleanliness, the rigor, the pure description, I tried to cause the listeners to create their own emotional vision through a work of muscular imagination, by internalizing the movement. 

NoBody was born from the scene, from the theater. I created a quite simple choreographed piece, just a ten minutes lasting dance, I took a video of the performance and I started to describe every little detail, every movement. 

Then I asked some people – professional dancers and not – to perform the movements while I was reading them – I did not want to forget any details, nor skip any important step in the fulfillment of the action. 
In the end I recorded my voice, and I edited the sound materials: the final result was NoBody, a project of verbal dance, an attempt of transmission of the dance, a first step to bring the dance where it can not stand. The point of departure was Make the dance audible, the sentence that has accompanied the entire process of design and creation. The transmission of the dance without the vision is my goal.