semitone

performance date: 10/07/17 | 20:51 | GrootLab – Amsterdam

The iteration of semitone seen here was made and performed with Tianna Hemlock-Yenson, Tea Teearu, Ana Trincao, Carolina Guerra, and Mezhgan Saleh

The semitone is the smallest interval in western (European) musical theory. Two tones played in semi-tonal relationship either in sequence or concert contribute to a sensation of incompleteness when felt/heard by a listener. This is indeed a culturally developed and imposed affective relationship ingrown in western music composition. It is an idea that has become a phenomena over time.

Moreover, when sung, semitone harmonies are laborious and tenuous to sustain as they often desire consolidation into a single tonality or further separation into more distant intervals.

The difficulty of sustain when attempting semi-tonal relationships is heretofore our field of ethical/aesthetic research powered by and founded upon the expanded field that is dance and choreography.

These efforts are toward a dance that is made of music by people who have devoted their professional lives to the study of dance. From this position it is important that we do not verify our efforts within languages or procedures from western music theory; when we sing semitone harmonies as dancers we do not start at the piano, but rather we start on the floor — in our bodies. This however does not mean we turn our backs on western music theory, on the contrary, we seek an engagement with western music theory [and all of its ingrown cultural phenomena] only and honestly from our upbringing as dancers as an interrogation of culturally produced affective phenomena.

This work seeks proximity between bodies while withholding from the common desire to know and to understand the other. Dance is positioned as a substance, resource, technology, and togethering-action[s] without language. Dance is a languageless event. And now in the making of a dance, what dance will be made visible when the choreographic motor of that dance is the simple practice of singing effortfully.

If dancing is a languageless communicability between bodies (between dancers, between dancer and spectator, between spectators who sit-with the dance) then it’s affective powers sit before thought and understanding in the body. By so and in this ‘light’ — which is by nature a ‘darkness’ — the dance concert becomes a stage for the proto-political in and though the psychic and affected embodiment of a poto-ethical.

Moreso the rehearsal space/time becomes exceedingly powerful as a space which can hold diversities of thought and discourse.