Monday, May 25, 2009

Grappling = Dance?

I just saw a program on Channel 13 (PBS) about Black Grace, a predominantly male dance troupe from New Zealand. The founder and leader of the troupe is a brilliant choreographer and in the program he was preparing the troupe for its appearance at the Jacob's Pillow dance festival.

I recognized the same passion I have for this movie project as he had for his dance project. He really wanted to say something with his dance. He really demanded dedication from the dancers.he really believed in the power and ability of dance to communicate feelings and ideas.

Watching this confirmed for me something that I had been thinking and feeling all along: grappling as a performance medium is dance. Through movement, two grapplers can cooperatively tell a story. The moves that they do, the choices that they make, the manner in which they do them, can all combine to make the audience read the relationship between the two of them. The match or scene can be one of comedy or drama or anger or pathos and pretty much anything else, if you just make the choice that that's what it's going to be.

I now have an idea of how to make a stage show using grappling as the performance medium. It would be similar to a pro wrestling shown in that every scene is a "fight scene," but I believe the stories that we can tell can be so much subtler that the typical WWE show.

No comments:

Post a Comment