dance #42, the puppeteer II

The Puppeteer II

“…I asked him if he believed that the mechanic who controlled these puppets must be a dancer in his own right, or at least have some conception of the Beautiful in the dance.

He answered that we were not to suppose, simply because an operation seemed easy from the mechanical point of view, that it could be performed without a certain sensitivity.

The line that the center of gravity must describe is indeed very simple and, as he believed, in most cases straight. When it happens to be curved, the law of its curvature seemed only of the first, and at most of the second order; and even in the latter case only elliptical, which form of movement happens to be the natural one for the extremities of the human body (because of the joints) and which would demand no great skill on the part of the puppeteer to describe.

This line, however, considered from another point of view, is something very mysterious. For it is nothing less than the path of the dancer’s soul, and he doubted whether it could be found except by the puppeteer transposing himself into the center of gravity of the marionette; or, in other words, by dancing…”

Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1814) “On the Puppet Theater” (1811). From An Abyss Deep Enough: Letters of Heinrich von Kleist with a Selection of Essays and Anecdotes. Edited, Translated, and Introduced by Philip B. Miller. EP Dutton.

dance #42

dance #42

10:23 p.m. A 4 minute dance in the study, transducing Kleist on the puppet theatre. Buoyant sensations. Becoming the puppeteer becoming the puppet, becoming the dance. Limbs loose. Legs weighted. An incredible buoyancy is generated in my chest and heart. So lifted. The sensation is still with me 10 minutes later. Excitation. Warmth. Lifting.

Alice is watching from the chair. A warm, sunny day, followed by a warm night. 1 degree Celsius and falling.

~ by nmyers on February 1, 2009.

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