Choreographic Thinking: From Movement to Idea
Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum
600 South Gregory
Tere O’Connor has created dances for the last 35 years. Often classified as an iconoclast, O’Connor perceives his journey as an organic excavation of the philosophical underpinnings of the form. A tension between his love for the art of dance and persistent questions about its use and fundamental nature, have driven his research. As a young artist, working to unfetter himself from the default settings of European/American dance history he cast a critical gaze on virtuosity, notions of standardized beauty, narrative, and much more.
His approach brought him to the understanding that dance is ill equipped to send specific messages, so he set out to bring its other qualities into evidence. Complexity, nuance, inference, essence, rhythm, reference and embodiment seemed to contribute profoundly to the creation of meaning in dance. Adopting this collection of elements as his poetic scaffolding, he ceded any desire for the expression of specific ideas or symbolic readings to the ambiguous contours and endless associative pathways of the choreographic mind. With its capacity to hold multiple divergent ideas in one constellation with no need for resolution, information is processed in a different way.
Mirroring the structure of consciousness, O’Connor sets the tangible and the absurd in close proximity allowing their interaction to shape the work, taking precedence over the omnipresent causal strategies of language. In this talk O’Connor will elucidate these ideas in more depth.
Center for Advanced Study Professor of Dance