[中][ENG] 不完美的身體內部也許自有大好河山──素人舞蹈劇場《悠悠視界》的誕生 The Sublime in the Imperfect - The Vision of Yoyo

環亞舞略

Dance Curating in Asia


宋欣欣(照片由上海國際舞蹈中心提供)



不完美的身體內部也許自有大好河山──素人舞蹈劇場《悠悠視界》的誕生


文:宋欣欣


《悠悠視界》是一部由上海國際舞蹈中心劇場出品及製作的素人舞蹈劇場。這個作品中的大部分演員都來自各行各業的非職業舞者,他們不演出任何人,而是以真實的自我、真實的肢體,講述真實的生活。作品通過當代舞蹈劇場的形式,在2020後的特殊語境中,呈現個體身體與精神世界的狀態。這個作品自去七月起經過招募、多輪海選,於去年十月開始在每個周末進行排練,並會在今年5月21至23日在我們上海國際舞蹈中心的實驗劇場正式公演。


我們起初之所以萌生出要製作這個作品的想法,是因為去年三月,在新冠疫情來襲導致劇場無法向公眾開放的情況下,我們推出了一系列由本地青年舞者教授的線上舞蹈課程,課程免費向公眾開放。在眾多參與的觀眾中,我們收到一個11歲男孩悠悠的回課作業,幾經了解得知,悠悠來自武漢,媽媽是醫務工作者,疫情期間一直是舞蹈與他作伴。悠悠對舞蹈和生活的熱愛激勵了我們,啟發著我們去尋找更多像他一樣熱忱、生動、熱愛舞蹈和生活的人——《悠悠視界》由此誕生。作品經過百餘位舞蹈愛好者的群體共振,最終凝練成了十餘名演員的舞台呈現。他們在探索身體與生活的互動之中,表達著對於當下現實的凝視與關懷。


一開始,我們是打算編一個悠悠的故事,找一個小演員來扮演悠悠。後來我們意識到,悠悠打動我們的地方在於他用自己編的舞誠實地舞出了自己的生活,如果我們編一個故事其實就違背了這一點。於是我們決定徹底改變創作方向,即找到一些不同的人和不同的身體,讓他們用各自的舞來述說自己真實的生命體驗。我們覺得這樣可能會更有意義,也更尊重悠悠給我們的啟發。


招募貼發佈後,我們收到了一百多份報名的視頻,看到了一百多個舞蹈著的人和他們對舞蹈的不同表述,更堅定了我們做這件事的決心。我們從中選定了13位。他們中間有8歲的小朋友、有66歲的女畫家、有女博士、自由職業者、程序員、商業分析師,也有街舞舞者、前職業舞者和舞蹈專業的學生。我們選擇的標準不是世俗定義上跳舞的好與壞,而是身體、個性和經歷上的特點。大家願意花大量的周末時間聚在一起跳舞、排練、創作,無非是想為生活開一扇窗或者找到一個出口。


《悠悠視界》/攝:胡一帆(照片由上海國際舞蹈中心提供)


作品中,每一位舞者都有自己的段落,用他們不可替代的身體狀態和舞蹈方式來述說自己的生命體驗。他們不扮演任何人,他們就是他們自己,他們不僅僅是表演者,更是創造者。儘管作品裡沒有悠悠這個人物了,但悠悠像個點燈人,點燃了這個項目。所以我們保留了作品名,這個悠悠既可以當點燈人讀,也可以當形容詞讀。


在這個作品裡,有舞蹈專業學生的段落,也有從未經過專業舞蹈訓練的舞蹈愛好者,也就是我們俗稱的「素人舞者」。他們的身體未經規訓,從而具有天然、純粹而未經修飾的特質。看他們跳舞,看的不是標準化、程式化的動作美感,而是這些具有真實生命經驗的身體所擁有的不可替代的特殊質感和力量。在這個作品裡,經過規訓的身體和未經過規訓的身體是平等的,沒有好壞優劣之分,它們上面銘刻的是不同的個人信息和文化痕跡,而有意義的恰好是這些不同。


其實國內外一直不斷有藝術家在實踐這樣的創作,其中有一些著名的人,比如皮娜.鮑什(編按:港譯:翩娜.包殊)、Jérôme Bel,大家具體的形式和對象有所不同,但共同的理念基本有兩個:一是傳達一個信息——舞蹈不再專屬於職業的舞蹈精英,它屬於每一個人,只要你願意,舞蹈就是平等的,人人都可以用自己能夠完成的動作,享受舞蹈的愉悅,或完成個人的表達;二是對世俗定義中的「舞蹈」和「美」提出質疑。到底甚麽是舞蹈,舞蹈一定要有高超的技巧和整齊劃一的動作嗎?這是誰規定的,又是誰要求的呢?到底甚麽是美,只有年輕的瘦削的擁有完美比例的身體才是美的嗎?這又是誰規定的,又是誰要求的呢?其實隨著社會和文化的發展,這些問題的內涵一直在改變和擴大,只要是定論,都是值得被質疑的。而這一類作品就是在向那些世俗的定義發出質疑。人都是要老的,我們都是不完美的,也許接受並面對這個事實本身,就是一種美。


通過《悠悠視界》這個作品,我們希望觀眾能暫時放下對美以及舞蹈的慣常標準,那些並不「完美」的身體內部也許自有大好河山。說到底,舞蹈本身是一件小事,重要的是舞蹈的人。作為上海國際舞蹈中心劇場,首部自製的是這樣一種作品,我想這也表明了一種開放的舞蹈態度。


舞蹈中心旁邊有一個小公園,我經常碰到一個環衛工人坐在椅子上用一片葉子吹小調,他比電視上的演奏家更讓我感動,因為他追求的不是藝術的結果,而是藝術的行動。我非常希望我們實踐的也是藝術的行動,而不僅僅是藝術的結果。



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宋欣欣

《悠悠視界》導演

上海戲劇學院教師,北京舞蹈學院與倫敦當代舞蹈學院編導專業雙碩士,倫敦當代舞蹈學院、中國國家留學基金委全額獎學金獲得者,中國舞蹈家協會「培青計劃」、中國國家藝術基金青年創作人才項目委約編導,上海國際舞蹈中心劇場聯合藝術家。



 

The Sublime in the Imperfect — The birth of a new dance theatre by non-professionals: The Vision of Yoyo


Original text: Song Xinxin

Translator: Penelope Zhou

The Vision of Yoyo/Photo: 馮躍紅 (Photo provided by Shanghai International Dance Center)


The Vision of Yoyo is a dance theatre with amateur performers produced and presented by the Shanghai International Dance Center. The piece is performed by a group of largely non-professional dancers who come from all walks of life. Instead of portraying characters, they are on stage as their unvarnished selves, telling genuine life stories with their own authentic physicality and movement. Presented in the format of contemporary dance theatre, the work aims to explore ordinary people’s physical and spiritual conditions in the uniquely-challenging post-2020 world. We started the audition process last July, and rehearsals began last October. The show will finally open this year, running from May 21 to 23 at the Shanghai International Dance Center Experimental Theater.


The idea of making a piece like this first came to us in March last year, when all performance venues were shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In response to that, we launched a series of free online dance courses taught by local dancers and accessible to the public. Amongst all the participants, an 11-year-old boy named Yoyo really caught our attention with his homework submission. We learnt that Yoyo lived in Wuhan, that his mother was a medical worker, and that dance had been keeping him company during the lockdowns. Yoyo’s love for dance and for life inspired us tremendously, and sent us on a mission to look for more people like him. And, just like that, The Vision of Yoyo was born. The creativity and passion of over 100 dance enthusiasts were distilled into a finished work, presented by around a dozen dancers, who explore and express their individual realities through the interactions between their bodies and lives.


At the beginning of the development process, our initial concept was to create a story about Yoyo and get a child actor to play him. But soon we came to the realization that what was so compelling about Yoyo was that he was telling real stories about his life through dance, without any pretence. If we were to make up a story about him, we would betray this sense of honesty and rawness. So we decided to do a 180 degree turn and seek non-professionals to share their real life experiences using their own bodies. We believed that would be more meaningful, and more respectful to Yoyo and the inspiration he gave us.


Our casting calls got over 100 responses. Watching those audition videos and the wide variety of interpretation and expression of the applicants further strengthened our desire and resolution to make this show happen. We eventually whittled the applicants down to 13 final cast members. Amongst them were an eight-year-old child, a 66-year-old painter, a female PhD, a programmer, a business analyst and various freelancers, as well as street dancers, former professional dancers and dance students. They were not selected based on any conventional criteria as to whether they were good at “dancing” per se, but rather their individual physicality, personality and experience. They were so gracious with their time, happy to spend most weekends dancing, rehearsing, working together — in a sense it was probably a window, or an escape for them.


Every dancer in the work has their own segment, where they convey their unique experiences and circumstances via their motion and presence. Each one of them is an irreplaceable part of the show. They do not have to be anyone other than themselves. They are not just performers, but also creators. Although the character of Yoyo no longer exists in the finished work, he remains the spiritual guide, the heart and soul, of the project. Therefore we kept his name in the title of the piece.


Apart from a few professional dance students, the cast is largely made up of a group of dance enthusiasts — who we call “amateur dancers”. Their untrained bodies deliver movement in some of the most natural, pure and candid forms. To watch them dance is to forget about the standardized definitions of technical perfection or aesthetics, and instead become immersed in the texture and power of their joys and sorrows, triumphs and struggles. This work creates a space where trained and untrained bodies are treated and appreciated equally, because they are carriers of different — yet equally important — individual information and cultural impressions. Their differences are precisely what makes the piece meaningful.


In fact, this is a notion that has been put into practice by many Chinese and international artists, including such influential figures as Pina Bausch and Jérôme Bel. Although with varying goals and targets in mind, these projects share two fundamental beliefs. The first is to send a message: dance should not only belong to trained elites, it should be for everyone. As long as they want to, anyone can experience the joy of dance and express themselves through whatever movement they are able or want to use. The second is to challenge the conventional definitions of “dance” and “beauty”. What is dance? Does it have to involve technical excellence and pre-approved standards? If so, who sets the rules and criteria? And what counts as a beautiful body? One which is youthful, svelte, ideally proportioned? Says who? As our culture and society evolve, the answers to these questions are changing and expanding. Any definitive conclusion should be subject to doubt and debate, and it is our job to question these flawed conclusions with our art. Everybody gets older, and none of us is perfect. Perhaps accepting these truths is in itself a beautiful thing.


As the audiences watch The Vision of Yoyo, we hope they can learn to suspend their conventional understanding of “dance” and “beauty,” and see the sublime which is present in these “imperfect” bodies and movement. At the end of the day, it is the dancer that defines the dance. And I think the fact that the Shanghai International Dance Center made The Vision of Yoyo the first production it has staged itself is testament to its belief in openness and inclusivity.


In the small park next to the dance centre, I often see a street cleaner sitting on the bench, whistling little tunes with a blade of grass. It moves me more than any performing artist I see on TV, because what he is pursuing is not the outcome of art, but simply the act of art. And I very much hope that we also treat the act of art as being as important as the outcome.



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Song Xinxin

Director of The Vision of Yoyo

Song Xinxin is a lecturer at Shanghai Theatre Academy. She has a double master degree in choreography from Beijing Dance Academy and London Contemporary Dance School, and is a scholarship recipient of the China Scholarship Council. She has received commissions from the China Dancers Association’s National Young Dancers Development Programme and the China National Arts Fund’s Young Creative Talent Programme. She is also an associate artist of the Shanghai International Dance Center.



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