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[中][Eng]較佳的技巧課方法 Better Approaches in Technique Class

(原文刊於2005年《舞蹈手札》第七冊第五及第六期 Originally published on dance journal/hk 7-5 and 7-6 in 2005)

多年來教授大專學生及專業舞者的經驗常叫筆者感到沮喪:很多學生似乎認為他們的訓練應全專注於身體的機械性鍛鍊上 ——一些有如解剖學般仔細的舞蹈細節,例如如何做到完美的芭蕾舞步Arabesque ,或於一次跳躍中多次拍腿,或如何於某一動作中盡量把腿提高。他們看不到整件事的全面:他們似乎不知到舞蹈同時也是有關人類的達意和聯繫——如何掌握空間、使觀眾投入、觸動人心。舞蹈是有關不同概念的連結,並懂得如何將之傳達。

I have been teaching contemporary dance to college students and professional dancers for years, and I'm frustrated. Many dance students seem to think that the focus of their training should be all about mechanics - all about the anatomical details of dance, such as how they do the perfect arabesque or multiple beats in a jump or how they get their legs as high as possible in specific positions. They don't look at the big picture: they don't seem to realize that dance is also about human expression and connection - about commanding a space, engaging an audience, moving someone. Dance is about making connections between ideas and knowing how to communicate them.

學生的看法令我想到近年的瑜伽熱:你見到的是廣告板和雜誌封面上那把身體極端伸展和處於極端形態、把身體扭曲成「脆麻花」似的照片。每個人都想做這些把戲,想把他們的腿拉到耳旁,以為模仿這些極端形態便可使他們明白和完全掌握到瑜伽。但瑜伽是包含更多層次的——它是一門源遠流長、融合肉體和精神健康的哲學。它並不是要把身體變成一部機器 (其實,大部份人的身體並不能做到那些形態)。你並不須要完美機器般的身軀來成為瑜伽大師。舞者要成為偉大的舞蹈家,也不須要成為完美的機器。

The students' perspective reminds me of the current yoga fad: you see photos on billboards and magazine covers showing bodies in extreme stretches and in extreme positions, twisting themselves into pretzels. Everyone's doing all these tricks, trying to get their legs to touch their ears, as though if they mimic these extreme physical positions, they've understood and mastered yoga. But yoga has many more layers - it's an ancient philosophy about integrating physical and mental health. It's not about turning your body into a machine (most people's bodies don't have the ability to get into those positions, anyway). You don't need your body to be the perfect machine to be a great yogi. And dancers don't need to be perfect machines to be great performers.

在舞者可以令觀眾投入的所有方法中,機械性因素是重要,但只是其中的一部份。不錯,人們要看重複轉身和高躍,但同樣的觀眾——大眾——也想心靈被觸動。他們想看藝術,他們想要某些改變,他們想得到挑戰。單憑機械因素並不能做到這些。事實上,舞者往往用機械因素來隱藏自己——他們不須要勇氣來表達內心感受、及可能揭露自己脆弱之處。作為一個好的演出者,須要一種比注重機械細節更深的投入,要清楚明白到所受傳達的是什麼。那是完全不同的表達形式,並不如機械因素般可以觸摸,因而也更難介定——但對個人來說卻更重要。

When you think of all the ways that a dancer can engage an audience, the mechanics are important, but they're only part of it. People go to see the multiple turns and high jumps, but the same audience, the public, also wants to be moved. They want to see art, they want to be changed in some way, they want to be challenged, and mechanics can't do that alone. In fact, mechanics are something that dancers often hide behind - they don't have to be brave about being expressive people, and maybe revealing their vulnerability. Being a good performer requires a deeper kind of involvement than attention to mechanical details, it requires an awareness of what you're trying to communicate. It's a whole other part of human expression that's not as tangible as the mechanics, so it's harder to define - but to me it's even more important.

但是,當很多學生上技巧課時,他們心中只想著機械因素——他們能看到和觸摸到的身體部份,和可以形像化的肌肉和骨骼知識。這種看法有兩個問題:有些學生於畢業後,還對他們要投入的舞蹈事業的真實面貌所知有限:他們有很強的機械因素——他們能做到重複轉身和高腿位置——但從觀賞的角度來看卻是欠缺趣味。

But when many students enter a technique class, their minds are only on the mechanics —the parts of the body they can see and touch, the nuts and bolts, the anatomy of muscles and bones one can visualize. This perspective causes two problems: First, some students graduate from college and begin a career in dance with only a limited sense of what dancing is really about: they have strong mechanics — they can do the multiple turns and high leg positions — but they aren't interesting to watch.

另一類學生則早已看到他們的機械因素不好——他們所能做到的轉身的數量不夠,腳掌不夠強,又或者學習複雜的舞步組合不夠快——便決定他們做不了專業舞者。他們放棄、退出。我見這些學生時,常問他們對未來的打算。他們差不多全都承認想做專業舞者,但認為自己的能力不及,所以會嘗試教學、編舞或舞蹈行政等工作。往往,這些缺乏超級機械能力的學生,很多是出色的舞者。於舞台上他們常常比機械體能優越的舞者更能令觀眾投入 。

Another group of students decide that they aren't good at the mechanics — they can't do enough turns and the arches of their feet aren't high enough or they can't pick up the combinations fast enough — so they decide they're not going to make it as performers in the dance world. They give up. They drop out. Often when I meet with these students, I ask them. "What do you see yourself doing in the future? "Almost 100 percent of them admit, "I'd love to be a performer, but I don't think I'm good enough — so I think I'll try teaching or doing choreography or something in dance administration." Many times. a lot of these students who don't have super mechanical facilities are incredible performers. They're often more engaging on stage than someone who's mechanically proficient.

在我所教的學生中, 大部份沈迷於機械體能的原因是他們想要簡單的「正確答案」: 他們想要的,就只是老師給他們成為偉大舞者的最直接而又可掌握的資料,沒有其它。他們想要的,是一些詳細步驟,讓他們逐步砌合起來,達到他們那清楚介定的目標,就像組合一張「宜家」傢俬的桌子般。只要你懂得一、二、三,你便會成為傑出的舞者。

The majority of students who've been in my classes have been obsessed with mechanics because they want the right answer: they want teachers to give them the tangible information they need to be great dancers. Period. They want precise procedures that they can piece together to achieve their definable goals - like instructions to assembling a desk from IKEA. If you do ABC, you will be a great dancer.

這是一種普遍存在的心態,他們就以這種心態來面對所有學科,問題的所在,是傳統的教育系統,和建立這些系統的因素:多項選擇試題、是非題, 只有選取正確的答案才會有好分數。這系統不會教人思考和把意念關連起來,只教人記誦。所以,這並非全是學生的錯,而是一個根深蒂固的問題。

This is the mentality, a pervasive mentality, which they apply to all their subjects in their education. Part of the fault has been traditional systems of education and how these systems were set up: multiple-choice tests, true or false tests, you pick the right answer and you get the right grade. The system doesn't teach people to think and relate ideas, it teaches them to memorize. So it's not totally the students' fault – it's been ingrained.