A Dialectical Process between Technology and Emotion
The dancer realized that her movements were more contorted each time she tried to achieve the correct sound; she was used to dancing following the music, not to create it as she danced.
In the scenic research process, the performers required a special training aimed at using technology in dance on one hand and different emotional states on the other, based on a self-perceptive exploration through Alba Emoting, which challenged them to an arduous emotional journey. From this dialectical work regarding oneself and also others, we sought to produce an accentuation in the perception processes of the stage performer’s body in dance.
As Anne Cauquelain (2008) points out regarding the relationship between the body and technology in contemporary art, it could be suggested that this process originated techno-bodies, where a different logic also operated for the performer of Emovere. The body is transformed, and other types of perceptive experiences are generated. This hybridization that is present in the piece and its creative process produced a disorganization or rearranging of the sensation, of the senses, a disorientation and decomposition from a digital and emotional matrix. New bodies emerge, which are de-subordinated in a dialectics between the device and the emotion. As a result, a techné of the emotion is generated in combination with a corporal techné of the sonation, which in turn implied a long process of searching and exploring various qualities of movement.
In this sense, a particular corporality was developed in Emovere that implied a specific embodiment process where an emotional techno-body was in-corporated in order to develop a particular dance performance mode.
This way, a sonic-emotional dimension opens among the performers. It is not just that a performer “makes sounds”, but they engage with another that also “makes sounds” and they find each other “making sounds” in a specific emotion. In this sense, the creative process also implied the development and creation of a particular relationality. A sort of sonic-emotional relationality is generated, which is articulated in different sound combinations according to the relationships established, or rather giving way to different relationship modes.
I will use a fragment of the piece that was called “zone 1” as an example. Each person has a set of different sounds with different levels of intensity the higher the muscle tension. They start taking turns moving. Francisca moves first, then Eduardo. Both stop, and then we hear the movement of Pablo, which is joined by Poly’s sound and movement. The bodies make sounds while they brush past each other, crawl or slither. Different sound levels are generated as if each relationship between two or three made a different sound, which also implies performing not only an internal world, but different combinations of relationships among diverse worlds.
On the other hand, it is important to note that in this “making sounds” by the performers, the sounds are and are not part of the body. A hybrid interface opens. Emovere is a performance of contact and brushes, but also of prolongations and intensities that belong and do not belong to the bodies, and that at some point also place the body in an experience both inside and outside of it; or rather, the inside also places it outside like a walk on the exterior.
The set of sounds is generated from the body. But these sounds also have a repercussion on the way the dancers move. Throughout Emovere, the sounds change; they are diverse, they intensify and dilate, they are interrupted, they are resumed, they join in a series of combinations and then another according to the emotional states, sometimes generating a sort of musical composition and decomposition through the body.
Therefore, from the constitution of resonant bodies on stage, Emovere poses and questions a bodily experience of emotion, emphasizing the transmission of the body’s internal experience and relationality, and generating a particular scenic poetics.
Deconstruction between Voice, Sound and Emotion
A being, a contained movement, minimal,
breathing, a puff that barely flaps his shirt
The brush of his clothes makes him uncomfortable. His body makes him uncomfortable.
Tense ribs. Invisible, latent impulse.
The eyes staring at a fixed point
as if he were afraid to lose control.
(Text written by Rolando Jara for Eduardo)
I challenge anyone to try to say something without using the body,” says Eduardo at the beginning of the piece. This is the first sentence, which initiates the stage production. In fact, it is the only sentence we will hear without the intervention of technology. And the piece is indeed also that challenge. Thinking and rethinking the role of the body in emotion. Eduardo approaches the microphone located at one end of the stage space. He enunciates his text. The text was written for him. Rolando wrote it poetically following certain traits of his personality. We can hear Eduardo’s voice through the microphone, which is adapted to also record a sound track. In a very slow and paused manner, he pronounces each one of the words. When he is finished, he steps away from the microphone. Suddenly, he starts moving in a specific way, generating the necessary muscle tension to activate the sensors located on his arms and one leg. Once they are activated, the track that was recorded through the microphone with his own voice starts to play. With the muscle tension of his leg, he activates the volume. With his arms, he increases the speed. A dislocated place for the voice’s emergence is generated, which is not the usual place, proper of its condition of possibility. The mouth is not the one that articulates the voice and makes it appear, but the various parts of the body. And in this journey through the body, the voice expands, demonstrating an uttering of the body. Or rather the movement of the body is demonstrated in the process of uttering.
 I use the term “sonation” in reference to the term described by Aristotle in On the Soul (1993), which denotes the act of something that can make a sound.