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Three Lectures (Accompanied by Screenings) by Jalal Toufic
29/03/2010 @ 11:00 - 31/03/2010 @ 17:00
29 March, Monday 18.30
30 March, Tuesday 18.30
31 March, Wednesday 18.30
The Dancer’s Two Bodies
While watching a great dance film, I witnessed a dancer enter a painting. Taking into account that human bodies cannot do this, was that movement metaphorical or symbolic or oneiric? It was none of these. It struck me as a fact, an aesthetic fact. Consequently, since it happened and since normal human bodies cannot enter paintings, the question becomes: what kind of body is produced by dance and can do what I just witnessed, enter a painting? It is a subtle body with different characteristics than the physical one. In one sort of “dance,” the dancer remains in the homogenous space and time where his or her physical body is-I consider this sort a form of theater or performance rather than dance. But another kind of dance projects a subtle dancer into a realm of altered movement, body, space and time specific to it. The short seminar regards the relation of dance, which connects directly what someone who is not dancing would consider and experience as non-contiguous space-times, to cinema, this medium of sudden “changes of place and focus” (Walter Benjamin); the freezing of dancers, which, as the genetic element of movement, is a condition of possibility for all sorts of extraordinary movements (backward in time motion, slow motion …); the fractional dimensions of the altered space of dance with its flat, often painted backdrops and its zones of spatial inexistence; and space-creation by the dancer.
Jalal Toufic is a thinker and a mortal to death. He is the author of Distracted (1991; 2nd ed., 2003), (Vampires): An Uneasy Essay on the Undead in Film (1993; 2nd ed., 2003), Over-Sensitivity (1996; 2nd ed., 2009), Forthcoming (2000), Undying Love, or Love Dies (2002), Two or Three Things I’m Dying to Tell You (2005), ‘Âshûrâ’: This Blood Spilled in My Veins (2005), Undeserving Lebanon (2007), The Withdrawal of Tradition Past a Surpassing Disaster (2009) and Graziella: The Corrected Edition (2009). Several of his books are available for download at his website: http://www.jalaltoufic.com. He teaches at Kadir Has University in Istanbul.