Title: Alan Lomax and Forrestine Paulay discuss Dance and Human History (Part 2)
Date recorded: September 17, 1992
Date recorded: September 17, 1992
Physical form: DAT
Tape number: T5518
Track Number: 1
Archive ID: T5518
Belongs to: Paulay/Lomax, 1992-1995
Note: Forrestine Paulay briefly speaks to a student of Irmgard Bartinieff about coding ballet. There is a problem with the computer mouse. Then Alan Lomax and Forrestine analyze dance footage on the computer, beginning with dance from Java, a mixed type with points in common with both Polynesia and Melanesia - high energy, high acceleration, and bent-over held position in the trunk. Wide stance reminiscent of Australian. Alan Lomax notes that Fiji war dance and Samoan dances also high energy, but material available for study is insufficient. Tribal East Indian links Africa (to which it is allied in many ways) and Polynesia. Sliding step (unusual sideways locomotion), bilateral palm position, lateral heel position are common. Playful liveliness and variation are African in feeling. African footage shows rhythmic unison though dancers are dressed individualistically. Importance of staying close to the earth in Australian dance - digging, bouncing crouch. !Kung woman (South Africa) also shown digging but rhythm is different. Instances of seated audiences: among the Malay the audience sits and watches, apparently passively. Among the! Kung instrumentalists are in the seated middle of the dancers, not passive but directing them. In Siberia the audience is seated in tent around the shaman. Animation of African dancers compared to Europeans and others. Dance as a way of dispelling heat, conditioning body to deal with intense work in extreme heat. Exercise for extremes. Dance as an enactment of adaptation. An analysis of African women beating pestles alternately with babies on their backs. Their hips move in off rhythms. The head of the baby on mother's back bounces to an off-rhythm. Alan notes the importance of precise rhythm when two people are working with pestles in the same vessel or chopping with axes on same tree. African body rhythms play with spaces between the beat. This is the meaning of rhythm: not the beat but the spaces in between. Multi-systems in African dance. Dancers have different rhythms going on with upper and lower leg, trunk, and head. Masai multi-rhythms smoother and more successive. South African dancer more simultaneous, though still complex, with macho stomping and displays of strength. Masai movement fluid, not such big movements until men go into their big leaps. Playful bi-lateral palm presentation in African dance. More on South East Asia (tribal India). Japanese deer dance with wide stance and hopping.
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About the session: A series of discussions between Alan Lomax and Forrestine Paulay regarding Choreometrics, various dance films, and movement techniques.
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