DH: I use seeing because I feel it puts me in a very active role of relationship. For years and years listening was extremely important for me. It brought me into myself – whereas seeing puts me in relationship to the world.
KM: At the same time it seems not only to be about perception. You speak of a cellular body, but also of a cellular consciousness. How does that shift from a perceptional to a self-reflective level occur?
DH: I think there is a lot of self-reflection going on. I have to step up to seeing. What I realised is how much I edit what I see. What if whatever I see is serving my moving body? I am teaching myself how to see. It’s just a question, I don’t have to believe it. It’s an experiment, my body is where the experiment is happening and the self-reflecting is noticing the experiment. It is so absurd, but I step up to noticing what happens.
KM: I am also interested in what you describe as “re-organising myself” – or as a “development from continuity of continuity to discontinuity of continuity, and finally to a continuity of discontinuity”. It is about re-organising yourself in relation to what you see, which means to dis-attach from what you perceive – and by doing so, stepping out of subject-object relations while you’re dancing. This would then become how you are seeing. Does it result in a series of feedback loops?
DH: It is a feedback loop. What if my body has the potential to be served by how I am seeing, which is presuming I am served by how I am seeing, which is presuming that my whole body is served of… and so on.
KM: And even while there is this circularity – there is discontinuity at the same time, since the source of being served by what you see changes every time. Looking at movement in your former choreo-graphies, what strikes me is the rapidity of change and choice on various levels, concerning dynamics, orientation in space, etc. It doesn’t stick to a certain style, instead it displays a power to undo habits. Would you relate this to a process of “unlearning”?
DH: I think I worked with this idea for quite a while and now I am afraid of any-thing that sounds like having to let go of something that you know well. Now I use the word “to enlarge” instead. If you think about the body, my questions themselves are so disruptive of our patterns. I cannot unlearn, but I come up with enough obstacles for the performers to remain interested, not by way of improvisation, but by breaking up the muscular into something more like the neurological body. This is very challenging for dancers.
KM: Do you also see that with dancers who are trained in Release or Somatic Technique or Contact Improvisation? Despite it being a different approach to movement, there always seems to be an ideological framework.
DH: The Release work, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais – they are producing bodies as limited as trained dancers, although dance training has opened up a lot. For instance, the dancers from Cullberg Ballet are amazingly versatile and they are such good practitioners, they almost could do everything.