A Letter to the Artist’s Archives. Ilana Reynolds

A Letter to the Artist’s Archives…..after a short movement practice 02.01.2021

I stand sit, lie, sit again and stand. Through these positions I conjure up the essence of the work. I stir it inside of me through a little movement ritual. The dance searches for its host in order not to be homeless and details forgotten. It seeks to be seen and lived again. “I hear your call,” I whisper. The movement practice repeats. The body remembers.

I stand sit, lie, sit again and stand. I move with every intention to expand towards the dance set before me, one I have not yet experienced. Are all your dances little lives?

Your spirit flies above and the dances trail behind you.

Christine Brunel – Solo ’95 – Photo: Wilfried Krüger

With each crack of a bone or twitch of a muscle, I reach and open furtherer to what lies between the movements I have yet to inhabit – past reflections of yours, comments and feedback, trickle
back into my body. We have been together before. You and me.
“The whole body moves together, every movement whether singular or multiple starts from one source. “LE CENTRE…Soften your sternum, breathe through your fingertips, soften the face and
go beyond the walls that house you.” you say – the physical practice of learning – reaching for the
tipping point and staying at its edge.

Unleash the storage house, unpack the boxes, preserve a history, the archive is a device for present and future possibilities of knowledge. Telling the story through another agency releasing its potential not yet seen, incorporate you in order to ex-corporate it, I inch nearer to
understanding the traces in you which left traces in me. The dances continue to hover in space.
They search for a body.
Here I am.
I extract the ‘felt thinking’ from each of them, allow them to find a new home and new host. They will always belong to your shadow.

The movement practice repeats…Stand sit, lie, sit again and stand.

Background information on the project by Ilana Reynolds:

Ilana Reynolds is working with Christine Brunel’s dance estate, which now resides at Deutsches Tanz Archiv Köln, Germany, to develop and expand on approches to working with an archive as a way to reflect on the physicality, performativity and choreographic practices within her work.

Reynolds will choose three solos depending on the archived material and will do interviews with two people who closly worked with Brunel and documented her work. Besides other research questions she hopes to learn more about how she creates her own perspectives on the embodied experience of another while working with a variety of dance documentation within an archive and how studying the material affects the re-creation and reflection of each work and its choreographic process. „A Letter to the Artist’s Archives“, written 02.01.2021, reflects her thoughts after a short movement practice and was her first post for this blog.  

Christine Brunel (1951 – 2017) was a dancer, choreographer and teacher who founded her own dance company in Essen, Germany, in 1985 and created dance works in Germany and abroad for 30 years. Ilana Reynolds worked with her for five years.

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