“Basically, this was the problem: if art seemed to be talking about things that make the world, then what kinds of things of the world could dance talk about? It did seem to me (when I started choreographing in the late 1980s) that dance did have some problems with its capacity to say. For instance, dance had this eternal flailing, all the time agitating one’s arms, and that did not seem to say anything. At least to me, it said nothing; it did not explain a single thing about the world. Therefore the questions: what can dance say? And what can I say with dance? And how can I make it say more?”
Vera Mantero, 2009
“Everything is gonna be just fine.
Everyone you love is gonna die.”
– Amanda Palmer, The Ride, 2019
In our age of unimaginable transformations at a daily pace, the dancing human body always holds an element of powerlessness. Watching someone flail their arms around on stage is a little weird considering everything else that’s going on. The solo project Alles Vergängliche is an effort by one dancer to swallow the world, by engaging with two other attempts to manifest the universe in a single setting: Gustav Mahler’s 8th symphony, which Mahler himself said is intended to contain everything; and daily newscasts, which choose to include certain stories and exclude others, to give the supposedly most complete picture possible of what is going on in the world on any given day. That is no more realistic than dancing by one’s self to Mahler, but David draws upon his experience as Musician, Dancer, and Jewish Mystic, and explores what, if any, generative power lives within the human body itself, in the face of an unprecedented daily confrontation with “everything”.
- David Bloom
- Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)