Human Oscillations

from Spirograph to Reich

The circle as the ultimate form, for perfection and repetitive movement. Human oscillations is a (ongoing) post about circular movements of the human body and their traces in dance and performance art.

The circular and spiral movement is a recurring element in my work. What if my body becomes the motor? How does it feel to be the spinning element myself?
I started this post out of curiosity for minimalism and endurance of the human body as mechanical part, making cycles and captured in traces.

Tony Orrico
In search of the human body as drawing machine, I came across this work of Tony Orrico. In his older work Toni Orrico creates graphite drawings using his whole body. The geometrical drawings arise from minimal repetitive movements that can easily last for hours.

Penwald Drawings are a series of bilateral drawings in which Tony Orrico explores the use of his body as a tool of measurement to inscribe geometries through movement and course.

Line, plane, time. The choreography creates its own musical rhythm. The minimal repetitive movements and the traces of where the body was before show both the machine like mechanism of the body as well the human inner cycles.

Violin Phase by Anne Teresa de Keersmeaker / Steve Reich
A dance of geometrical pattern in sand on the music of Steve Reich.

Performance 13: On Line/Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker Jan 12-16, 2011 in Moma:
‘When you’re working with Geometry, with geometrical patterns, what you actually do is measuring the earth. It becomes very much about relationships of the amount of space you’re occupying in a certain amount of time. Precision becomes very crucial.’…’The movement vocabulary is extremely simple. It is a sort of basic that I think is dancing about. If you ask a child to dance then the first thing it nearly always do is turning.’

The full piece, recorded in 1982: