LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #80 – Virtuosity

Virtuosity is great technical skill in music or dance. In her ‘No Manifesto’ of 1967, postmodern dancer Yvonne Rainer rejected virtuosity together with spectacle, style and transcendence of the star image. In this way, she reflected the sign of her times in dance and its interest for being. The body as it is, doing what it does and how it does it in a pedestrian way became worthy of becoming performance. The line between being and doing is very fine, and Yvonne Rainer herself redeemed virtuosity in her ‘A Manifesto Reconsidered’ of 2008, saying that it’s acceptable in limited quantity. What is the right amount? It might be worth asking ourselves, how much of our identity is relying on doing what we do as opposed to being who we are.

 

María Ferrara

 

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