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I’m sure at some point I had a lot of fun doing the macarena, too.

October 4, 2009

Earlier this year, artist (and my great friend) Sarah Dahnke created a project that explored cliches in dance.  The project invited anyone who came across it to submit their interpretation of “dance cliches” and yielded everything from line-dancing to chair dances and of course, the running man.  The following video contain excepts from a live performance of the piece in February.

Chatting regularly during her process, our conversations started by simply having a giggle about all the dance cliches (which we love by the way) and eventually evolved into a really great conversation inspired by a really great blog post.  I still think about this chat and thought I’d share it with you.

me: I liked the point of cliches really just being emotions and things that are so universal, they start to feel played out, and people respond to them in a general rather than specific way
Sarah: yes exactly
me: but artists are often faced with the challenge of rediscovering their complexity
to show us a new way or at least a fresh way of seeing them
reminding us they are real things
Sarah: some of these are thoughts I had before
but didn’t know how to articulate them
me: yeah
Sarah: and others have surfaced as the project has continued
and another battle I’ve been having is “what is so wrong with cliche?”
me: yeah
Sarah: which is better articulated in that post from sarah
me: it’s such a dirty word
Sarah: it is
but that quote from the australia review sums it up
you just have to decide your goals as an artist
is it to evoke emotion?
me: but if communication is founded on universal and empathetic emotion, then cliche is root of what connects us
Sarah: if so, cliche will probably be involved at some point
it’s cliche for a reason
me: right
Sarah: it’s not cliche because it’s the macarena
I’m sure at some point I had a lot of fun doing the macarena, too

I supposed the fact that this chat came back to my mind most recently is due to my interest in creating this experiment.  I want this project to be as accessible and exciting to as many people as possible thus, I am tapping into some really steadfast cliches.  I’m okay with this.  Partly because, like Sarah, I don’t think cliches are such a bad thing, and partly because everyone really does just love to dress up for Halloween and dance to Thriller.  So, cliche away, Chicago.  Let’s dance.

Read more about Sarah Dahnke and Round Tuit Dance Project:
Read more from The Urgent Artist Blog:

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