Technique as ideology, dance as ideology. The expressive nature of various techniques is ubiquitous with human nature. Whether it is Ballet, Feldenkrais, Contact Improvisation, Hip Hop, or Horton, the ideology of human nature is to expand upon ones own self to express what is inexpressible. To say what one cannot articulate in words. “Words are windows to a persons inner self” Beth Burkhardt once said to me in a conversation. An extension of that would be that dancing is a doorway into another’s world, reaching beyond the normal expressivity of everyday nature. Whether improvised or composed is irrelevant in terms of this section of Burgeon. We have reached a place where all techniques are recognized as tools of movement and that any technique can be expressive in nature.

No technique can express universally all human concepts, nature, or ideas but all can universally express. Movement, space, time, and most importantly the body are mediums used as a means to demonstrate something bigger than the self through movement – in whichever technique.

Hip-Hop in its counter cultural identity possibly expands upon our cultural identity “expressing oneself” through competition and artistic expression, ever changing with the times. Thirty years of existence is not a fad. Hip-Hop is an identity of a cultural generation that changes with each generation, keeping true to its own values and core identities but expressing of each generation boldly.

Horton, who wished to endow dancers with strength, extension, lyricism, fluidity, and versatility, did not do so as a means to an end, rather, he developed a pathway for dancers to follow. A pathway so the individual could continue to grow beyond which they were and move, no, dance their way into who they are to become. As Ms. Dinerman stated, the Horton technique itself “evolved through several phases into a massive body of movement vocabulary”, thus exemplifying that even techniques reach to grow.

Growing is the purpose of all techniques, for if a technique is not practiced it loses its ability to “express.” Or rather the individual dulls their ability to perform said technique. Perhaps a purpose for this Focus Section is to emphasize the need to – please excuse the cliché – practice, practice, practice. Practice incites growth.

In Ken Manheimer’s article on Contact Improvisation it is practice, he says, that allows for the “new discovery.” It is in rehearsal that a ballet dancer learns the “three techniques” that Bjerknes addresses. It is through doing that one finds “new directions for exploration of movement,” as Burkholder describes. All these technique not only express some treatise of humanity but they further develop an individual into an artistic expression of the self that would otherwise get lost in the myriad complexity of the body and a loss of words. Without technique windows would shut, ideas would be lost, and a true freedom would be gone. The essays that follow only skim the surface of what technique, any technique can do for the individual, any individual.

Brian Buck is a dancer based in Washington, D.C. He trained at the Universities of Maryland and Utah, and has performed with numerous companies. His personal practices include both set and improvisational movement. He teaches dance at Glen Echo Park in Cabin John, Maryland.Technique as ideology, dance as ideology. The expressive nature of various techniques is ubiquitous with human nature. Whether it is ballet, feldenkrais, contact improvisation, hip hop, or horton, the ideology of human nature is to expand upon ones own self to express what is inexpressible. To say what one cannot articulate in words. “Words are windows to a persons inner self” Beth Burkhardt once said to me in a conversation. An extension of that would be that dancing is a doorway into another’s world, reaching beyond the normal expressivity of everyday nature. Whether improvised or composed is irrelevant in terms of this section of Burgeon. We have reached a place where all techniques are recognized as tools of movement and that any technique can be expressive in nature.

No technique can express universally all human concepts, nature, or ideas but all can universally express. Movement, space, time, and most importantly the body are mediums used as a means to demonstrate something bigger than the self through movement – in whichever technique.

Hip-Hop in its counter cultural identity possibly expands upon our cultural identity “expressing oneself” through competition and artistic expression, ever changing with the times. Thirty years of existence is not a fad. Hip-Hop is an identity of a cultural generation that changes with each generation, keeping true to its own values and core identities but expressing of each generation boldly.

Horton, who wished to endow dancers with strength, extension, lyricism, fluidity, and versatility, did not do so as a means to an end, rather, he developed a pathway for dancers to follow. A pathway so the individual could continue to grow beyond which they were and move, no, dance their way into who they are to become. As Ms. Dinerman stated, the Horton technique itself “evolved through several phases into a massive body of movement vocabulary”, thus exemplifying that even techniques reach to grow.

Growing is the purpose of all techniques, for if a technique is not practiced it loses its ability to “express.” Or rather the individual dulls their ability to perform said technique. Perhaps a purpose for this Focus Section is to emphasize the need to – please excuse the cliché – practice, practice, practice. Practice incites growth.

In Ken Manheimer’s article on Contact Improvisation it is practice, he says, that allows for the “new discovery.” It is in rehearsal that a ballet dancer learns the “three techniques” that Bjerknes addresses. It is through doing that one finds “new directions for exploration of movement,” as Burkholder describes. All these technique not only express some treatise of humanity but they further develop an individual into an artistic expression of the self that would otherwise get lost in the myriad complexity of the body and a loss of words. Without technique windows would shut, ideas would be lost, and a true freedom would be gone. The essays that follow only skim the surface of what technique, any technique can do for the individual, any individual.

Brian Buck is a dancer based in Washington, D.C. He trained at the Universities of Maryland and Utah, and has performed with numerous companies. His personal practices include both set and improvisational movement. He teaches dance at Glen Echo Park in Cabin John, Maryland.

originally published in the Focus Section “Technique”, Bourgeon Volume 2 #3

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