dancing Body Without Organs
How do you make yourself a dancing Body Without Organs?
"When you will have made him a body without organs,
then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions
and restored him to his true freedom.
Then you will teach him again to dance wrong side out
as in the frenzy of dance halls
and this wrong side out will be his real place."
The research and development of concrete strategies to approximate the concept of a Body
Without Organs, in order to open up unknown areas for the dancers and audiences.
'practice leading to theory leading to ........'.The initiators Van de Ven en Meesters are currently running a research and performance
platform in Amsterdam grafted on the work of Min Tanaka, who is one of the leading and
innovative exponents of the dance-form generally described as Butoh, that developed and
came to blossom in the sixties and seventies in Japan.
of features pointing to the Body Without Organs (a.o. multicenteredness, ongoing
metamorphosis, equal valuation of all parts of the body, exploration of the 'ugly, dark
and unknown' faculties of human expression).
A tangible connection is the collaboration between Min Tanaka and Felix Guattari that
resulted in the publishing of a book (in Japanese, 1985) and in several performances of
Min Tanaka at Guattari's clinic 'La Borde' around the same time.
the Body Without Organs to analyze Min Tanaka's work, focussing on his concept of 'dancing
a place' instead of merely dancing in a place.
Based on this thesis Meesters and Van de Ven invited Flammin for a preliminary research
period in may '97 in Amsterdam, to initiate a first translation of her analysis into
practical dance work.
While using the notion Body Without Organs Deleuze and Guattari already come to the
conclusion that the Body Without Organs is opposed not to the organs, but to that
organization of the organs called the organism.
The Body Without Organs expresses itself in an attitude of curiosity and observation,
that appears when we ask ourselves what exactly we are doing when we perform the act of
senses where the gaze plays a predominant role, when we undermine the automatic signifying
process of the sensual experience.
It goes on when we pursue the intensive, unformed, uncodified material that remains of
Following Deleuze and Guattari, we take the three qualities characterizing this Body
without Organs: disarticulation of the organism, experimentation without interpretation
Within dance, we think :
reassessing the physical and psychological organization of its own subjectivity.
This operation can only be carried out through a thorough and detailed re-
examination of the habitual body;
* Experimentation without interpretation occurs when a dance-experience is lived
through without granting it a pre-fixed meaning, to avoid becoming either signifier
* Nomadism occurs when the dancer conceives of his dancing body as a flux, a being
with variable and multiple intensities that has neither a me nor a you
(desubjectification), neither an exterior nor an interior, but is a multiplicity of
fusions which are in a perpetual state of becoming.
....... to practice'
How to come from theory to practice? From our experience with Min Tanaka's work (see CV's) and
from the initial working period in May '97 we arrive at a (as yet incomplete) set of practical
- working simultaneously with different musical scores for different parts of the body
- in an upbeat tempo thinking of one movement and executing its opposite
- being moved by outside physical impulses without will or interpretation
- deregulation of the breathing
- working on the image of an inside and an outside physical state exploring both sides of the skin
- not conceiving of sensations as subjective knowledge, nor as mechanical event, nor as a
psychological event but as an objective reality, that is extremely varied and has no unity
WorkplanTo secure a certain degree of non-individuality, we want to work with a team of 8 dancers, one
artistic leader/ director and besides Claudia Flammin a theoretician, working in Holland who
is well-versed in the application of Deleuze & Guattari's theories within the Dutch artistic
field. The working period will be two weeks. (*)
In order to advance rapidly we seek to recruit dancers (partly international), who already
have experience in this specific area of dance, and who are achieved performers in their own rights.
The research period will probably end with a studio presentation.
Besides the enrichment of our own performative qualities, with the material from this research
period we envision in the near future dance-events around the Body Without Organs, which also
include other artists who are involved with Deleuze, such as architects, visual artists, musicians.
Frank van de Ven - Rolf Meesters - Claudia Flammin
1. Antonin Artaud: "To have done with the judgement of God", a radio play (1947), from "Antonin Artaud, Selected Writings" ed.S.Sontag (1988)
2. Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari: "Mille Plateaux" (1980)
"Thousand Plateaus", transl. Brian Massumi (1987)
3. Claudia Flammin: "Un lieu, une danse: Min Tanaka et la météorologie du corps", un travail théorique de DEA (Diplôme d'étude approfondie) … l'université de Paris 8, département danse. (1996)
(4. This has taken place in May 1998 in Amsterdam with 15 participants including a philosopher)
TO BEGIN OF DOCUMENT home »»
document date: spring 1998
the nights and years dance block body ballocks without ___ sans __ organes. yer body whip
That's what it is, I want you to punish me waken my flesh
- it's because you're alone, like a shopping centre and
he wants you, he's attracted to you, but tortured by the thought
of your love, I'm attracted to you , in the big city, they
call it the big city, the big city centre, "down town" why
"down town " down in the town as opposed to up in the town
Punish me, pull my pants down, and punish me, as an afterthought,
Pull my pants, down , pause in the after thought
all these bad pepople wanting to be punished and
I am a stranger here in this town, a stranger in town,
in town a stranger came riding, a stranger like you and me, wanting
to be loved by all kinds of faces, feeling guility and lonely about
being alive and being alive like the live night and just a letter
makes a difference
in the page which has no end, no jusitified unjustified ragged
I need to be "whipped" to wake me up margin
Cry Cries in the hospital / the hospice
____ The dance cries wake me up, the 'me' the soi-meme of the sememe not the poetry of death and didacts but that of