Have you danced today? performed at Dutch Art Institute within The Kitchen format in Arnhem (NL), November 2018. Questioning the terms of order, memory, sound, movement, dancing, refusal, oppresion, non-local consciousness and dementia. Special thanks to Malin Arnell and Fabienne van den Ierssel for their generosity.

 

Left Image credit: participation in SLOW DANCING WITH TWO FANS, Industrial fans and action 2014/2018, performed by Malin Arnell at Shimmer, Rotterdam. Right Image credit: grandmother of my girlfriend dancing at home. Both iPhone video’s made by Fabiënne van den Ierssel.

Image credit: Zoë Scoglio

Image credit: Zoë Scoglio

When I dance with fabiënne at home when she plays a record
I always say go slow
fast circles make me dizzy
I can’t focus when we turn in fast speed my balance is gone
so I lean into fabiënne even more very thight
I am taller than fabiënne, but I can still rest my head on her shoulder and feel safe
Slow dancing with fabiënne feels great
Slow dancing with Malin is something else
I feel responsible
I want to relax and lean into her body, but something is witholding me
Thoughts
I am thinking almost all the time while I am dancing with Malin.
How long are we dancing right now?
my perception of time is gone
lost in time and space
I am thinking about socialites
alternative modes of thinking
of being alone together
Alternative modes of narrativity
memory
performance
lived experience

are we home?
when are we going home?
are you taking me home?
I don’t belong here
I am not sure if I belong here
Is this my home?
this is not my home
they say it is but they are wrong
this can not be my home
where I am?
I can’t remember
are we leaving now?
can you take me home?

one more song
I packed my bags
I am ready to go
I lost my memory
I lost my sense of self
I can’t remember
I hear music
I am dancing
Non-local consciousness
Alzheimers disease
different stages

I feel like i am fighting not to think
to relax and enjoy this moment
There comes another corner
we are turning in circles
slowly swaying
shall i try to lead
or just follow
In silence
I am guessing Malin is leading
does she feel secure or vulnerable
she has been dancing with other strangers before me
I will follow her lead for now
maybe later I can try to take control and be more guiding
how close is too close
can it not be close enough
slow dancing is not the same as close dancing
distance
how much distance is there
does she know i have a girlfriend.
I feel weird
I can feel your touch on my back
my arms rest on your hips
I could rest my head on your shoulder
but I don’t
is that too intimate for me
she might think I like her
does she know I have a girlfriend?

I can’t stop thinking
the fan is nice
It brings me back to sensing
to feel her touch
why do we move in circles
swaying back and forth without turning in circles is that an option too
but how do I communicate this
also remember this is not a sexual encounter
or is it
a sensual encounter
what kind of encounter is this
the longer I think
the more confident I am
this is a political encounter
very uncertain
my body is confused
focus on the fans
Keeping my body cool
Are people still watching us
my eyes are closed
I can hear people talking
they are not whispering

they are talking
sometimes quiet loud actually
its difficult for me to cancel out the sound of people talking
how would it feel if I lay my head into her arms
I wonder
but I don’t act
what happens when I try to kiss her
no
wrong context
my body feels disconnected
in a way i feel comforted and embraced
how does Malin feel
I think she want me to feel comfortable
maybe being held
being supported
It this a ritual
a healing ritual maybe
Difference without separation
I lost my sense of self
I don’t need to know
I can’t remember
don’t tell me what to do
the words
I am dancing
are you leaving
I am going
everything feels uncertain
I am scared
don’t be scared
I am here
have you danced today?
be careful
don’t dance to fast
I don’t have to think
I remember this song
I remember this rhythm
I can’t find words
the words seem lost
my feet remember
the moves
I don’t have to think
dancing is comforting
It feeks like an embrace
dancing feels like an embrace
I feel being held
dancing is certainty
I don’t need to go anywhere
I can just
be in the moment
nobody can tell me what to do
I am free
I can dance!