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Crux Eruption19911 dancer7 min

I made ample use of a recently purchased first camcorder for the choreography of this brief solo. I had discovered from my first use of a (borrowed) camcorder, while making Destiny Dance (1991), that I could record brief choreographic experiments and more complete run-throughs of the developing work for study during and between rehearsals. More significantly, I could record myself improvising as an assist for generating movement. I think most, if not all, the movement in Crux Eruption was culled from my videotaped improvisations. 

I must backtrack a bit: For Destiny Dance I had utilized sequences from the videotaped improvisations mostly as loose sketches that I “filled in,” as it were. For my next choreographic project - a work for students at Purchase College - I became increasingly interested in learning the improvised movement more accurately, more “verbatim.” I was simply more attracted to movement this process generated, which to my eye was more dimensional, more specific, and less reliant on pre-existing dance vocabularies, than the movement I had previously devised.  I was hooked.

It bears mentioning that I had only recently (1989) started exploring somatic approaches toward movement conditioning and exploration, before which I had found improvisation much less productive - nearly impossible, really. I was just too confined by my many years of shape-based training. So it was the confluence of my stepping over the threshold into the world of somatic explorations and the increased availability and affordability of consumer camcorders that allowed me to access the new-to-me technique of collecting movement from videotaped improvisations.  

I believe I came up with the title, at least in part, as a reflection of the movement collection process - as if the solo sprang from my center, as made possible by improvisation. Though the notion strikes me today as overly essentialist, I’ll confess that at that time I did think I was discovering something “authentic” about my movement. Certainly, though, much of the movement I chose did have an explosive quality, and I do still believe that the somatic approaches provided me access to possibilities that had been “covered up” by my previous trainings, so maybe I can be forgiven the title? I still quite like the sound of it. 

I made Crux Eruption while I was teaching at Harvard Summer Dance for a “Men Dancing” (!) performance there at the conclusion of the residency. I went on to show the solo in NYC at my first Movement Research at Judson Memorial Church (Spring 1992, during the first year of those performances), and then again as a prelude to Not-About-AIDS-Dance in its first productions (May & December 1994). My thought in preceding NAAD with Crux Eruption was to involve the audience with me and my dancing, unadorned by music or text, before asking them to imagine me dying of AIDS, which I think was implicit in NAAD.

Premiered July 1991 at the Sanders Theater at Harvard University. 


Choreographed and Performed by: Neil Greenberg

Lighting design: Michael Stiller

Costume Construction: Renni Gallagher

Videotaped by the Dance Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts for preservation in the Jerome Robbins Archives of the Recorded Moving Image

Recorded December 15, 1994 at The Kitchen, NYC by High Risk Productions, Steve Brown, Director

© Paula Court, 1994

© Paula Court, 1994