The Manifold Body
All my work is based on the Manifold Body, a movement method I have developed over the past years, recognising the body as an integrated mental and physical nexus, a complex reality, both smooth and striated, manifold and whole.
The method posits the body as a manifold of coexisting perspectives, providing inspiration for new forms of movement in a process of continuous becoming. Focal points (or focalisations) come into existence and oscillate, centres ceaselessly shift. Relations to the world, the world itself as a set of relations, remain unstable. Innumerable perspectives emerge, absorb each other, and disappear, innumerable images – spatial, resonant, rhythmic associations, memory traces, dreams, imaginations of one or several worlds – are conjured only to shake off all definition and dissolve.
In this sense, movements of the body, as movements of thought, are non-linear. They have neither beginning nor end. They are diverse and manifold, always in the middle, the middle itself. Visual, sensual, rational and other impulses and stimuli are intertwined and entangled. Nothing is ever pure.
Accordingly, the dancer is never still, always on the move, in creation, in flux. Ideally, there is no other subject of and to the dance than the manifold entangled dancing body itself, no outside reference, no representation. Dance is not abstract but exhaustively concrete: the sensation, perception, experience of the moment. Nothing less, nothing more. Everything there is.
‘The Manifold Body’:
The notion of a ‘manifold body’ originally springs from an attempt to understand the body as a complex whole, striated but never entirely cut, and is thus opposed to traditional full-blown separations. In this context, Elisabeth’s longstanding interest in movement qualities and textures as well as their composition in time and space has led her to propose an experimental conceptual setup, within which certain aspects of bodily experience are named in order to provide both a framework for an improvisational practice and a language for communicating the results of this practice and to produce a set choreography.
The ‘manifold body’ is method and mythology at the same time. Generally speaking, it introduces a set of six interrelated, variable and pragmatically-conceived layers: the architectural body, or the body in and as space, relational spatiality; the imaginative body, the entire complex of our images, imaginations and associations; the resonating body, all the echoes and reverberations of the world passing through the body; the rhythmical body, the timing of the body, its temporality, but also its musicality; the transitional body, at the threshold between states, a catalyst of creativity at the moment of decision, both closing down and opening up possibilities; finally, the textural body, the body as a multiplicity of individuating intensities.