Moving from people of science, Jane introduced Pia Muchin a body expression teacher from the University of Gothenburg. Her status seems quite flexible, being freelance and employed at the same time. She participated in a broad range of artistic projects from theatre to opera, and usually gets involved in all kinds of artistic creation for these spectacles. She even collaborated with Chalmers for some projects apparently, but I didn’t find any more information on that yet.

The first half of the discussion was a word-for-word reading of the answers she had written to each question, which was exceptionally dense and made it difficult to grasp the essential message. As the energies in the audience were about to disappear, she suddenly announced a surprise: she created a choreography to answer more lively!

<please forgive the potentially poor retranscription of an essentially undescribable experience, and the randomness of the pictures, which aren’t from the presentation at all>

Py Huss Wallin, a young woman in her early twenties, wearing a poppy-red dress over a silky white night gown walked up the stage, as the teacher vanished out of attention.

(c) Valand School of Fine Arts

The dancer Py Huss Wallin

The performance was a combination of dance and video on the projector screen. She started by miming a clumsy but precise struggle with her red dress, falling to the floor, tearing the clothes up, twisting and turning while her alter ego on the screen was an uninterrupted screaming to a nude piano + opera soundtrack. The experience was rather disturbing if anything. As the dancer succeeded in taking  her dress off, she continued playing with it in a more relaxed way, as if it was a chinese ribbon spinning around her.

Random chinese ribbon dancer

The music intensified, bursting with opera voice as the screaming faded progressively to the background. Instead of the redhead screaming on screen, came a video of a performance on stage. She continued dancing aimlessly in a contructed way until she stood still, music came off and she was portrayed with a smile, revered to the audience and disappeared in the ranks. Then the teacher came back and finished her speech with a few words.

random performance from a theater in sweden

I was quite speechless by then. Based on the topic of the talk, i guess i can come up with some degree of explanation of what happened with that dancing, but for the most part it evades any kind of interpretation. Perhaps the beginning evokes the science as human construct, portrayed by her red dress, the pride and success of a civilization, emphasizing the individual clumsy and imperfect and at the same time imprisoning him into that construct.

It chases and haunts the individual endlessly, and as the individual tears apart this intellectual garment, it can come into terms with the pain of being human, embrace its physicality for what it is: an imprescriptible source of action and pleasure.

That’s my over rationalised view on it.

Here are some key elements of the accompanying discourse:

She mentioned as inspiration meeting people, observing their body gestures, the tone of the voice.  How limits (time, resources) and their unpredictability can hamper this inspiration. One very interesting thing she said was that she “[becomes] an artist when the performance meets the eye of the audience”, meaning that the reception and the final participation of the audience in the piece gives it meaning. For that matter, that meaning is constructed almost exclusively by an audience, and the work of art acts as a stimulation for a variety of thoughts and emotions.

This relates to what Jane Philbrick said about Art, that the artist has little to no control over his/her piece. If the audience actually creates the art from that piece, then it certainly makes sense!

Edits on 18-04-2010:

The dancer was fortunately found! Her name is Py Huss Wallin, she is an art student at Valand. As a result, the pictures will be changed, and hopefully will give a better idea of the performance. In particular, the music can be found on this video, starting right in the middle of it.