Dance for your home︎︎︎
 From Yvonne Rainer

“...her first dance for the socially isolated.

What she adapted comes from “Terrain,” her first long dance, made in 1963. Ms. Rainer and some friends had recently founded Judson Dance Theater, a groundbreaking group that was questioning assumptions of what dance could be. One important aspect was the inclusion of everyday activities and gamelike tasks, often organized in detailed lists and charts, later called scores.

In one section of “Terrain,” for example, the performers could choose between two activities: walking and standing still. This is the section that Ms. Rainer has adapted for current circumstances and confined spaces.

The rules, as she recently described them over email, are fairly simple. You can walk, in any direction, or you can stand. Assuming there are two or more people, a person who stands must remain stationary. Someone who chooses to walk can walk as close as possible to the standing person without touching; that’s “passing.” Or the walker can choose to bump, lightly, into the standing person; that’s “jostling,” and it can free the standing person to get back in motion.

Ms. Rainer has added other options. If a stable, lightweight chair is available, you can sit or stand on it. A walker might also bump a stander into sitting. Or two strong walkers might carry a sitter enthroned in a chair. Or someone sitting in a chair could be toppled.

 “If you are bored with walking around,” Ms. Rainer added, “you can stand on the bed.” Or walk across it, without breaking stride. The same goes for “couch, table and overstuffed pieces of furniture.”

If you’re alone, there are still options. Choosing to walk solo, you might jostle a piece of furniture. You might wrap your body around that furniture or pick up and put down objects or, say, wash your hands — never too often now — all while maintaining a steady walking rhythm, which, Ms. Rainer emphasized, is “the mainstay of the whole enterprise.”

“Once you stand still, it’s over,” she said. But that’s only one option; she’s supplied another to get you out of that rut. Although the score, like much postmodern dance, doesn’t require any musical accompaniment, you can respond to noises in your environment. “You can decide on several verbal cues from the radio or TV to put yourself into motion again, like ‘virus’ or ‘pandemic.’” The high frequency of such cues should prevent extended stalling.

Ms. Rainer doesn’t mind if you make your own adaptations. Just “make sure the rules are clear and strict so that you can stick to them without running amok,” she advised. Most important, she said: “Have fun.”

 ︎︎︎from Yvonne Rainer -from, NYT reporter Brian Seibert