The Good H:E:A:R:T: is a contemporary dance about resistance as female quality situated in the human heart related to the idea of the social body.
The piece is structured in 3 parts ( The Good Heart; Resistance; and Aufhebung – Triptych ) and has a gallery version with ca. 20min and a stage version of ca. 45 min. Videos and sound installation are forming the stage setups. Drawings and photography as well as prints in limited edition are part of the project.
The Good H:E:A:R:T: Resistance as a socio-political activity is in modern understatement a form of non-violent disobedience or opposition, refusing injustice or other ethical absence and advocating policies and principles in the natural and social realms.
Therefore, at the core idea of The Good H:E:A:R:T: is the idea of resistance as a possibility of regeneration and transcendence. Awareness, recognition as well as empathy are conditions of knowledge and transformation going beyond dichotomy and conflict. This attitude in resistance could be characterized as a female quality inherent in all human beings. Its characteristics are often represented by the symbol of the heart, in its cultural/religious and physical meanings of connectivity, care, sharing, creation, transcendence.
The performance is structured in three units whereby the third unit has three parts itself. By the German word Aufhebung is given the complex definition of the “good heart” as the meaning of this word is threefold: 1) preserve, conserve; 2) abolish, suspend 3) transcend, sublate.
The Good H:E:A:R:T: writes its text about the heart as a place of resistance. The heart as the imperial muscle of our bodies directs our life rhythm and resists adversities all kind, always trying to regain its own rhythm. It resists in just being and continuing to beat. It’s a female quality to keep the rhythm of love in all circumstances, a quality that is inherent in all human beings. No wonder, that nowadays resistance is defined in a broader and moral sense as a non-violent activity following the consciousness of justice, equality and freedom and focusing on human values and integrity globally. Resistance is understood in every language and the heart-led movement is followed by the intellect. First feel. Think later. Or as Samuel Beckett put it: “Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.”
The experience to follow consciousness and serve others, even in distorted and hierarchical power systems, accompanied by the inner struggle of articulating awareness is a female experience and, historically spoken, most celebrated in Gandhi, Mandela, and King in surrendering to a universal idea of justice.
Resistance is only solid because it is an inner empire which allows being flexible and adaptable outwards. Its rock steadiness comes from very moved dynamics of recognition, articulation, and decision-making. In whatever situation, it is a flexible response hidden or declared in finding a solution with the benefit to all.
What resistance need is surrender, sacrifice, empathy, connectivity, universalism, horizontally organized values, all female characteristics traditionally declared as mellow, shallow, weak and unworthy in capitalistic, auto centered, vertical and masculine power systems.
To build resistance and to re-write the con-text of our social organizations we need, of course, knowledge and awareness in order to activate our mind process toward dialogue and reflection. And we need to listen to the heart incisively trying to beat in synchronicity the universal rhythm.
Therefore, the last part of the dance performance is a triptych describing the evolutions, developments, and movements toward the vision of the human coexistence beyond the struggle. It is not the question of its feasibility as every movement toward a vision brings solution and dissolution with it. It’s like a continuous movement on different levels of consciousness, folded one on the other in an ongoing repetition progressing first unnoticed. This process is described best by the German word Aufhebung which has the three meanings of preserve, abolish and transcend. How often we use the words written in our unconsciousness correspondingly to our inner knowledge about processing awareness?
This dance piece is in the frame of Imperatives writing a major chapter in its experimental Encyclopédie Raisonné, the artistic dictionary on knowledge communication and aesthetic imaginary. The Imperatives project is about art in relation to the inner principle, the conscious, and how it finds its expression in political activities, mainly in form of civil disobedience, related to knowledge communication and discourse. Diderot’s dictionary in the 18th century as a tool for enlightenment and subversive activity is a model for my experimental Encyclopédie Raisonné to organize all the topics and to create a format that allows growth and distribution independently from its author. One of the three classifications is Nature and the Social Body.
 Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot. The proper quote: ESTRAGON: Wouldn’t it, Didi, be more fun? VLADIMIR: I’d like well to hear him think. ESTRAGON: Perhaps he could dance first and think afterwards, if it isn’t too much to ask him. VLADIMIR: (to Pozzo). Would that be possible? POZZO: By all means, nothing simpler. It’s the natural order. He laughs briefly.
see as well:
The dance allows us to take part at something yet unknown, to explore combination of diverse artistic and not artistic elements, to understand emotions, thoughts and reflections through physical articulation. We discover the body as communicator, as multifaceted element in a messed world and in an incomprehensible universe because as long as we are here we all shares the same physical expression: the body. In times of instant communication, we recognize the potency of our brains and nerve nets and the possibilities of connectivity and communication in all natural spheres including the human. In my blog post The body as text: social body
This piece was originally conceived to be performed for the Canadian dance company SQx – dance.
Rachela Abbate: script and artistic director, video and sound design