What is your earliest memory? Mine is the scent of the pages from Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. That sensory memory has stuck with me longer than any other. It is a memory that to this day makes me docile, agreeable and ready for a nap. Just as it did when I was toddler.
Creating a dance about memory is forcing me to examine what my own memories are as well as how and why memories are created.
Here are the just some of questions I am excited to investigate during the construction of this dance for Alternative Motion Project:
- What does the physical process of creating and recalling memory entail? Also how does explicit memory vs. implicit memory manifest in humans physically. As a dancer my curiosity about the corporeal living organism that is the human body will never satisfied.
- Where is the beauty in procedural memory? I find muscle memory to be the closest thing to a super power that we, humans, possess. I know dancers in their fifties who can recall entire routines from 2nd grade tap lessons. Recently I’ve been rehearsing a show that I performed many, many times a while back. Not having even thought about the steps, or lines or stage directions in nearly a year. I was able to recall everything with nothing but a few superficial mistakes. That was not only meant be a humble-brag about me individually! That is my honest awe-struck testimony on the unfettered power of human memory species wide!
- Which creates a longer lasting memory pleasure or trauma? Which creates the more vivid memory?
- Déjà vu! Having a memory of an event as it happens. What the hell is going on with that? All I know it’s a glitch in The Matrix, but what else?
- I am interested in the ways semantic memory can evolve or decay. I am asking how does episodic memory warp? Then I may be able to solve the mystery of why certain cousins remember fondly summers at the cabin, while others…um…don’t.
So many questions to ask in single dance! So many to answer! I hope you will check in with us during this process to see if we actually answer any or if we in fact just uncover more questions. Something tells me it will be the latter not the former.
Please share your earliest memories, thoughts on any of these questions or if you have any memory related investigations of your own.