In facilitating Tarot in Motion classes, I generally use “sound” or ambient music rather than music with a beat or rhythm. This way participants are not inclined to dance to the music. Instead of the related prompts, I’ve laid out as well as the meaning of the card establishes a structure for the creation of movement expressions.
The exception was a special class designed around participants choosing to play and move to specific songs by The Beatles that matched the cards they picked.
Although I have developed a new cross-disciplinary approach, I’m committed to following certain fundamentals. I recognize and honor my influences.
In a recent replay of a Fresh Air interview from 1985, with dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham I learned that Cunningham did not choreograph movement to coincide with the rhythms of music. Instead he preferred to have music and dance performed simultaneously yet independently of one another. He pioneered and explored this approach with his collaborator and life partner composer John Cage.
The “aha” moment for me was remembering an exhibition that I saw in my sophomore year of college, at The Albright Knox Art Gallery, in Buffalo, NY. It consisted of John Cage drawings and paintings, along side sound tracks of his new music. I was enthralled and went back to see the exhibition several times.
Since Cage did music scores for Cunningham, I was then led to see Cunningham’s dance work. Another reason I sought the dance performances was because one of my favorite artists, Robert Rauschenberg did the sets.
A light bulb went off in my head after hearing the Fresh Air interview. Perhaps an unconscious reason for my choosing to play ambient music or sound in my Tarot in Motion classes was inspired by Cage and Cunningham? Could the collaborators cross-disciplinary approach of had an impact on my incorporating several art forms, without me realizing it?