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2012-09-23

Observe to reflect 04


A sensitive dependence on initial conditions


Today workshop start with task to write something about last day performances in a way to write something that is interest and something that is a problem in seen performances. After 16 people write their notes we start with exposures. And then happen something interesting. Most frequent question was: are you talking about 1st or 2nd performance? It means that same note can be applied on (quite) different performances.
That can be some other level of selfsimilarity. How is it possible to put same expression on different productions? How different works produce similar state? What is a poetic of some author? How we can make huge differences? How not to get involved into self-similarity?

Another principle points to a different essence of nature. A butterfly effect or a sensitive dependence on initial conditions explains that. You must have heard of the possibility that a butterfly's wings strike in Tokyo can cause a tornado in Florida two years later. It has always been considered that small values of a particular measure do not have influence upon the final result. For instance, the mass of 76,432123 is approximated to the maximum of 76,43 because the amount of 0,002123 is insignificant. It is approximately 2 g. Somebody might say these two grams matter. But that's relative too. Of course if it is the matter of 2 grams of uranium in the nuclear process it is (maybe) more important that 2 g in the tons of concrete that buildings are made from. The Deterministic Chaos Theory showed that these very „small“ effects can have a drastic influence upon the system in the sense of their diversity, in the sense of another finity. The most noticeable phenomena can be seen in the weather forecasts. That's why we can't have an accurate weather forecast for a 15 year long period, although classical physics claims that everything is deterministic, that everything is predictable.

Every system can be presented by an equation. After that the projections are done. The results of the previous step become the input data for the next. For instance the state budgets. The information on the quantity of taxes collected, the penalties, the interests, the loans... these are all the data that influence on the budget for the following year and the GNP (gross national product) and other parameters. And then somebody in one (or in every) parameter ignores the irrelevant value of 0,002123...

Let us presume that the value of 0,002123 in the flutter of the butterfly's wing means the difference of pressure that was created during the flutter, that means that the air will be moved by a somewhat harder (or slighter) breeze, that its speed will be different. It will more strongly influence upon a leaf on the tree that will fall earlier and will fly to a certain place, during the fall it will cause a tiny value change in the temperature of the environment, the inner energy will gain a different value... and in the course of time the sequence of processes will bring about a tornado. And in the state budget it might bring about a financial crisis. In the heart it may bring about a heart attack. These are all the so called chaotic systems.

A dance performance can be observed as a chaotic regime in which every situation can be a centre of dependence on sensitive initial conditions. A still more interesting system is represented by the work on such a performance from the moment of the idea of a particular author, the pre-production activities which we will not deal with here, until the beginning of the rehearsals with the performers and the finality of the performance. Every single tiny change (both conscious and unconscious) can cause the differences in the finality. The most interesting performances are those created on the basis of discovering the performing materials and improvising, not following the strictly planned choreographies. But continually work like that also can become strictly system.

Let us imagine that 8 dancers are performing the choreography in closed loops on stage, that their final spot in the space is at the same time their initial one and that afterwards they start a new period (cycle). Regardless of the difference in the length of the loop, the forms and the speed of the movements there will be situations in which they will meet certain colleagues on the scene and will interact. If we repeat such a scene all over again the same meetings will happen again, no matter how long and how many loops we perform, let's say 70. However if only one of the performers starts only 2 seconds later there will be changes noticed firstly by the person who is the first to meet the person that starts later. All others will realize their encounters. But later on the picture will change and in the 60th cycle we will have a completely different situation (but still the fractal one). This principle is interesting in the material creation since the small changes give completely different pictures that eventually may be chosen from by a choreographer or a director. For example you can put singer in play and she like new initial condition can enrich or impoverish final product

Knowing this principle we can consciously influence upon the change of self-similarity. The choreographers that always work by the strictly determined rules, who plan everything in advance, even giving tasks with less rules and limitations, are more likely to remain in their own poetics over the years, and to experience no changes. If they remain in the same state, even though it is excellent, in the course of years a relative degradation and fading will be felt, not progress. It is enough to introduce slight changes in order to obtain choreographic and performing freshness. A more radical approach to these principles is the possibility of conscious little changes in every single, already staged play.

Since the dependence on the initial conditions system is sensitive, an (un)expected strike from the outside changes the work regime of the system. The change in the work regime of the system is a side product of chaos e.g. the Ice Age in the climatic history of the Earth, productions, critics… 

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