Gaga: Dance as Means of Surrendering Control – by Kathleen Voight


Gaga encourages losing control – giving in to gravity, to one’s body, to the external forces. It is this loss of control that epitomizes the stark contrast between Gaga and all other dance I had previously encountered. Frequently during our classes, Saar directs us to “Give in to the forces. Let go.” He urges us to move without thinking or predetermining our movements and, instead, to rely on that which is innately driven. It is the movements that arise when one gives up all control that reveal the most authenticity and vulnerability. For myself, many of these movements form as momentum builds and I continue in paths naturally appearing from each preceding moment. To move with the things that move me is to relinquish all consciousness of control, to admit these forces upon myself.

Today, we were instructed to capitalize on this feeling of giving in: to release one’s body “into water,” indicating a lessening of bodily effort, and to use the movement gained in this moment of release. We collapse our boxes, our centers of structural support – chest, ribs, pelvis, shoulders – and fold inwards, riding on the wave of travel gravity provides. Gaga work with these forces – natural laws of the universe, bodily desires, naturally ensuing movement – instead of attempting to counteract them and, thus, the innate human joy of dance flourishes.