Everything You Do Matters, No Matter What You Do (2022)
For the 2022 New Museum Artist Residency, movement artist and researcher Ilya Vidrin investigated the concept of partnering and the labor of physical care through public programs including discussion, performance, and series of experimental workshops taking place from June through September 2022.
Across workshops, conversations, and performances with trained and untrained dancers, Vidrin’s residency explored the possibility of communicating aspects of embodied trust, empathy, consent, and agency in partnering studies. The residency included a panel discussion with Mario Zambrano (Juilliard), Dr. Bonnie Wong (Neuropsychology, MGH), and Çaca Yvaire (Tufts); Somatic Partnering workshop; and an evening-length world premiere, "More or Less".
Working at the intersection of performing arts, philosophy, and interactive media, Vidrin collaborates with trained and untrained dancers to explore the possibilities of community- and care-oriented—rather than individual- and results-oriented—dance and movement. While most academic discourse around somatic (or bodily) knowledge, therapy, movement, and meditation center the individual physical experience, Vidrin’s research considers the social potential for a more bodily understanding of community care, focusing on the ways we move through and take up space with others.
Creating scores for iterative, intimate movement, Vidrin nurtures conditions for partners to search within themselves, one another, and in their shared connections to interrogate how meaningful relations are experienced. Partners co-develop and co-discover bodily knowledge, and in the process create new ways of being in space together. Rather than keeping in step with efficiency-oriented value systems, Vidrin’s vision of “Somatic Partnering” rejects the usual standards of physical expertise. In this redefinition, typical standards of excellence in movement—particular athleticism, rhythmic alignment, or visual lines, for example—are transformed into embodied processes that cultivate and sustain mutual aid.