WHAT IS A DANCE CRÔNICA?
The Dance Crônica method is an original approach I have developed for dance theater-making. Dance Crônicas are based on the unique Brazilian literary tradition of crônicas, or first-person stories about everyday life told in a poetic and often critical way (see explanation of crônicas below).
My method extends the traditionally word-bound crônica into the realm of dance and performance, weaving the personal narratives of the cast through text and movement to illustrate how our personal lives lie at the intersection of much greater social issues, and consequently, how our choices and voices matter.
The Dance Crônica embodies the feminist idea of “the personal is political”, placing value on the experiences of individual people as a way of critiquing the greater social issues they represent.
Following the tradition of the literary crônica, Dance Crônicas are also ephemeral, as all live performance is, in that they can only be experienced in the moment they are performed. The beauty of this is that the narrative gets constructed live with the audience, and depending on who they are, it can always shape-shift and evolve. There is always room for greater embodied understanding, for abstraction and interpretation, for visual, auditory, and sensorial narrative, not just verbal or intellectual.
What is a Crônica?
(written by Alô Escola, translated from Portuguese by Marina Magalhães):
The crônica is a very common Brazilian literary tradition that has been practiced for centuries. It is essentially a written text to be published in the newspaper. The newspaper is, of course, a vehicle for daily news, and therefore, it fosters ephemeral texts. The crônica, in this way, is also ephemeral. Just like a news reporter, the cronista, or crônica writer, feeds off of daily occurrences. But rather than report them objectively, the cronista gives the stories his/her own touch, including in his/her text elements such as fiction, fantasy, critiques, and other elements that purely informative texts do not use. For this reason, it can be said that the crônica situates itself between Journalism and Literature, and the cronista considers him/herself a poet of everyday life.
In most cases, the crônica is a short text narrated in first person, in other words, the writer is dialoguing with the reader. This makes it so that the crônica presents a completely personalized vision of a particular subject, that is, the vision of the cronista. In developing his/her linguistic style, the cronista is communicating to the reader his/her own point of view of the world. Generally, crônicas employ simple and spontaneous language, situating themselves somewhere between colloquial and literary practices. This contributes to the reader being able to identify with the cronista, who, in this way, becomes a spokesperson for the people.