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BIG UPDATE! a NEW Symposium and more…
reflections on the 2022 IDOCDE symposium
The April Issue – symposium description is here
The March Issue
The February Issue
The November Issue
making place for making place
Nancy Stark Smith
The May Issue: Onwards with IDOCDE!
IDOCDE Virtual Meetings starting soon!
The December Issue
The September Issue
on symposium scheduling and languaging against the odds
on beaver dams and the 7th IDOCDE symposium
in lieu of transparency, approaching the 2019 IDOCDE symposium
Tracing Forwards –––––– the question of (human) nature
New Year, New Symposium, New Story
Tradition, Evolution and Diversity – Share Your Legacy
updates, updates, updates
... how many hours in a day
The Cassiopeia score and other matters; power, pedagogy, and the imparting of knowledge
revelations, reflections, confessions; post-symposium update
Months Bleed into New Months
Martin's Alphabet
You are here – I am here
Something New
Ashes to Ashes, Water to Words
Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd'hui ... [1]
a fictional season
on beauty: an unexpected debate
What I Did Not Miss This Summer
I Can Not Not Move. Can You?
IN THE SPACE OF STUDY – notes on The Legacy Project and the 2017 IDOCDE Symposium
Scores for Rest
Everlasting Words
what you give will remain yours forever
the limit of the limitless
What can dance bring to culture?
Documentation and Identity – New lives of memories...
Solo thinking does not exist
The Importance of Being [Un]Necessary
Hot Stones Notwithstanding
Documenting what is in a flux
Symposium Preparations Under Way
Moving images are often read as “the truth”...
The Technology Coordinator
Potential for Relationship, Subversion and Emergence
A quantum LEAP to REFLEX
Abundance of Exchange – no me but for you!
Teaching Form[less]?
Questioning it all?
After a few months of ephemerality…
Failing Successfully!
Her sweet boredom…
teaching dance, flying airplanes and surgery procedures
re-creation – by the writing dance teacher
Revisiting Our Reality
The End
Roll the bones!
And now?
Treasure Hunt
News from the Arsenal
Body time & Politics
Morning training opening at K3
Symposium 2013 Vienna
Time is ticking...
"If tomatoes are a fruit, isn't ketchup...
Symposium 2013: Call for proposals
Teaching at ImPulsTanz: Call for applications
idocde meeting Stolzenhagen August 13-17, 2012
More videos please!
Hello… What are you doing here?

Documentation and Identity – New lives of memories...

Autumn has arrived.  Where I live, in Biarritz, this is a special period. Cold mornings, hot afternoons. The sea is quiet and people are still swimming. I don't dare, it is too cold but somehow tempting. Colors change and trees are getting naked. 7 hours before my time zone, my family wakes up in Venezuela. There is no autumn there. There are no seasons but I can feel the different colors, temperature and of course different lives they are having while I am here.

This afternoon I will cook “arepas” for my children — a typical Venezuelan dish I have carried with me since my childhood to all the places I have lived in. Moving my hands to the “chimbanguele” rhythm I make small round shaped tortillas made of corn wheat. The drums of the “chimbanguele” music make my youngest son dance. These drums, like me, have kept traveling. Departed from Central Africa inside slavery boats, were hidden in the plantations, reconstructed with the liberation day of slavery, colonized by Spanish Catholicism, recorded by Sony music international corporation, embedded in my house through old personal recordings of my father in tapes and now passing to my children from my ipad. In a long story, these drums are still alive.  

The dance of “chimbanguele” comes together with the drum, with the memories of all those who survived and fought for their right to be and to exist as free human beings —as they have lived before becoming slaves; singing, dancing and playing the drum.

I move in the kitchen, I smell my grandmother and sense the strong legacy her body has passed to me. Below me, the small feet are still moving, jumping, stamping the ground. He still does not know the hidden meaning of these steps. For him it is a fun action that emanates from his body with pleasure and joy, that of a body moving within a rhythm, that of a dancing body.

Stamping to kill, stamping for freedom –of the chains placed around the ankles. If I will not tell him, part of myself and that of my ancestors will die on the way. If I don't recall my memories and those that travelled from far away to arrive to my ears and body, no one will know. Who writes upon this?

If no one films the dance of the “chimbanguele”, its movements won’t arrive to other people. No one will ever see it, but most important if within the negro community of Venezuela no one takes care their roots, they will be blended with MTV, VEVO or whatever image represents afro nowadays. Is it so important? YES YES YES and thousand times YES.

Humans are based on identity and belonging. We leave in a global world that tends not to nurture diversity but to resemble all to a social commodity where difference is strangely viewed. Still our bodies are different, our feelings, our actions, they express in varied ways to expose who we are and how we feel and act. Dance is the supreme art form where identity is expressed, where human thoughts, acts, senses and feelings perform. When we dance we are in constant connection with our memories, our past and our heritage. Our body is a document, sedimentation of life that expresses enormous value. A wisdom that needs sharing, a wisdom that needs to be documented to enhance our reflection and further help sharing the beauty and strength of moving.

I am grateful I can dig in the archives and find knowledge about the dance that is inherited through my family, I am grateful I can read stories to my children and to other people that make me proud of my slave past and help defend the equality among humans among cultures and among dancers. I am grateful that reserving our memories is a free act; everyone can do and allow others to access it. Documenting dance, it is a matter of identity— of politics and ethics of the body, the self and the community we are embedded.

Today I am writing some small articles for the research project Reflex EUROPE, in link with IDOCDE site and its community. As part of my contribution; I am creating a path for the documentation of one's own praxis where I contextualize documentation, notation, dance digitalization, oral transmission and the different ways in which we "safeguard" our intangible knowledge. 

I am proud to propose documentation as a reflexive resource for teaching, as a beautiful means to continue our beautiful legacies that secretly live within our bodies.


Bertha Bermudez, 26.10.2016