Submitted by Ray Cook - March 10, 2000
Following are further thoughts on the notes Charlotte Wile and I posted on Jan 7.
The trouble with Ann Guest's definition of meandering is that there are too many descriptions attached to the end result -- path.
Ann says in meandering there is "enjoyment."
I say this is not always true.
Ann says in meandering there is an "aimless quality."
Yet just above this Ann says, "as if looking for a lost object", which is not aimless.
Ann says, "It serves the mood of the wanderer."
I'm not sure what "IT" refers to. Does she mean the end result, i.e., the path?
All of this suggests to me that when you see a path that Ann is describing in words, you think that it must result from meandering, which may not be so.
Is walking with an aimless quality the same as meandering?
One can walk straight paths along the streets of NY with an aimless quality.
As far as I can remember, meandering referred to sluggish rivers that seemed to change their course for no reason, even though there was a geographical reason for so doing.
In Charlotte's description of traveling she writes that the mover "does not think about moving on a path."
This may be true but I THINK that what she wants to say is that he does not think about the path on which he moves - or maybe both the movement and the path.
Can't a choreographer give you specific movements to do to make you look as if you move with a meandering quality?
It always seems to go back to what is pedestrian and what the dancer/actor can make you think, i.e., the pedestrian may not be thinking, but the dancer is, because it is a conscious effort to make the movement not appear meandering.
In Ray's Comments (the last sentence), instead of saying "signs for the space beneath," it might be better to say "the support or surface beneath you."