History is the remembered tightrope that stretches across the abyss of all we have forgotten. (Albert Wendt: Black Rainbow)
The website www.thesourcecode.de documents the re-creation of Gertrud Bodenwieser’s last dance drama „Errand into the Maze“ from 1954. The choreographer was one of Austria’s most prominent exponents of Ausdruckstanz. After Hitler’s annexation of Austria, the Jewish choreographer fled to Sydney. In exile, she re-launched her dance company and became the founding mother of Modern Dance in Australia.
By interacting with former members of the Bodenwieser dance group, I tried not only to get the dance steps right, but also wanted to understand the emotional, intellectual and political disposition of the choreographer at the time she created the dance piece.
Instead of staging a re-creation of the choreography I chose the internet to publish the results of my research. By accessing rehearsal footage, interviews, photos, letters and other testimonies, I invite the online-audience to make their own version of the 60 year-old dance piece. The re-creation process was full of errors, contradictions, analogies, theories, assumptions and interpretations. The structure of the website mirrors the structure of that process – it’s a complex web of references, comparisons and links.
The website operates on ten levels concerning different themes that were relevant to my research. Each level contains twelve documents. By enabling the commentary function, the user can follow the thematic links I chose for the re-creation of the dance. When finishing the navigation through the online archive, a pdf map of the individual research is generated.
Jochen Roller, July 2014
A TANZFONDS ERBE project