POOL SHINE 09.09.15

Meditation on Violence

Still aus Meditation on Violence, 1948. Mit Genehmigung von Re:Voir From the moment I saw Ch‘ao-li Chi, who performs in the film, do the first few movements from the training exercises of Chinese boxing I felt that it was perfect for film. The Wu Tang school is based on the idea of absorbing the force […]

Maya Deren
1948
00:13:00

Meditation_1

Still aus Meditation on Violence, 1948. Mit Genehmigung von Re:Voir

From the moment I saw Ch‘ao-li Chi, who performs in the film, do the first few movements from the training exercises of Chinese boxing I felt that it was perfect for film. The Wu Tang school is based on the idea of absorbing the force of the opponent. It is gentle-seeming and flowing, with a roundness of movement (since extreme extensions are vulnerable to loss of balance and contain static points) and a complete coordination with breathing. But its only value is not pugilistic, by far. Since it exercises the visceral organs it is altogether a fine toning exercise. But for Ch‘ao-li Chi, as for many other Chinese, it is a form of self-cultivation as well. In the constant alternating of positive and negative movement, in such basic concepts as the continual metamorphosis of one movement into the other, it incorporates the philosophical tenets of the Confucian Book of Changes [I Ching] and the teachings of Lao-tsu. […] 

It is the idea of combat, at an abstract remove. It is a meditation on the nature of violence and so involves, in spatial terms, a sharp departure from my previous films. There I used the camera to make the dancer transcend space, to be everywhere and anywhere. In this film the place is an abstraction which is nowhere. 

Maya Deren: Comment by Maya Deren on Meditation on Violence, Dance, December 1948

  • #Title: Meditation on Violence
  • #Director: Maya Deren
  • #Year of Production: 1948
  • #Duration: 00:13:00
  • #Dance and Acting: Ch‘ao-li Chi
  • #Camera: Maya Deren
  • #Editing: Maya Deren