Air Mail Dances

Remy Charlip created his first Air Mail Dance for Nancy Lewis while he was living in Paris in 1971. It was titled Instructions from Paris. He sent Ms. Lewis a series of postcards and drawings of figures that she was to interpret and then use her own composition skills on the transition from movement to movement. "So I gave her gestures that I thought were very beautiful and between the gestures I said do a turn. And I left it up to her." stated Mr. Charlip. He subsequently sent Air Mail Dances to performers around the world. Mr. Charlip choreographed and composed hundreds of these scores and they have been performed for over forty years by many different artists worldwide.

"I started to do these figures on a page and then give them to dancers, to soloists and groups of dancers, and have them figure out how to get from one position to another - so they worked on the transitions and they thereby made the dance - it's their dance and it is also my dance" - Charlip

Remy Charlip's choreographic invention, Air Mail Dances, allow soloists and dance companies to co-create uniquely innovative pieces. The performer receives a drawn dance score of 10 to 40 single figures. The artist then rearranges the order of the drawings and devises the transitions between one figure to the next thereby co-creating the dance. Remy Charlip used his training as both a visual artist and a dancer to create these dance scores. He felt that dance should be an integral part of everyone’s life and can be incorporated into day to day activities. His Dance in a Wing Chair, Dance in a Bed, and Dance in a Door Way have been performed countless times by professional dancers, school children and every day people. His Air Mail Dance scores are produced so that anyone can follow them. Right now, you are performing a Reading this Writing Dance.