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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Over the first two weeks of winter term I was invited to assist my friend Nadja Voorham who’s doing  MA in performance at the RCA, London. Being a dancer she is interested in body work and expression through movement and for this project she had an idea about a performance based on wrestling and acrobatics. After three sessions of intense movement exercises we developed a semi choreographed performance that took place on the opening night of the Work In Progress Show, January 22, 2016.

Click on link to see a short video of the documentation. Password is: nina.

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The process of developing a performance struck me as very much like any other creative process I’ve been through. The focus is much on problem solving which is something Marvin Gaye Chetwynd also mentioned in a performance workshop last term. In this case problem solving included avoiding sexual tension, avoiding too vulnerable poses and keep the balance between structure and improvisation.

I find it very natural and fulfilling to use my body in expressional purpose. When doing this kind of body work I have experienced several positive effects. First of all the mindfulness of being totally present in the moment and experiencing time become irrelevant and impossible to keep track of. Secondly, if you’re working together you really sharpen your awareness of the other person(s) and naturally practice your sense of empathy towards them.

I’m interested in community and spirituality/non-spirituality in secular, individualist societies and I want to explore it through some kind of body work.


Costume design:

I was also in charge of doing costume/styling for the performance.

Inspired by the tangling movements we were practicing I wanted to distort the clothes somehow but keep them quite normal in order to not exaggerate the wrestling or Tai Chi vibe that could come with the kind of body work we were going to perform.

This resulted in two outfits, slightly deformed and in contrasting colours. Jeans, stretch, pin-stripes and beige colour gave the look a “normal” feeling that I was looking for.

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The music and the way she is moving just touched me and I started to cry. I was probably looking for a way to “burn calories” or whatever and this reminded me of what is really important in life (lol).

Another memory I have is crying in front of an open Zumba class. A bunch of ladies doing the same thing, trying to find a way to “get fit” but the power of drums and people moving in group just hit me and I was so moved.

A third memory is from my high school graduation. We were supposed to run out of the school building, families waiting outside. It felt as if everyone was crying exept me, I didn’t feel sad at all, I wanted to get out of there but then I heard the drums. The school had hired a group of Brazilian drummers to add to the festive atmosphere in the school yard. And again the drums hit my soft spot and I started to cry, not from sadness but from being moved.


 

I danced in clubs. I realized it was just a creative activity like any other. You improvise and shoot out ideas to see how they work, what kind of responses you get and if you fail you just have to stay and turn it into something good. I feel like myself when I’m dancing. It’s really a way of expressing yourself.

“You can express things with your body that you can’t put into words”/Swedish hip hop dancer I heard on TV the other day.

When I finally was brave enough to say the words “I want to dance” I couldn’t hold my tears in either, haha.


 

PHYSICAL SENSATION FROM MOVING: The only thing my phone can’t give me? 

 


I have started a project I call Soul Chain. I want to explore community and spirituality in secular and individualist society through body work and I’m thinking of collecting dance or movement in videos, relating to each other somehow.

I’m doing this on the blog Soul Chain1. Password is: dance.


For my video trilogy on womanhood, adollesence and upper class I finally used this video for a piece.

All Move AFRICA Nike rockstar workout (REMAKE)

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The translation from reality to representation is common to all of us, it’s basically what the cave paintings in Lascaux are. However as reality becomes more and more virtual it seems to me that the opposite translation, from representation to “real” or material becomes more and more significant.

In a speech by Hito Steyerl held at a conference on photography in New York, published on Youtube in 2013, she states that images has started crossing the screen and materialising in reality. She calls it a development of images, from representing “what is already there” to producing reality.

 

Pilvi Takala’s video Real Snow White