Dance through Time & Space

Project I

– HOME –

An Improvised Dance Project to 

create a sense of Identity & Belonging

through Time & Space

 

In early 2019, we started an Improvised Dance Project consisting of improvising dance in several different settings (lots of videos are made in our apartment) on a piece of music of our choice that we record after an hour of warm-up and post it on Linkedin & our Blog.

The Project “Home” has some purpose to show that Dancing can help people to be more mentally present as a tool for Mindfulness, to find a sense of Identity & Belonging & to rejoice our own Body in all its expressions & movements.

As a Prologue to my site, I will start with an Improvised Dance Project called “HOME” for the 6 coming months. As I am expatriate in Norway, originating from Belgium, the notion of “HOME” is highly important and challenging because I constantly have to redefine that notion in the framework of my own life. Consequently, I become redefined as a person by the notion itself. Often, one says that “HOME” is where the whole story begins. I thoroughly thought about this assumption and it seems to me that HOME is actually approximately everywhere we go and everywhere we are psychically and physically present, as human beings. As I still do not know, however, exactly where my HOME is, I will try to modestly answer that open question within that 6 months Improvised Dance Project.

And as it seems to be a recurring and pending question for me, and thus maybe for others, I will try to answer that questioning, as openly, and simply as possible, by being as present as possible in the moment of dance. To do so, I will post an improvised dance video of myself in motion, of more or less 3 to 5 minutes, approximately once a week. The idea behind the project being to regain a feeling of existence, and a sense of belonging, in space & time in which we do exist and a genuine presence, through the sensations created by the encountering of these two concepts (Time & Space) in contact with my body, its energy and expose what kind of reactions that encounter provokes, produce or generate and discover what the encounter of my body & mind with that space and time brings with it, produces and creates. The global aim pursued by this project is to regain, but not control, and reaffirm our sense of existence – and thus develop our sense of identity – through and into our own body and the space it inhabits, its expression in movement and its incarnation of the space and the time of what our HOME is, by consequence, right now. Right here.
Where & how we do live.

At this present moment.

To focus on that present motionable moment and be it, as fully and truly as possible.

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Video 1

-Theme. Embrace Every Movement.-

With my first video, I decided to work on our ability to embrace each variation and nuance of a musical piece within our body. which kind of movement can our body create in relation to one particular music?

Here is my first video. Please be indulgent. This is a Premiere. I had never published a real video of myself in a dancing performance. And this is quite stressful. To realize my art is out there, released, expressed, visible and available to the world.

I wanted to play with colours and settings, so on the backstage, you can see three of my most recent paintings. I also played with visibility and used a glass jar just before the camera to create an effect of blurred vision. I posted as well the two training/attempts videos that I finally did not select as a final product. I post them nevertheless because it is improvised dancing and therefore, I might exactly never reproduce the same movement and performance in the future. Just as additional information, I am not pregnant. The jar magnified some parts of my body when in movements. I found it very interesting and beautiful, but for those would believe that I am pregnant: no, there will be no baby at the end of this year.

The particularity of Home – as a Dance video project is that all videos will be recorded and filmed inside my own apartment and some outside, so in my actual home. This create a very intimate setting, as well as is quite limited. So I felt the urge and need int the course of the project to record outside. Spring and summer coming, it became possible to open the project to outside settings.

So just as a reminder, all movements and the entire performance is improvised, although I have been training and improvising the whole previous hour before the recording. For this present video, I had to record the video three times to be satisfied about the final product. I am often said to be a demanding and perfectionist person. I often consider myself to be not enough demanding with myself and with others. Although, I try my best to discipline my life the best I can and organize it. Not to avoid chaos, but accept and embrace it. After all, Germans say “Nur idioten halten ordnung, ein genie beherrscht das kaos.”

 

Video 1

EMBRACE

– Embrace Every Moment –

 

 

Along the Creative Process

A few words about the Creation Process. As I started to film and record, several (and indeed more and more) ideas progressively came to my mind as the films were being recorded and this pushed me to record the next video the week that followed. As if a creative process had been started and somehow could not stop. I enjoyed feeling such an inspiration pattern settling in and building up into my mind & brain. I found it extreemly thrilling and exciting to feel all these waves of ideas, artistic emotions and inspirations coming in, being generated, as the process started to take off and graved to be productive. That these productions were being published on a web site/blogg, so available to a worldwide public & audience was a risk that I assumed. This was an experience I had never tried before. I also particularly loved working and experimenting with the forms and colors of the background setting, as well as with the lights and different materials as for example using a glass jar to blur the vision and how these materials affect the image on the camera and create effects which modify themselves our vision of/and the movements of the dance performance. This was exciting for me to experiment in my own appartement (which was a projection of my own-self in some way, of my intimacy, my own space and secure inner-self) and to go around my appartement or outside on a walk and find all kinds of different things that I could use to create all kinds of visual effects. This was very pleasant and adorable of an experience of simplicity and focus on small details of objects around us that inhabit our environement. This envigorated a lot my creativity and my desire to make some art available on the internet.

To play with a glass jar (or other visual materials) and having the image blurred makes it much more interesting to watch because it focuses the watching and our eyes when watching on the movements themselves and not on the person, her face, her body or whatever detail we might bring us to focus on. It actually creates a whole atmosphere of shadows and lights and avoid individuality and details. This makes it sometimes a good projection of how the world, in all its complexity and opacity, can look like to us: blurred and not perfectly contoured or clear. It reflects also the exhaustion that can make us see the world through such a blurred vision. And how we constantly have to focus on and on and make efforts to clear the world out. A real psychic effort to do it.

One of the main critical challenges I experienced when dancing and recording the performance was the very small space available in the appartement. This was something that influence the way I occupied the available space and danced because I did not always entirely feel free all the time when occupying the space I had to make the moves that I would have loved to. So it sometimes restricted me in the movements I made and this was a kind of additional difficulty I had to compose with all the along the process. This challenge is what pushed me to want to record outside, afterwards, when the weather gave its permission to.

Also because the appartemet is small, it was difficult to find the right angle in order to have my entire body all the time on the camera ad record all the scope of the movements from a broader perspective. Most of the previous experimental videos and films I made only showed my body and not my head or does not show the movements happening close to the camera on the floor. This is still sometimes the case in the final films, but a little bit less. And at the same time, this can be beautiful (because it is a chosen perspective and a determined angle), to know that there are movements that are happening but that we cannot see. It opens to the notion of “all that we cannot see”. It can be a metaphor of how we all experience everyday life: there are things and events we can see, that are palpable in material reality and others that we do not see but that are still happening, they are just happening out of our vision angle and so they are invisible to us, but still materially happening somewhere else. And it shifts our focus and opens our understanding of: there is not only just one reality in life, but there are also plenty of them, at the same time, and eventhough we might not see or have knowledge of these realities, they still exist. This made me reflect on the idea and importance of privacy. And this is why and how we develop imagination skills quite early in life and why it is important to develop these skills. Because this is what is truly happening: the juxtaposition of parallel realities at the same point of time, although not visible, still existing. So maybe the idea of movements not being visible all the time on the camera was a very relevant topic to experiment on and represent. Although it might frustrate the audience. Sometimes. It frustrated me personally when watching the video the recording.

Warm-up Preparatory Videos Attempts

 

 

Video 2

VISION our floor.

– Our Feet Back on the Ground-

For the next video, we decided to film our performance from above, meaning from the ceiling, in order to have as a setting/backstage only the ground, the floor. And because this is what the main theme is for next week, we decided to have this floor as naked and raw as possible in order to render it as best as possible.

 

 

 

Preparatory warm-up videos

 

 

 

Video 3

Theme. Fenetre, Lumiere et Contours.

-Try to See What we Cannot See

The camera filming the dance through the spectrum of a window and the shadow of the dancer’s body in the dark.

 

 

 

In-Between Time Video

The name of our In-Between video is

– Acceptance –

 

 

 

A very interesting time passed since we recorded the last dance video for Home. I left for Belgium for a period of 5 weeks and had to take a small break from dance videos. I could have recorded and performed videos there as well. But for some reason, I did not. Maybe because I did ot feel “HOME” after all. As a matter of fact, I did not attend dance classes neither during the all period and I therefore struggled to get back to a “dancing” mind when returned to Norway. Here are two pictures taken the day I recorded the next video. Unfortunately, I found the recorded video not meeting my expectations, I thus decided not to post it, nor keep it. The experience provoked a discouragemet in me. And it was maybe the first time I truly and honestly experienced such a discouragement, but was nevertheless not totally knocked down. The setting of the recorded video was very interesting, but the overall performance lacked “peps”, energy and enthousiasm. I danced very hard and was tired at the end of the performance, but still, the video was not good enough for me. This episode taught me two or three highly important things about work, life and performance. First, it is allright to be discouraged. Discouragement is part of life and mostly an inherent and constructive part of people’s lives who are perfectionists or demanding towards themselves. Discouragement can and will pass with time, more easily and faster once we have accept for it, as a part of the overall process of “work” and “improvement”. This time, discouragement did not make me sad, but propelled me and encouraged me to go on with work and keep on training and dancing. The discouragement I experienced this time was thus highly constructive. Dance requires hard work, daily practice, dedication and focus. Nothing falls from the sky, one has to work hard to reach a good level. I keep that in mind and I will keep on working hard in order “to get there”. It is allright to be demanding with oneself, if it is who we are and if it is constructive for us in order to move forward. Being demanding is probably and mostly a very good thing. Also, the last important thing I learned is that we should not stop dancing for so long a period anymore in the future. No matter if I post or do not post the video I recorded, I got to dance and keep on dancing, two to three times a week. This is to keep the flamme burning.

I developed accept for discouragement and understanding for oneself and strengthened my will-power, as well as my general understanding of hard work. The absence of video is constructive. At the end of the all process of the video making, I sat and took a picture of myself smiling and accepting the experience of discouragement. One can find happiness in satisfaction too. We have to be able to tackle success and satisfaction, as well as discouragement and dissatisfaction. As part of all processes of life and existence.

Look at the next pages of this section to watch the following videos.

 

 

 

 

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