I've been taking a deep dive into the world of microgravity, or rather the atmosphere of it. It's the step that follows Moon Spot from last December. This time I was thinking where else can we go? How else can we share the weightless feeling? This time I had collaborators (YES!!) and that added a new dimension to what can be explored and the reflections that show up.
What is gravity? Gravity is a combination of mass and energy. The biggest mass around will have the strongest pull. That's why we are always pulled to the earth. Playing on these forces in dance always leads to understanding the value of weight. I have begun to think of weight as a currency. The more you have it, the more you are able to move. In the counterweight system (I still don't know what to call it, but we started referring to it as 'the system') if you are too light, you will just stay hanging with no real agency, but with the right weight, you can decide; heavy or light is a question of your patience, your intention and the full engagement from your center towards the direction you want to go. When unfamiliar, it's a confining system that limits you, but if you know it, it's an instrument you can play. The beauty of getting to know 'the system' from the inside is that it becomes 'another' reality to exist in. A reality I miss and long for. Although it also reveals how much we are used to the pressures the air is applying to us at every moment. How we are constantly compressed towards the earth, with an air pressure that keeps us put together. This pressure is something we are used to, and in it, we feel free. But every system of control can become a superpower when you start working the boundaries and discover how to fully lean into the edges and ride the waves it can offer. In 'the system' we get an opportunity to glimpse a reality where the set of limitations change and with the others in the research we started speaking about, how it can also be an empathy tool for understanding others that move through the world within a different set of limitation, whether it be size, shape, weight, function or dysfunction. Every existence is presented with a set of 'rules', a physical and spatial setup that allows and prohibits pathways for moving through the day. Experiencing one disposition that is different from your natural one, suddenly opens the door to thinking of all the other ways that others can, might, and do exist in. Our personal disposition in the world is not the same as others might have.
I think about this research in a rhizomatic way, it is tangled and weaved, it is threaded and keeps leading to more and more connections. What makes sense right now is only intuitive. The tree resonates with the bird that resonates with flying that leads to aloneness and loneliness that leads to contact that leads to isolation and a wish to connect.
The structure of laying and layers seems right to the exploration of action that revolves around its axis. If up and down are under question, how can there be a clear beginning and end? Everything in the universe is drawn to being round. The sphere is the most papular shape as all the forces equally press in all directions. In MT-Labs we found the arches and spheres more and more present as we tried to push the boundaries of the system, and illustrate it in the Tilt-Brush a VR program we used, waring the VR headset while in the system and describing the movement trajectories.
The research is now open. I have learned that placing virtuosity with fragility together, has an impact on the attention in the room. A flying astronaut is out there in a distance, high above. But when we take the image of the flying astronaut (a dancer in the system) and project it on a regular piece of paper, the astronaut is tiny and suddenly needs our care and attention. We played with scale and we responded with emotion to scale. If the paper is moved, the tiny astronaut is gone.
Some key words became a usual visitor, with no order of importance, just weaving into each other and meshing:
Layers, multiplicity, nature, a tree, papers, microgravity, expanded choreography, awe, wonder, Action-Performance, Sphere, bowl.
Coming home, I found myself going online and ordering a pocket projector to continue to play with a smaller scale microgravity dance. I struggle to stay in place and reflect back. I feel the pull to dive deeper and deeper into this post-gravitational slope.
Residency took place at Åbne Scene in Godsbanen Aarhus.
12 days, divided into three periods of 4 days each between October and December 2020.
Collaborators/ contributors: Artist and film director Michelle Kranot, dance artists Tanya Montan Rydell, Lucia Jaen Serrano, and Mette Overgaard.
Help from Virtual Reality company - Khora.
additional help: Miriam Shwartz.