“I want you to be happier, I want you to be happier…”
Inspired by the song ‘Happier’, a song my instructor chose to choreograph to, I started wondering what happiness really means to me. Personally, dance gives me a lot of happiness and hence I portrayed happiness through the mixing of sounds that we commonly hear in daily life into a danceable rhythm. The footsteps before the rhythm reflects the nervous footsteps before going on stage to perform (the apprehensive footsteps when we search for happiness), and the ending breaths signify the satisfaction and happiness of being able to complete a choreography on stage (the satisfaction of finding the small things that makes us happy). The roads in the photo turned and hence we are unable see where the road ends and where it leads to. This suggests that happiness is a journey and not a destination.
Another meaning I gave to the piece is our pursue for happiness in life. The footsteps at the front hints the limited time one has in life, the breath at the back hinting at a person’s last breath. The rhythmic part consists of sounds that signify the hospital’s heart rate machine (the beeping), the hospital’s operation equipment (the clinks) and sickness (the cough). The road in the photo is seemingly endless, leading to a destination we can’t see. This signifies the limited time we all have and while still on life’s journey, I want people to ponder whether they’re really happy in life or not.
Putting both layers of meaning together, I want to portray the common misconception of people trying to find happiness as a destination instead of a journey, and how people still have yet to find happiness till the end due to the misconception, as they don’t realise that the process of finding something that fills you and makes you happy can give you so much more.
I used asynchronous and diegetic sounds throughout this piece to further highlight that happiness already exists, but we cannot see it because we are so fixated at believing that happiness is a destination we can arrive at.
Signifier – Roads
Signified – Journey of life to happiness
Signifier – Footsteps
Signified – Time
Signifier – Breathing
Signified – People chasing happiness till their out of breath/ out of time
Ultimately, I want to bring out the fact that the road to happiness is actually as common as roads are, but yet we are so focused to find happiness we fail to realise that happiness is a journey and not a destination till the end, running out of time first before even we can find that happiness.