Thinking Herself Back: The body is a living archive according to Angeline Young, the artist who created and performed the piece. It told an evocative and striking story of displacement, struggle and migration. There were many Chinese elements in the performance to create the context of Chinese Civil War, for example, the Taoist rituals and her traditional Chinese costumes. But most importantly, the story was spoken out of her mouth while she was dancing. As an audience, it was like living through the real history, a part of history that was inscribed in the performer’s body and unleashed through a combination of “oral history, kinesthetic transmission, and ritual practice”, rather than listening to a story. With the audience being largely involved, this form of performance reminded me of the Sleep No More show that I watched in New York City. It forged a deep connection between the performer and the audience as they suddenly became witnesses of her family’s past. In my opinion, the piece meant to express her indignation for the displacement of her family and her sympathy for the huge amount of refugees who were still suffering today.
Reaching for my father beyond the bamboo curtain: This piece struck me as an auditory tour de force. I really enjoyed the soft tinkling of the bamboo chimes and the rustling of bamboo leaves being rolled over by a piece of bamboo bark. The crystallised sounds created a virtual space where she began with the narrative of her father’s absence in her life. The digital soundtrack seemed to be out of place but effective in delivering the message. “The number you are dialling is not available.” As an audience, I was intrigued throughout the six minute excerpt. Through “movement, film imagery and sound”, I could feel the space and time that the performer was trying to depict, where “memory, longing, distance, and absence may or may not reside. “
Question for the artist: What is the role of the audience in these two films?
In the first dance video, I explored the robotic concept. I tried to express a feeling of constraint and suppression. (The small room feeling in my first dream)
In the second video, I used more flowish, big and continuous movements like waving to express the big room feeling.
3 thoughts on “Micro-Project: Dream Journal”
I enjoyed both translations of your dreams and the contrast between robotic and flowing movements! Also, great song choice. I like the how you chose Daft Punk in your second dance which is more upbeat to show a bigger space.
Statements of Meaning:
I love the drawing of the whirlwind. There is a lot of motion depicted there and I have a kinasethetic response to the circularity of strokes.
If you are interested in using drawings as a road map for choreographing for this piece, please email me and we can discuss.
Questions for the artist:
Yuhao, your write:
“I could feel the space and time that the performer was trying to depict”
In what way did you “feel” the space and time? How would you describe “feeling” from watching a video?
In response to your question for me : “What is the role of the audience in these two films?”
This is a great question. In my work I am interested in implicating the audience as performers in my piece. I do this because I am experimenting with alternatives to 18th century European performances spaces (such as the normative proscenium stage). Instead, I prefer a performance space where people can move around and shift their perspectives. I consider their movement as a part of the performance because the shifting performance landscape informs my creative choices during the piece. Often, my choice to bring the audience closer into my performance allows for a greater sense of intimacy as it disrupts Western cultural expectations for how an audience should behave during a “show.”
Statements of meaning and questions for the artist combined:
Your sketches of your dreams are intriguing because your handwritten script is as dynamic as your movement. I would encourage you to hold on to these drawings so that we can revisit them in the next choreography workshop to develop movement for the performance. How might you use these sketches as you choreograph? I have a suggestion about this. Would you like to hear it? If yes, scroll to bottom of this reply and find the *
I see the drawing of the ninja gloves. What concepts relate to this idea of the ninja? What is the relationship of the ninja to the 3rd space? Lots of design inspiration here for the dance and the costume, perhaps? Let’s save this for the thinking grid we will make together as we devise movement and approaches to the other elements of the performance (sound, costumes, location).
I liked in the dance videos that you used music. I really enjoyed watching the stop and the flow. In the first one, I also really liked the scooter passing behind you. You might think about how environment could affect/produce a dialogue between your body in performance and the choices that you will be able to make during the performance if you implicate the environment…we can talk more about this in the next workshop. Really well done and creative.
*Remake video, don’t change the choreo but move across the dance space using a word or a sentence from your dream sketch as a floor map. Then when you have done that, choose a descriptive word from your dream journal (or related to the ninja concept) and integrate that idea into the movement performance. For example, you could choose “It works sometimes” and spell it across the floor with your movements and see what happens. Then if you add the concept of “deadly silent like a ninja” how would that change/affect your choreography? We can talk about this more.
Also, thank you for sending me the “Sleep no More” link.
My question for you is:
How does the video link you sent me capture the actual performance experience you had personally?