The research project DEMO took place for six months and was completed very well. DEMO consisted from three different phases: re-collection, further education and integration.
Re-collection was about editing and reflecting on the first years of my freelancing career. I re-visited and performed my solo ”Could you stay for tea?”, later also a duet ”body of land” in June. It was important to re-visit and perform these works to spend time in the studio sharing my then-current practice with colleagues and took time to go through what I have done. In the first years of my freelancing I have been involved in 19 pieces which in the time frame of 2.5 years is demanding. This realization was necessary as in this research I also wanted to be critical about the usual working conditions as a freelance artist. It took me into questioning the creative lifestyle that in our society we are trying and putting into the frame of 9-5 rhythm and payment which is difficult to entertain in the creative work which at least used to be the opposite of confinement. The pace of our society is fast and busy orientated in which I have fully contributed in by working in 19 productions of different sizes. The exhaustion and lack on inspiration and interest was not anymore shocking or surprising after reflecting on this. Through this process of re-collection I understood that for this research I truly need to spend time with anything I engage in, I wanted to refuse from the fast pace and not being present as the next thing was already coming. It changed a little bit what was needed for the phase of further education.
I felt the need to be more stable for the research and the time in Finland got reduced to 2 week course of ”philosophy of body awareness” in the University of Arts Helsinki as alongside I was doing an 20-week online course ”Feldenkrais for Dancers” with Paul Pui Wo Lee. These two courses felt enriching and most fitting to the course of the research. The philosophy course in Helsinki opened up a whole new chapter in embodiment and awareness of body and movement from the philosophical practice study of phenomenology. This course made me understand what is truly interesting for me in the work of a dancer, performer and body.mind related work: consciousness and intention of body in relation to the environment. This felt aligning with my previous DIS-TANZ solo research about space and environment and also other artistic researches about performativity and observation. Feldenkrais methodology on the other hand was acting as a facilitator to get to know my moving body through another perspective than dance practices. Both courses shared the motivation of awareness in embodiment which was an unaware choice which made in the end most sense for next the research phase of integration. I felt in the search of a practice which has become a little bit of a trend in the recent years to be able to identify and define something certain to name it ”yours”. An important part of this research came through the remembering and then cultivating that nothing is mine and everyone and everything that has happened before me is what I am standing and basing my work in. This made it clear for me that I will not come to a finish product of a practice or method and it does not feel necessary. But what did start to arise from the cultivation of caring for time, space and interest was a frame work of movement, attention to detail through consciousness practices such as Feldenkrais or movement meditation, using written and spoken text and stream of consciousness as a creative tool.
In the beginning of May I went back to my dance education SOZO visions in motion and shared my insights on Feldenkrais as part of morning classes for dancers, this was the first of the three sharing sessions. On June 15th and 23rd I held two different meetings with different participants sharing my work in my ”home” studio where I worked the last six months in the Kulturhaus Dock4 Kassel. The sharing was a performative studio practice called ”DEMO studio practice - open doors”.
In addition to the study and studio sharing sessions a big part of this research was writing. I have been writing in a notebook, on my laptop, on random papers, on my phone notes, on instagram posts in chats. Writing became essential way of reflection and definition. I wrote through out the six months consecutively and I chose six texts which I published as a part of taking responsibility in being visible with the work. I mentioned that I wanted to be critical about the structure and setting we dance freelancers need to work and survive in emotionally, economically and physically. It is not easy job, it requires a lot of strength and capacity to keep it up.
Sometimes I felt ashamed of having finally for half a year a sustainable income and resources to spend time with things that felt important only to me. But through writing I could unblock and challenge myself to be visible and responsible for the resources and privileges it enables to me. Already being aware of my cultural background and privilege makes me consider what I want to put for everyone to see but I realized through the art of writing that it will unblock the body too. It made my movements more present and more available, not only for myself but for me to craft in space and become more solid and clear why I chose artistry to make a difference in this world.
I call it still in the search of a practice, instead of ”my practice” because what I have realized is the necessity to remind with my work as an artist in this current world, that process and change through the perspective of honesty are what will hold us a future. This became my one artist’s demonstration and this in search of a studio practice is what I will keep working with and sharing in the future and letting it to be a process which will keep changing and being in interaction through the process of sharing.
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The text collection can be found in here.
Video material here. (coming soon)
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Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the framework of the initiative NEUSTART KULTUR, aid programm DIS-TANZEN by the Dachverband Tanz Deutschland.