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Dance experiment 1: improvisation by using sand

Yingying Lean

3 min read

Apr 22

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Date: 13/02/2024

Dance experiment 1: improvisation by using sand

 

VIDEO LINK: https://youtu.be/yQijjw5sZjo?feature=shared




Today's improvisational dance practice took me to New Brighton beach, where I used sand for body painting and employed different filters for photography and video. After the practice, I received some feedback and reflections. I also took time to reflecting personally.

Ø Firstly, why did I use different filters?

Because in the dance project, I need to explore how different colors stimulate the body. When comparing photos taken with gray and color filters, the emotional states of the dancer is drastically different. Under the gray filter, the dancer seems to chant a lonely lament, exploring the beach alone. In contrast, under the bright color filter , the dancer presents a more vibrant and lively state, conveying positive feedback.

 


Ø Additionally, this practice of using sand for body painting was an exploration of material texture.

The coarse texture of the sand, as well as its muddy sensation when covered by seawater, elicited different stimuli for improvisation. (go into the differences from studio to sand)

Below is my personal diary entry after the improvisation:

February 11, 2024

"WHAT IF I FALL?"

- But Darling, WHAT IF YOU FLY...

First outdoor improvisation of the new year.

The seawater-soaked sand sank my body like mud, while shells washed ashore gathered in clusters. I took off my socks, sat on the sand, and lay down... Feeling it in various ways, all the information formed a fairytale scene in my world. In an upside-down view of the world, the sky flowed amidst the imbalance of gravity. Lying on the beach, I finally caught glimpses of time amidst the movement of white clouds. Spinning, running, rubbing... as everything returned to reality, the beach presented "my body painting".

If you were to see me from afar, you would find me on the shimmering sea surface and where the coastline condensed into lines...

I still can't forget Eren's "What's beyond the sea" from "Attack on Titan". Yes, what's beyond the sea? I pondered, closed my eyes, slowly fell asleep, waiting for the next moment when the sunlight would pierce through the clouds again...

Location: New Brighton


Ø Finally, here are my thoughts and reflections on studying Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker:

In the process of understanding Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, I was particularly interested in her interview where she mentioned, "When I write out dance materials in extreme detail, it feels like the freedom of sheet music in 'Piano Phase'. The tighter the structure, the freer the experience. It's like enlarging a millimeter of maneuvering space while dancing, and another huge space emerges" (Shantel Ehrenberg,2015 ). I extracted key terms such as "freedom of dance materials" and "restrictive improvisational motives".

Did sand, as a dance material, give my body a different texture? It seems not... When improvising on the sand, my experience was more intuitive, rather than sensory perception of the external world? This is closely related to phenomenology's notion of pre-reflective consciousness, where our perception and experience of our own bodies are often overlooked or taken for granted. In other words, the bodily texture I present at the moment is not due to the sensation of sand but based on my pre-consciousness, bodily inertia, and practices. However, I found this process to be episodic. As my improvisation time increased, I grew tired of my habitual bodily reactions, so I decided to reduce stimulation and desensitize it. Thus, I lay quietly on the sand, looked upside down at the sky, and aimlessly ran on the beach. Simple movements made me more sensitive to the surrounding environment. At this moment, I cared less about the texture of my body and focused more on where I was, what color the sky was, and how I painted the sand...

 

 

 

 

 




 

 


Yingying Lean

3 min read

Apr 22

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