Creative Work

It’s all about #identity

by Gaby Albornoz

So, who am I? I dared to ask myself. The answer, simple as it is, was not easy to find.

 

If you had known me as a child, you could have said I was VERY chatty. My mum tells me that from a very young age, I would talk to strangers on the bus and ask them a million questions. Most of my school reports would go on to confirm this over the years. 
I also seemed to love music, singing and dancing to it a lot. Most of my happiest memories involve me freely dancing in my living room or bedroom, as I became more self-conscious about it. 

 

These two things: my ability to chat and my need to express myself through music and dance have defined me all my life much more than anything else. Yet, no matter what I accomplished or failed at, there were other labels, imposed by society, that I had to carry around just for being a woman: mother, maiden or whore.

It’s all about #language

by Gaby Albornoz

Before I begin, I will warn you that this article is probably more a collection of questions than barer of any answers. This entire project has been so much about thinking, about being outside of our comfort zone, about questioning ourselves, experimenting, working from a place not so familiar, a place where the question is our only certainty.


Let's begin with a short recount of the facts so far, in case you are just joining us.

Last October 2nd, Theiyā Arts and Agnyã Movement teamed up with The Center for Biomedicine, Self and Society at the Universite of Edinburgh for the premiere of the webcast 'The Story I see'. During this webcast, we shared 3 movement films that had been inspired by a series of academic and literary texts specially curated for this project. 

I would be doing no justice to any of the films if I dare describe them to you, so if you are curious enough, and I truly hope you are, click here to see them. If your curiosity is not satisfied, you can also take a look at the texts that have inspired the films. 


After the sharing and a short Q&A session, we asked our audience to get involved in the project by submitting their feedback anonymously. We prepared a simple form with a series of questions aiming to get our audience thoughts on what they have just seen. The responses that we received exceeded our expectations. People had reacted to the pieces in such a diverse way that certainly enriched our project and inspired the development of our next and last webcast of the series.


If you have read my previous article 'It's all about #identity' you know that our films were an exploration of who we are as individuals, who we are as women and the effect that the social and cultural background we come from has had on us. We knew and hoped, that our audience would have different views of each of our films and they help us add the missing pieces to this project but when we were working towards the first webcast, we all had one thought: "Let's make it accessible". You see, we thought that the texts, as they have been so challenging for ourselves, could be challenging for everyone else. After all, we all know that academic texts can be challenging, to say the least. 


The funny thing, and the point of the story that I am (painfully and very slowly) trying to make, is that none of us realised that our dance/movement pieces could be as challenging and difficult to understand. Without context or a "glossary" of sorts, our films seem to also be out of reach, inaccessible. A point that was made to us during the Q&A session. 


'Dance is the hidden language of the soul' is possibly one of the most used quotes about dance. What a beautiful concept, right? This idea that we can use the language of dance to share the treasures that our soul holds, freeing our deepest self in the ritual of dance letting it all out there, on the sprung floor. But what good is it, other than for the cathartic exercise, if our audience can't understand our language and connect with our movements? 


I warned you that this article was more about the questions than the answers, and the truth is that this project has forced and helped us look at ourselves with new eyes and a million interrogation marks. And just when we thought we had come to something worth sharing, we realise that as dancers, there is a huge lesson to be learned, a new question that shall remain with us, possible, for any work we develop in the future. The question is not only 'what do we want to say'. The question also should be: how do we say it? How do we make ourselves and our language available to those we share it with so that we can connect with us...so that we can connect with them! 

Whether it is even to make you feel uncomfortable, as long as we make you feel something, then we are getting closer to the answer.


With all of this in mind, we are preparing to share with you a evolved version of our three films next Saturday 13th of November at the 'Being Human Festival'. 


Join us and help us find the answers.