Dance, water, time, and numbers. These are the four elements I wanted to investigate last summer when I began working on (what would become) Of Gods and Sea Creatures. As I explored what each element felt like to embody on its own, I also searched for connections between them. I manifested a huge (invisible) telephone in the space in front of me that just wouldn’t work, no matter how many different numbers I punched. I ran around the dance studio with a sheet on my back like a cape, channeling my inner two-year old. I spilled water everywhere and soaked it up with my clothes. I danced to my favorite song (which, unlike everything else listed here, actually made it into the final cut of the piece).
The fifth element (after dance, water, time, and numbers) came about serendipitously. At the time, I was living in (what was once) East Germany, and there I found an old rusty pipe that had lots and lots of strips of weather-worn fabric wrapped around it. Most of the fabric is unrecognizable as fabric at all; it looks and feels more like plastic, or rubber. Some of it, however, has retained its fabric-like integrity and its patterns and colors are discernible. It is beautiful and kind of repulsive at the same time. The owner of the land told me that the women who lived on the farm before her had probably wrapped the fabric around the pipes to keep them from getting too cold and bursting in the winter. I was so transfixed with the material - and with the story of the East German woman - that I made a mask out of the strips of fabric.
And somehow, Of Gods and Sea Creatures came to life.
This piece is a moving collage of images, the meaning of which is constantly shifting according to a logic that is sometimes mysterious, and at other times very clear. Using recognizable music, movement, and materials, the audience can go on this ride and experience through the dancer moments of joy and surrender, calm and tumult.
To watch an excerpt from the piece, visit https://vimeo.com/155318347