Because I am 1,000 Grains of Sand -
December 8, 2015
Because I am 1,000 Grains of Sand is a long duration movement piece that took place in the desert of Southern Utah. It is because of our bodily being that we experience ourselves as existing within time. In this project I wanted to explore the tension between the embodied present and the imagined p
ast through movement. I chose the desert because of the physical extremity it represents, and because of the sense of stillness it maintains within this extremity. The landscape felt like a mirror for my relationship with my own physicality.
For this project I danced for three and half hours. I did Authentic Movement, which is a somatic improvised dance form that is based on principals of Jungian Active Imagination. Authentic Movement is about the place where the body and the imagined meet—it is rooted in the idea that through movement it is possible to give the imagined an embodied reality.
It was 28 degrees when I began moving, I had no shoes and only thin clothing, the landscape brought my own physical vulnerability to the center of the work. My interest in understanding the lines between remembering and the present embodied reality have to do with my own sense of physical vulnerability and with the capacity of movement to heal both personal and cultural trauma. My lineage is connected to the Southern Utah desert and I wanted to feel the extreme condit
ions of this lineage brought into my body, and into the present, through movement. I see the experience as both a cultural act and as a personal dialogue between myself, the landscape and my own history.
This was an important piece because it helped me to understand the role of context in the process of dance making. My inclination is to abandon context and search for something essential within the movement itself, through this work I realized that even the essential self is contextualized and that context is a crucial component of dance making. Giving myself context through environment was helpful to me because the primary questions motivating my work have to do with seeking an embodied language that transcends the representative. Through choosing a landscape that acted as a mirror I was able to be present in the purpose of the movement and keep myself in time, or present. Time was also an important element of this work. It was a long duration piece in physically extreme conditions. I choose the extreme con
ditions so that I would be forced to be in constant dialogue with my body, it can be easy to move without staying conscious and present, the extremity of the cold made me constantly aware of the feedback my body was giving, something that can be neglected when attention is being given to the imagined, as it is in Authentic Movement. I’m working with time because it is only through the body that we can experience time, I think that throug
h stretching time a new time-consciousness is able to emerge and this consciousness can create a more deeply relative performative space.