Monday, July 24, 2017

Choreographic Residency: Week 2

As my time here at the Marion Davies Beach House continues, I remain at the beach somewhat perplexed at the enormity of the space; I'm stuck trying to sort out the framing for the work. The area in which I can create is (somewhat) limited to the beach house property all the way to the middle of the ocean.  I can't help but liken myself to Moana as I stare at the edge of the water... wondering "how far I'll go." Oh Moana, finally a Disney princess that looks like me, with unruly textured hair and leather colored skin and island ancestry.  Her plight reminds me of my family's migration story.  My dad immigrated to the US from the Philippines in 1933.  A long 30 day venture across the Pacific proved to be taxing, with some people on the ship not surviving.  My father had to throw them off the ship.  

As my mind wanders whilst I meander around the beach, I keep asking myself, where does trauma exist on the beach.  A place where people relax, rejuvenate, and unwind, how can I portray something involving physical, emotional, and mental trauma?  When I thought of my dad seeking the American Dream and the risks he took for a better life for his family, it reminded me of the plight of refugees today.  Immediately, I thought of the image that went viral of a drowned Syrian boy, a child, washed up on the shores of Greece a couple years back. This arresting image is too real, too hard to even think about.  I'm fighting tears as I write this post thinking about the trauma of what it might be like to flee your home on a over-capacity raft in hopes to land somewhere safe.  

Below is an image of a photo series that my friend's Gema Galiana and Anthony Nikolchev created.  I think the images speak on their own...

Going back the idea of Framing.  The enormity of the beach is overwhelming.  I'm a huge fan of the spectacle.  I fell in love with this performance:  


Since I joined the circus a few years back, I fell in love with spectacle.  Considering my postmodern influence, these two worlds (the spectacle of the circus and the theory-based, academic postmodernism dance) seemed to be conflicting.  My aim is to merge these two aspects of me.  The efficacy of spectacle and thoughtful theory-based work is powerful. I hope the marriage of these two manifests in this project.

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