Advocating for an All Inclusive Dance Action for everyone

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Preparing the Dance Day Wall

Hitori (a Japanese Sculpturer friend/with his wife Machiko who is an Ikebana artist living in Penang) proposed almost enthusiastically a project of creating a performative dance-body sculpture on a Clay wall. The moment I arrived at Kat's and Kenny's Chinese New Year open house party held at the Tropical Spice Garden mid-February this year, Hitori was overwhelmed with this brilliant intuition . I immediately jumped on the idea, as I was desperately wanting to gear myself and conjure up the 'UrbanShaman' within me to 'Move' again. It has been almost a year since I last uncaged and open my senses, and free my intuition and instincts to smell and taste the passion of creativity. I excitedly swallowed the idea,... waiting for the right timing to execute the process. I was enjoying the thought of having the luxury of time and space, and no worries of rushing to meet a dateline to create this work. Just to enjoy pondering and letting my imagination run free on ideas of working with clay-earth-soil again was almost too good to be true. Coincidentally, I was invited to be interviewed by 8TV in a program entitled Dare to Dream- a discussion between Mentor and the Mentee,... and as spontaneous as Hitori's proposal, I agreed to do the shooting of the program on a strategic day such as the International Dance Day on Sunday 29 April which is an official day announced by the International Council of Dance - UNESCO in Paris. It is too much to dream for. This is the kind of work and process that I am interested and would like to dedicate my talent and expertise in. An experimental artistic outdoor/field work process which is initiated and arranged in order to fulfill or support a possible social or humanistic awareness event. Of course it would have been better if the process could receive some funds to be donated to such cause. But that is the next development in the objectives of the UrbanShaman, to create works for such purpose. The clay used was sponsored by the Gardenku - Asian Pottery. Hitori, Machiko, Okamoto-san, his wife and Lee the Manager of the Gardenku began laying out the clay, as early as 8.30 am that morning. TV 8 crew, James (the Mentee) and I (the Mentor), joined to help at 10, as it began to rain heavily between 9.15 - 10. We completed the wall at about 12.30 in the afternoon, and we waited an hour for it to dry and harden a little more. The performance began at about 1.20. It was hard work, but fun at the same time, as we were all involved in slapping the clay hard on the ground to make it flat. The squat position we were in the whole half of the morning, gave some of us tensed muscle along the inner thigh the very next day. Part of the training process of EOC - is to get down and do hard labour work - a work that is done daily as a living activity that expresses the workmanship, creation and vision of the creator. This time the work is as simple as laying clay on the floor to relearn our inner body patterning, connectivity and relationship with the clay and the surroundings , and at the same time, calling and awakening our core and breath to be in oneness with our senses. Smell, touch, hear,sight, working to the rythmn of the effort we were producing to mold the clay. A bodily process of negotiation and intervening with conscious time and metaphoric time, with real time and time of nature,... existing in the moment. It was extreme joy.

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