Advocating for an All Inclusive Dance Action for everyone

Monday, February 2, 2009

Working with Gunild Park Symes (Nordendanse Teater)

I have been back with Rasmus and Marjaan in Copenhagen for the Winter holidays since mid Dec last year, and was only planning to stay till January 2 if Maya was with us, but since she wasn't given the permission to come with us, we decided to extend our stay as we did not need to rush back. And so Rasmus, Marjaan and I spend wonderful quality time together. While enjoying the woods and the beach at our summer house (in the winter?? ya, since it is warmer with the fire oven than the heaters at home at the Linnesgade apartment). I took the opportunity when I had the chance, to develop some proposals for Ombak-Ombak, arrange some projects with children to work on in Penang, while enjoying my time out with my Malaysian friends, Amir and family, and Aisah. It was great that coincidentally Gunild Park Symes of Norden Danse Teater whom I used to work together in 2004, invited me to help out in her current project - which was to create a Ballet film with two very talented Royal Danish Ballet dancers, Alex and Chris. Before the scheduled date, she was invited by the Kobenhavn Teknisk Skole to present a workshop lecture on Dance and Film, in exchange and collaboration to use their studios, tech equipment - cameras, lights etc and the help of the students to produce the film. I presented a 10 min excerpt of Jadi-an, as a solo work for the students, where they were asked to observe and later discuss how they would film, create scenography and lights for the solo. It was a great workshop and I enjoyed working with the media students through exploring basic dance positions, shapes and use of Laban movement qualities that Gunild introduced and later instructed them to create their own short choreography. It was also wonderful to see Gunild at work and listen to her lecture on camera and film for dance. I did not manage to take pics during the workshop but below are some shots of the Royal Danish Ballet dancers working during their one day rehearsal. They will meet again Feb 15 to do the shooting of the film at the Kobenhavn Teknisk Skole, and unfortunately i will not be able to be part of that process, as Marjaan and I are leaving for home Feb 12 to be with Maya. I found that no matter what we decide to do in life and work, we have to find a comfortable balance where both passion and responsibilities as artist and mother are fulfilled. And this was what I appreciated and learned most from this trip back, and home again.

I was very honored and privileged to have been able to observe and work just a little with the two wonderful dancers from the Royal Danish Ballet. They make every movement look so simple. The marvelous thing about watching them, is their profound commitment and dedication to give in to the essence of dance - making each execution of a movement a new discovery, gives you the sense that nothing in the world is impossible. And so I leave Copenhagen again with lots of faith that, no matter how we keep crashing into dead ends in all the struggles and difficulties we experience in life, we must make it a learning discovery each time, and to believe that it is never ever impossible, to find a solution or resolution out of all challenges.