I do think that we are still interested in the same subject matter
although we mostly hang out with different crowds these days. You are looking
for fellowship. I am looking for dialogue. I no longer step in front of people
to pour my soul and spirit into movement, although it might still be
interesting, instead I create a space for some kind of investigation or
negotiation to unfold. Sometimes I just create a space. Looking back over my
career however, I must say that I have never done anything so radical as what I
did back then, dancing in the church on Sundays with a group of young women.
mission was to reclaim the body (the female body in particular) as an equal
member of the human trinity and to reclaim movement as a holistic form of worship.
Far north, in our small communities, that kind of practice was pretty fresh.
Unfortunately, we had nobody to support us who might have informed us about
gender politics, the underlying power structures of the
church and subsequent patriarchal ideologies that have historically repressed
the female form. And there was no chance of anyone
introducing the possibility of a queer body, nobody visible at least. Times
have changed though, minds and hearts have opened up, and we now have
Marja-Sisko Aalto, a transgender vicar, working in the Finnish national church.
am interested in something as basic as what it is to be a human, how to
represent a human being on stage, and how free and present that being could be.
By being free, I mean being aware of the various power structures that restrict
our freedom and place us in rigid identity boxes, conditional piles and social
hierarchies. I examine and reveal them as much as I'm able to detect them, and
then play at deconstructing and detaching myself from them. By being present, I
mean to be present and current in the time that we are living in and being
present in the situation I'm performing, acknowledging my relationship to the
space I'm in and the relationship I have with the audience I'm with.
like Krzysztof Kieślowski said: “Absolute freedom only leads to great works if you're
a genius. If
you're not, it very often leads to pretentiousness, inferiority and something
even worse, which is spending money and making films (art) exclusively for
yourself and your nearest friends.”
am I preaching this at you now? Or am I confessing?
Let's talk about dialogue instead. What I love is to go to the studio
with people I'm curious about and do a lot of talking, experimenting,
documenting and reflecting together. That's why I form collectives. I need
people who share my interests but question how I think and what I do, people
who invite me to look at things from different viewpoints. The creative process
is a meeting place, a space to create meaning through meeting. And a public
performance is a meeting place as well, although buying a ticket is not
necessarily an act of willingness to meet and performing is not necessarily an
intention to share meaning. I don't hear complaints anymore about my shirt
being too tight, like I did sometimes in the church. Instead, I get suggestions
to take it off.
I have a question. Or maybe an observation. Within the church community,
I experienced women being judged according to their purity and devotion. (Or
how pure and devoted they appeared to be.) In the post-modern dance and
performance scene, I think women are judged according to their ability to
seduce, erotically or intellectually, but preferably both. (Or how erotic and
intelligent they appear to be.) One might be slightly more spacious than the
other, but I still find the ground to operate rather small. When and where can
we let go of all that religious, intellectual and sexist fundamentalism, to all
be human and relaxed, unjudged and free to follow our curiosities? Free to
participate rather than abstract or defend.
I guess I'm searching for another failing utopia.
p.s. Welcome to visit http://www.satuherrala.com
if you are curious about my current and past affairs.