Prior to the laboratory, Bassam and I are going to spend a week together in the studio in order to try out tasks and share our dance methodologies and will look at our own body archive. During this week we are also going to explore how we experience the dance culture in every day situations in Lebanon and deconstruct its patterns in order to reconstruct them and let new metaphors evolve. The aim during this week is to develop clear methodologies and a vision for the dance lab in order to be able to guide the participants with a clear leadership.
As mentioned above this project looks at the body as a living archive and a potential to remember, access and express desires, memories, knowledge, traumas, encounters and experiences. How can this be physically acknowledged, processed and expressed through a creative Lab? This is one of the core questions the project sheds light on. Accessing a specific memory and transform it into a gestural dance can be an example. Movement material will be generated through guided improvisations to explore physical states and gestures that are in one way or another references or echoes of the body archive. It can be visible in form and rhythm or not.
Daily personal journaling are also going to be part of the process. We are going to work with a filmmaker in order to convey moments of the working process as well as the performances and record eventually also the voices or images of interviews or parts of discussions amongst the participants or even with the audience. It's important to have testimonies of this project in order to be able to continue our long-term vision.
With this project we, Simea and Bassam, are going to explore collaborative practices in leadership, as we both believe it can be interesting and contribute to our and the participants personal and artistic development. This means prior to the Lab we for instance confront the following questions: How are we going to deal with diverse perceptions and perspectives and how do we agree to disagree with decision-making during the process? When we enter a creative process we often enter it with our solid belief system that is constituted through our past: our values, culture and experiences. In my experience this often creates enormous tensions and questions, which are relevant and which we want to confront. We believe collaboration is the key to successful outcomes and since we look at the body as an archive we see it as crucial to focus on a trustworthy environment with a flat hierarchy and a healthy working ethic.
- The project will be split in two working periods, one in Beirut at studio Amalgam and one outside the capital at Hammana Artist House in April/May 2023.
- Every morning there will be a 1-2 hours warm up class which will be led by Bassam or myself and which is during the working period in Beirut open to everyone with dance/movement experience and curiosity.
- The second half in Hammana Artist House will be an intense and intimate working period during which we are going to shift the focus also towards the performance.
Photo credit: Ibrahim Dirani