#GDLifeinLockdown Part 3
Life in Lockdown is a blog series initiated by Greenwich Dance which features community and professional artists close to the organisation sharing how they are staying creative during these isolating times.
I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. – Sylvia Plath.
How much tones and shades can we live from our life at this moment? Which areas can we dig into, which version of ourselves can we experience and get excited by?
I am Sara, a dance artist, based in London and originally from Bordeaux.
The morning is made of meditation, yoga and dance training in my south London living room. Vivaldi is being played out loud, I throw my limbs out. In the afternoon, I spend a joyful hour teaching French to my friend Sarah. Today we both dream to take our bikes to France and nothing else, abandoning all structures, possessions and rules behind.
Later on, I push the sofa, turn some objects, set the yoga studio up. We work this evening with the air element and its connection to the heart space. It is associated to emotions of love, grief and compassion. To me it is symbolized by the movement of an embrace which is in two times, an opening as an offer and a taking as a gift. Throughout the first session in French I observe how areas in my dad’s body have transformed. Over the last year, he has worked with movement for the first time which has enabled him to heal the chronic pain he had in the shoulders. A similar experience happened in the English yoga class, working with a person who has recently recovered from covid 19. We have worked together on breath and balancing after the trauma covid caused to his body. He is regaining strength and it is a pleasure to see how movement is part of his healing process.
‘Correspondanse’. I am working on a new choreographic collaboration with the Paris-based dance artist Marguerite Chaigne. The project aims to collect movement and writing materials as we are experiencing forms of lockdown, curfews and poor physical human connection. From one side of the English Channel to the other, we look at what is happening in our dances. Each week one sets a task which we both offer a response to. As the weeks go by, we start to set movement with the aim to build with time a common language. Here we are sharing with you the task we worked on today. We made a phrase combining the first four weeks of research.
Heading to Canary Wharf, outside playground and training place for today. Winter is no longer an obstacle, it’s a chance for some new perspectives and touching on feelings of freedom. I meet up with photographer and friend Dimitri Djuric to explore how the body interacts with its surrounding in a building site and on the side of the road. I climb, I cling on, I twist. I am interested in how I can find softness and imageries that work in opposition to what I can feel surround me. Brown walls, narrow pavement, green dirt, smells of urine, trash, buildings, constant stream of cars, thick air. Dimitri’s choices of locations are always agreeably surprising. It often is the side of a road, or an underground path. Today, he captures the ongoing flow of cars in the backdrop of the dance. It creates the effect of soft blurry twinkling lights, perhaps the poetry of the outskirt world.
Long morning reading in bed before breakfast with Shuggie Bain, transported to Glasgow under Thatcher. I feel angry on how our representatives have in the past made choices that have exposed individuals to living precariously without any protection. It’s ugly to see the world that is left to live when one might lose a job without indemnities or support from society. How vulnerable one can then become. It feels so relevant to today’s society with the gig economy that leaves a lot of people exposed and vulnerable to a fluctuating market. It’s all good when everything is good, but when things are not good, you sink with it. My thoughts goes to a society with a universal salary.. I really recommend this book by Douglas Stuart!
I am hungry.
One hour of Italian with Giacomo. He is a fantastic teacher! Learning another language feels always like learning how to think differently.
I work on the Thursday yoga class, around the water element. This element connects to my winter feelings, it soothes everything inside me. An inner touch, an inner massage, a way to move with power without hurting. French team and English team.
Long bike ride to open the day. Sun rising, half-asleep state, the coffee machine is broken. I have barely slept. The full moon? My heart palpitated all night.
I work on The Winter Reeds, second video following The Reeds realised with Greenwich Dance in the Autumn. I received the mentorship of choreographer and dancer Mathieu Geffré and the help of Roswitha Chesher for the edit. It was such a wonderful adventure that gave me some tools and will to keep making with the moving image.
The first work featured 20 independent female artists across the world.
The Reeds – First and full length film:
The second version, The Winter Reeds, are already showing common elements of white snow, cold but very expressive hands, bodies resting on trees, golden low light and bold colors. The contributors are so far Anna in Florence, Fanny in the Alpes, Chloe in London, Laura in Friuli, Marguerite and Oriane in the Paris region, Sofia in Milan, Yasmine is Virginia, Monica in Schio, Maeve in Northern Ireland, Katie in Berlin, Natifah in Nottingham and Pauline in Hampstead Heath.