Dance, Film, Edit, Explore, Repeat

This month has been filled with artistic and personal explorations.  I have been capturing photos and video footage all over Laugarvatn and beyond for my series of dance films.  If you follow my dance page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/LBDanceTheatre) you may have already seen some of these images, but I wanted to give you a glimpse of some of the work.  In addition to playing with reflective surfaces, I have been venturing into the landscape and responding to the amazing natural features.

video still hillside

video still barnMost of the films I am working on need a lot more time in the editing phase, so I am not quite ready to show you those clips, but I’ll post some snippets soon.video still window blackout  Because I can edit from anywhere, I’m trying to make a point to just capture a lot of footage and explore / experiment for now.

Currently, I am getting ready for Saturday’s exhibition opening and reception.  Several of the current residents at Gullkistan, residency for creative people (including myself) are taking part in the new show in the gallery: naer umhverfi (which means close surroundings — an apt title as many of us have used this month creating works very much inspired by the local environments). 

If you find yourself in the South of Iceland tomorrow (Saturday, July 26) please join us!  You will see some of my film work as well as new choreography.  Event information here the artist talks and live performances being at 2pm GMT.

Also, all that being said, one also has to take a break sometimes from “serious” work and have (even more) fun.  To that end, I decided to play with some of the screen tests I shot early on in my residency and tweak them a little.  A little more color and speed for your enjoyment…    Have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

Reflections on reflections

For months I have been meditating on (agonizing over?) ideas around reflections.  Physical reflections caught in pools of water, on windows, in mirrors, on slick surfaces.  Layers and layers of images and realities confounded onto a plane that exists so close yet is completely out of reach.

Talking with a new friend last week, she helped me to see that my interest, my obsession, with reflections is probably very closely tied to my interest in memory. Vague, fading images. Distilled information.  Bits and pieces piled on top of one another that we desperately try to sort and order and strengthen so we can call them and their truths forth.  But sometimes with memories, just as with reflections, you have to relax to see the whole picture and just accept that not everything can be in focus at once.  When you try too hard to see one element the other aspects dissipate.  The window becomes the window again, erasing the reflection of the world behind you.  Focus on the details behind you and the forms before you blur into color fields.

Maybe you just have to trust.  Your knowing, your memory may not seem complete, but traces linger and at times they call themselves forth and overlap on your present experience.

Anyway, enough with thoughts for now… Here is what I’ve been doing with my investigations of reflections.  These images come from some early screen tests I did for the dance film I’m creating while in residence.

 

Week One @ Gullkistan

Gullkistan, residency for creative people
Gullkistan, residency for creative people

Iceland has been incredible so far.  It has been hard for me to sit down and write something because there are too many aspects and adventures to recount, and I’m not sure where to begin, but I’ll summarize and add more soon…

First impressions:
Green & Gray
Yellow & Brown
White & Red

Shortly after arriving at KEF, I realized these colors dominated my visual field — and they would for several days as a grey sky kept the blue out of my world.  But it was still stunning. The greens are so vivid, electric moss green, lush tall grass, trees (not quite as tall as CA trees, but some tall ones nonetheless).

As one of the other residents commented, it feels like the sky is closer here.  And at our little farmhouse, you can see for miles in almost any direction so you truly feel it’s just you, the earth, and the sky. Well, and some water.  We are in Laugarvatn — and the lake of the same name is just a short walk from where I’m staying.  Another larger lake is just beyond and I ventured there, past agricultural areas and little clusters of homes, the other day.

Between the beautiful expanse, the long hours of daylight, and the general sense of calm, peace, and safety, I feel I could walk forever.  Just set out and never return.  Just keep walking.

The residency has now reached its full number for July.  We are five in this farmhouse on Eyvindartunga and there are four in Kistan (the new cabin adjacent to the new gallery space that Gullkistan runs near the heart of the village).

 

I have been busy working on projects. Dance. Film. Thesis. And photography.  Hard not to go out and take pictures of everything.  I have uploaded a handful to Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/laurenbaines/

More soon.

 

Iceland, here I come!

Image from Gullkistan website at http://www.gullkistan.is/about-us/
Image from Gullkistan website at http://www.gullkistan.is/about-us/

 

When I first saw this image, I was in awe.  I had been thinking about the possibilities of reflective surfaces in dance and somehow this tranquil, cold, foggy lake seemed exactly what I was looking for as a site, as an entry point into this investigation.
The mirrored soupy reflection with brilliant and muddled greens. The white smears along the “fold” of the image.  The clouds gathering above.  For me, it is as if there is some hidden meaning or message in these mirrored reflections of natural landscapes.
So, some six or so months later, I am preparing to leave for Iceland to meet this lake, this environment, in person.

Wild Abandoned Gesture: Life — one moment, or movement, at a time

I finally decided to create a blog as a way to let others know what I’m working on currently, but also a channel by which I can flesh out ideas, record inspirations, track progress, and overall set-down my musings.  Some posts may be informational others confusing, take from what it what you will.

They say that choreographers enjoy people watching and fixate on the patterns and pathways of everything from humans to cars to the wind. If such is the case, then I have been a choreographer for much longer than I realized.

But I am also a dancer.  Craving the explosion of energy from my body, the intense control and command on a stage, the fleeting moments that will never be repeated exactly the same.  Perhaps dancers and choreographers are at heart philosophers, constantly demonstrating that everything is change, nothing is the same.  People also say dancers are masochists — we strain our bodies, rehearse relentlessly, take risks, hurt ourselves and do it all again for this ephemeral art.

Dance is a love, a passion, an addiction, a curse.  When you are a dancer, there is no turning back.

Merce Cunningham once said:  “You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.”

Well, I guess I live for those fleeting moments.  The flow.  The synergy.  The wild abandoned gestures that ground me in the moment and release me from this world all at the same time.

Life — one moment, or movement, at a time