My reflections on filming at Riddel’s Warehouse

I need to write freehand, then transcribe. It feels natural and words just flow on the page. Typing and looking at the screen just doesn’t feel the same. I need to feel the flow of words in my body, my hands. It feels fluid, like thoughts going through my hands onto the page, I can see them as they form.

Immediately after filming

The bricked-up windows and bars surrounded by old exposed bricks, the glow of the two defused lights, enough chairo-scuro to create depth on bodies without being so sharp as to become the focus.

The dancers moved individually and with ease, then came together intuitively, without my prompting them.

I felt no discomfort with the camera this time, it felt natural against my body as I adjusted focus and zoom. The movement of the dancers, slow and hypnotic, held me completely, the movement of the limbs, arms, legs, torsos, heads, hair, hands, feet, all so slow and fluid, as though in slow motion. I didn’t feel I was filming them, a separate entity. I felt so in-tune with them as they moved, I wanted to feel close enough to be in their flesh and bones, the cells, in the very movement. I felt I was. I was what I witness, there was a sense of presence, tangible, tactile, living, life pulsating and fragile. the setting felt very intimate, warmly lit corner surrounded by darkness. The music, Ruby Mandala, flowed with them. I felt everything was in synch, no, fused into one. the dancers, me, my camera, the music, the space. It felt right to move very close in with the camera and become part of the action without interfering with it. At times that it was difficult to see a separation between the dancers as though they were one and the same body, they seemed to me to be entirely inwardly moving, living in their own consciousness, their inner worlds, as though what was bring seen, felt, was their internal world, their very psyche. Their bodies, external manifestations of and mirroring their internal worlds.

We had 2 sessions of around 21 minutes each time, playing the track twice each time, then a break to warm up.

The intensity of the experience was almost too much for me, I was so absorbed in what was unfolding. I needed to stop to breathe after each session.

While filming, I felt at ease, not too concerned about the focus being perfectly sharp. The ethereal feel of the moving focus may enhance the sense of presence, the shifting of something other-worldly.

As they danced, the dirt on the floor, began to mark their clothes and bodies, I felt pleasure watching this unexpected dimension as it appeared. It gave a sense that their bodies were taking, carrying, holding a trace of the essence of the place, an aura, and whatever it had lived through. The effect looked so natural as the dust grew and covered more of their bodies. It felt even more intimate and moving as it unfolded before me.

It seemed that there were six protagonists in this experience, the two dancers, me, my camera, the music, the space itself with the dust that seemed to have become a living, moving part of the scene.

I was conscious of Sonya being there, I felt protective of the bubble that the two dancers and I were in, I wanted it to remain only ours and revealed in my work as it was to unfold in my film. I hope, I hope that the edit will feel as immersive. I hope the track that Hannah is composing will work as well if not better.

There is always fear, apprehension that I have enough footage of the experience to be able to create what I feel and see in my mind. That it will unravel and I will make the decisions that will produce the work that I want.