My reflections before the rehearsal

Monday 26 September 2022, 7:30 am. This morning is the rehears with Helen and Maeve. I spent three hours yesterday playing with the camera, especially with my Sony video camera. I feel less apprehensive about using it now, it’s been so long since I used it. I just hope I can feel at ease filming, I can produce images that I’ll be happy with. This is only the rehearsal, to get a feel for the camera, the filming, and for the dancers to find ways to interact, choreograph.

I’ve told them that I want them to immerse themselves in the movements, ‘become’ water, it’s the ‘becoming’ that I’m interested in, and how at ease they can feel with it.

I need to remember, it’s about understanding how they feel, not dictating. I’ve given them the theme, it’s to see how they respond to it emotionally, somatically and cognitively. I’m curious right now. I’ll probably be more apprehensive if things don’t ‘flow’ today or on the filming day. I’ve done all I can, arranged the rehearsal and venue, filming day and venue, dancers, assistance with lights on the filming day.

Today I’ll see if I need to make costumes, or get them anything to wear. I want as much flesh to show as possible, as they feel comfortable to show. Nothing too floaty, skin and limbs to take centre stage. Let’s see. Flowing materials are for another film.

I’ll buy them note books and pens this morning. I’ve asked them to write about how they feel along the creative process. Where do they feel the emotions in their bodies, I need to work on a body image map and print it for them with some key questions too. For now, just ask them if they can include in their writings where in their bodies their emotions resonate.

Yesterday, my video camera felt heavy, unfamiliar, confusing. Then as I explored and became familiar with the functions again, white balance, iris, zooming, I felt more at ease again.  My hand-held rig too. I won’t take my tripod this time. I’ll just hand hold, move around the dancers. This is how I could lose myself in the movement in the past when I filmed dancers. I’ll take the tripod on the actual filming day though. Just in case it feels right to use it.

Although this is for my PhD, I’ll be analytical after the creative work. During it, I need to put that aside and focus on the artform, the ‘immersion’, the flow. It can’t be shaped and dictated by academia. It must be free to be, become, what it will, where my senses drive it, take me. This is the poetic part of the process, art for art’s sake. I feel so strongly that peak-experience and flow for the artist are about ‘becoming’ in the creative process.