I have loved modern ballet ever since seeing my mother's cousin, Michael Ho, dance with Ballet Rambert. The music was offset, spiky, rhythmic, arrhythmic and with it, the dancers' bodies contorted, froze, lilted and expanded in ways I found mesmerising. In these two pieces. I have looked at ways of testing the materials, working the 'background' to show another layer, finding areas of near-repetition and areas of fold that traverse the rules of representation that I set myself when making my other pieces.
This paired work is based on the Waltz. Through it are the 1-2-3 steps of the classic dance form, colours from an 18th century Viennese ballroom and the drift of the Danube in the background
What I design on paper doesn't always come out exactly as I think it will so I double check it before committing it to stitch. This is a photo of my preparation work in Sample studios. Once I have slashed the blind, I'll pin it up to be sure that the formation works. Here, I have placed the two pieces in their proposed proximity so I can decide how I want the audio tape to be positioned around the blinds. For this paired work, I want to have a communication between the two pieces via the audio tape so that there is a sense of flow in the dance, as if waltzing from one guingette to the next along the banks of the Danube.
Using a basic flamenco rhythm, I imagine the dancer in her tiered dress and every emphasis in the beat is an excuse to strike a pose. One, two, THREE - she throws open her fan over her head- four, five, SIX - she dramatically flicks her skirts forward with her hand - seven EIGHT - she stamps her heel- nine TEN - she stamps again with more insistence- eleven, TWELVE - she turns away with an impatient flounce.
I have cut the blind in 12 equal sections, placing a flourish where there is an emphasis on a beat. A great link for understanding and hearing the rhythm is on this link Compás Flamenco
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