I just finished the hardest year in my life then. I went back home in Bangkok (with no coup de tat at that moment) to celebrate New Year with my family including my brother-in-law. They were quite surprised that I actually could dance everywhere in any outfit.
Inspiration? Just the beautiful light and the gorgeous moon. Plus, we just had to wait for so long before the count down began. So? I danced!
I am familiar with dance improvisation. But when it came to piano, I was not so sure I could do it until last Saturday while I was waiting for my art students in the classroom and the piano was there waiting for me to start exploring. (Again, I had never known before that I could draw anything until I needed to teach. I will share with you about this thing in another blog.)
More and more I found that being an artist is like being a hub of inspiration. Ideas and thoughts come and the artist need to translate them into something through some mediums. The stream of creation will never stop. I improvised this having the theme of The ‘OTHER’ Me dance project in mind. I think maybe I can use some of the material here and develop it for this dance piece.
Again, I am not saying this is the best work. I am not sharing with you because it is good. But I am waiting for your comment or advice if you have one. (Thanks in advance :)) By the way, I know that the sound quality is super bad. Apologize for that.
To be honest, I am so happy I can still play piano. And I had never imagined before that I could really do the improvisation on it! 😀
So now I know that I am my own best friend. And assumably I have more than one best friends in my life. That means I have many selves in myself because I heard more than one sound or one thought talking, discussing or fighting with me – the major me who is speaking now. These friends are with me all the time and always listen to what I say. When I start thinking (or speaking silently), they are there already. Sometimes they just listen, but most of the time they talk back. Sometimes they agree with me, sometimes don’t. The more intense of the disagreement we have between selves, the more clearly we see our other selves.
I started to do the observation. 50% on myself and the other half on other people when they were in their own world. I observed them on a train, cafe, street etc. I found out that people were in the stage of resting, and clinging with some thoughts (if not handphones or books) almost all the time when they stepped into their own world. Sometimes their eyes were looking far away, but I was not so sure they were seeing anything. Absolutely, if they were not in meditation, they must be thinking of something. When they were there, I guess their minds were not there. They were in some places inside themselves The self conversations always went on and on. The world in front of their eyes became blurry as if the fog of thoughts blocking their view.
And I wondered. Had they ever been aware of the other selves in them?
(to be continued)
scrap paper : thought and rethought, think and rethink : when people in there own world
a motif in representing people in their own world.
dreams = different places in the space to place the hands.
I start this blog because I want to talk about one thing. It is the dance piece called The ‘OTHER’ Me.
Things started last year – January 2013. I was in Amsterdam waiting for an audition result from Emico Greco | PC company. I was not cut out during the day so that meant I had hope, but it was the kind of hope that could push me down on my knee anytime.
I first attended that audition with only one hope which was not being cut out on the first cut of the day. But I did not know then that I actually could survive until the day ended. What’s more, one of the company dancers came to me and whispered .. you, maybe! But it was true that he might say that to everyone who managed to stay until the end of the day. I told myself that was more than enough. But when the dream is so closed to the truth, who can stand not seeing it coming true? That was what happened to me because I started to dream of starting my life in Amsterdam, dancing with the company which I really liked, making my parents be proud of me, letting my juniors in my countries see that we can do it if we really really try and it went on and on and on. However, the dream was still a dream, and I was still in a vacuum waiting for the result. I didn’t know what to do or what my plan should be. I really didn’t know what to do, to feel good or not to feel good. I had hope andI tried to get rid of that hope. It was so tiring.
I finally started to cry. It was from the feeling of losing your momentum which kept you going somewhere. It was too still and I couldn’t move myself. I was in a rut and had no one to turn to. I was alone in the room in the city I knew no one and it was freezing cold. I didn’t feel homesick but I damn missed my ex-best friend who was not best anymore. I cried because I wished someone was there with me, talked to me and I hoped it was him. We used to discuss a lot of things together. We used to say we would pursue our dreams and we would fight for it together. Sadly, we ended up fighting. I let myself cry because I had no strength to hold it. I knew that it was just a big drama in my life but I let myself sink into it.
I opened my calendar book and wished someone would be there to help me plan, someone who I could really count on and would never leave me in both happy and not so happy moments in life. My eyes looked at the calendar. Almost two weeks had passed. I had visited three cities; from Geneva to Berlin by plane, and from Berlin to Amsterdam by train. My handwriting in pencil on the calendar told me that next stop should be Luxembourg. Right, another audition was coming. Oh, Mimie come on!
I used the handphone to check what was the best and cheapest way to go to Luxembourg. The cheapest way was by train with 4 train changes. I had 15 kg luggage with me and I thought I could manage it. Thank God I decided not bringing laptop and camera along this time cause I knew I would have to travel around quite a lot. At least then I had plan for the next day that I needed to go to the train station and book the ticket. I was not so lost anymore. Before I knew it, I had stopped crying already.
It is difficult for me to explain my feeling then in words. It was a wonderful moment in my life. I felt so full of love for myself. How could I forget her? How could I forget ‘this’ best friend who I really could count on and who would never leave me alone? How can I forget the one who helped me plan everything, and discussed with me what to bring and not to bring? It was her who was with me all the time during the audition and kept telling me to calm down and everything would be okay. I ALWAYS had best friend with me all the time. Really!
That was the starting point. I did not get a job in that company in the end but that was okay. I came back to Singapore and continued living my happy life as a dancer in the same contemporary dance company. After that I enjoyed observing my self-talk and even looked back to my past. I found out a long and continuing love-hate friendship between me and myself. We discussed. We agreed. We disagreed. We fought but we always found the solutions.
Series of questions came up.
If I can fight with myself, does it mean that myself is not me? Can I call it the other me or me(s)? Then, how many me(s) can I have? Those questions made me wonder more. Are we human one-soul being? How many souls can one man possess? What kinds of relationship we have with our own self or selves? And which self is the major one in a particular time and why?
The questions kept coming and I couldn’t not do anything, so I decided to translate my question into a dance piece and dig deeper into the questions along the dance making process. If you are the one who is also asking the same questions or get interested in the story I just told you, please come join me in this journey. I will share with you how the idea develop and how the questions reveal the answers by asking the next questions and translate into the movements. I still don’t know the end product of this project. But it is like falling in love.
Love can take us to heaven or hell, but it always takes us somewhere. Therefore, be prepared to travel… (Paulo Coelho)
More than one time in my life, dance, especially when it came to site specific work, proved what they say that friend is someone who you can go crazy with. The guy in this video is my best friend, both in dance world and in yoga world. He rented a motorbike and took me to out one night to dance around Chiang Mai, the lovely city in the North of Thailand.
I learned over the time that site specific work is not just putting the work into the place. The relationships between dancers and the space is very important. The ‘feeds’ that the space give to the dancer is what we are looking at. And the way dancers or choreographers response to it will make the work interesting… or not.
By the way, this one was not choreography. We were on holidays and decided to play together. Based on improvisation again.
dancers : Kenneth J. Suwan and Mimie Tav
music : Toute est Calme – Yann Tiersen
I just happened to like this song so much. The first time I heard it, I was in a coffee shop thinking of how I could make the world understand what I was doing. I wanted to be a professional dancer. But I lived in a place that no one believed that such thing could exist. I felt I was standing alone.
That evening we, me and my friends who shared the same belief gathered at the same coffee shop. We called that place our office. And we decided to go out and just dance. Just DANCE. There was no fixed theme. We just picked the arrow as a sign of our goal and improvised on it in our own style.
It was not the good work when I came back to watch it again 3 years later. It was just a group of dancers playing together, improvising with no clear direction. But, as one of the dancers participating in this, what I can see (maybe not by me physical eyes) is the true passion of the amateurs. However, it was so genuine. It was like we said it out loud with every part of out bodies : “Yeah we are gonna dance here. Who cares?”
And now, 3 years later, here is my question.
How much passion I can maintain when it becomes my true career now? Can I still dance it out like no one cares and me caring of no one, just only me and the space and the team. How much can I still stay true to myself when it comes to improvisation?
You know what? The answer is 150% if not more.
Today, I am happy with where I am and what I do. Working with a dance company which does a lot of things based on loose choreography gives me enough space to make an artistic decision on the spot and it sharpens my idea. And if there’s anyone I need to thank. I’d say thank you to my friends who did the kick-start together that evening.
I will sprinkle some more site specific works I did in the past and maybe in the future once in a while. I will start sharing with you about the dance+discussion I am focusing on now – The ‘OTHER’ Me – cause I am hungry for opinions.