The ‘OTHER’ Me project | people in their own world

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)

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scrap paper : thought and rethought, think and rethink : when people in there own world

  • a motif in representing people in their own world.
  • hands gestures.
  • dreamers.
  • dreams = different places in the space to place the hands.
  • cover the face/eyes with some hands movement.
  • be in their own world. relaxing.
  • raw.

 

 

The ‘OTHER’ Me project | the starting question(s)

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)

(To be continued)

SITE SPECIFIC | Metal Bridge

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

SITE SPECIFIC | With No Theatre (Linkin Park – Iridescent)

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.

SITE SPECIFIC | When I Was a Monkey

This one reveals the rehearsal time for one past production of the company I am working with now.

When I came to Singapore and started working with this company, I was introduced to the concept of site specific performance. It was very new for me at that time. I was .. WOW! Theatre was not necessary anymore. We could actually dance anywhere, and more, we could let the space’s condition play a part in our dance making process and have fun with it. And after that I have become a big fan of site specific work.

For me, what I love most about site specific work is the challenge it put on us and how well we can response to the challenge of the space. And I remember a lot of mosquitoes flying around. eeeeeh! But it was fun anyways. (And every time I smell OFF mosquito repellant spray, I would think of this show.)

What about you? Have you watched or participated in the site specific work? Do you like it? Please share with me.

🙂


(This rehearsal was for Folly of the Garden II by the Arts Fission Company (Singapore) 26-29 July 2012)

SITE SPECIFIC | With No Theatre

(This is the short version of the whole thing – 30 seconds only. More to come, of course!)

Before coming to Singapore to work in a ‘proper’ contemporary dance company, I didn’t know what site specific work was. But I did it already, mainly because I had no choice.

What could I do? I really wanted to dance my life out. I was with Bangkok City Ballet company at that time. It was a good ballet company, maybe the best one in Thailand, but it was only a part time job and my soul was hungry for more. I wanted to dance more. However, there was no place for me to really ‘express’.

What could we de when no one wanted to see. No one gave it a shit. It was an absurd activity for kids. It was not a real job. Noe one could earn money from it. Dance was only for being in the background, in a club, for the nightlife. They had never known how hard we worked on our bodies. They had never cared that dance can really transform people’s lives. And it had already transformed us. We dedicated our lives for it but in the end there was no stage to express our passion and tell the world that ‘DANCE IS ARTS’ – and ‘ARTS IS LIFE’.

That was painful.

That evening I was sitting with my four best friends in a cafe in Siam area – the busiest and liveliest area in Bangkok. We looked through the glass windows at the busy crowd outside. Then one of us asked “Shall we do something? Do you still have dance clothes with you?”

Then we just went outside and danced. Yeah! let’s go into the audience.

And that marked the beginning of my journey with my four best friends. We expressed our passions in a way no one would do it in Thailand. That was a fight. We were fighting together … for what we believed.

And we got a lot of audience. Some looked at us for a while and walked away. Some found a seat and be our audience until ‘the show’ finished. One of them, being so interested in what we did, offered us a meal after wrapping up. And we accepted his kind offer. Five of us (including another friend helping us holding the camera) got into his small car and we became friends after that. But until now, I still prefer to call him .. Mr.Stranger. Yes, we were stranger.

To be continued.

🙂


(about this video)

“DANCE EXPERIMENTAL PROJECT WITH MY DANCEMATES”

MUSIC : Die fabelhafte Welt der Amélie – La Valse D_Amélie

PLACE : Siam Center / Siam Discovery, Bangkok, Thailand

CAMERAPERSON : Arm Chansirinthorn

PERFORMERS : Aditep Buanoi, Annla Angwara, Sangtip Wareesangtip, Mimie Tav