dance

SHORT DANCE FILM | Coffee Memory

 

Music : Dying by Maximilian Hecker. (I so love this music)

Concept behind : It is about too much love for someone. For me, love is like a coffee. Its aroma is so charming but too much coffee put together will give out very bad odor. Too much love also results in bad situation. When espresso comes out of the machine, its crema makes it valuable, but if too much espresso comes out, like too much love, it will not lead to any good thing. Precious espresso turns out to be waste. Weight of too much love will destroy the relationship like too much coffee that breaks the glass. I am a dancer who just tried to make a dance film. I have no knowledge about film making. I just used the feeling how it should be like and then searched on the internet for some technical things.

This video was filmed in the squash court at my condo. I borrowed my father’s video camera and tried putting the video camera and my Canon camera in various spots to see how the image look like and asked my sister and my brother-in-law to help me record. I borrowed my sister’s small coffee machine and use my barista knowledge (I was a barista for more than a year) to make a coffee. I recorded when I pour milk and sugar into the coffee by iPhone 4. I adapted many blue yoga mats (I teach yoga so I’ve got a lot of yoga mats) to make a (simple) blue screen. And I used my mother’s mac pc for making all the stuff.

So thanks to my family for helping.

And thanks to ‘someone’ for being the source of inspiration. Too much love I had for you had already killed our good friendship …the precious one… So goodbye my best friend.

It’s sad but .. If one day people ask how important you are to me, I’ll tell them, you are just a stain of coffee on my worn-out shirt. ..

The Coffee Memory 2013
performer and choreographer : Mimie Tav
videographers : Ling Blucake, Twelve Dozen, and Mimie Tav
editor : Mimie Tav
music : Dying by Maximilian Hecker

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SITE SPECIFIC | Blissful dance on the hill

I was on the hill somewhere in  India. The song by Deva Premal – Chidananda was in my head and the surrounding was beautiful. And I started to move.

I had been a dancer/movement artist for all my life. Things stopped when life force me back to my country. I was lost and couldn’t feel the new ground under my feet. Watching myself dance on the hill help realign my self a bit.

After all I still miss dancing with my ex company in Singapore. In other words, I miss my life. But this feeling shall pass. The road doesn’t end. I just made another turn.

COMPANY RHS | It is all about energy. It is all about mind.

Our contemporary dance company has a training class 4 days a week. One out of four is a body conditioning class. We do a lot of cardio and weight training. Our rehearsal director has a lot of administrative works to do recently, so it is always me who has to lead this class. But not for the class 2 weeks ago. I asked my colleague to lead the class as I felt very tired and (I hate to admit that I also felt) lazy.

My colleague is a fantastic dancer with a lot of experiences. She joined the company around the same time as me. Just only because my English is better so my director let me lead the class (and rehearsals, sometimes) more often than her. Normally, in the body conditioning class which I led, I always felt her energy was a bit low or because she saved her energy, but not in this particular session. When she led the class, she was full of energy and could do more than what she normally did. What’s more, it was me who was not able to perform as good as how I normally was when I led the class. Every session, I could psych myself up before we started push-ups which I counted loudly for everyone, and I ended up with more energy at the end of the class than when we started. But for this session, that energy kept going down and down.

I asked my colleague after the class how she felt. Not surprising, she said she felt she had more energy than usual. What I learned from that day was that working out has a lot to do with mind. It’s a mental work as well as a physical work. When you know you are leading, you prepare your mind so you have enough energy for yourself and everyone under your leading. You call for 32 push-ups and hold in a plank position for 64 counts and you know that you can’t fail. The only choice you have is to complete it. You’ve prepared your mind. 

So it is about mind. The mind has an absolute control over energy. If you don’t control your mind, it will control you (quoted from my Indian yoga teacher). It is the mind telling you that you can or cannot do. If you do it, you have to have already known that you CAN because it is the only way to succeed in that particular task. You don’t have to be a leader. You just really need to tell yourself that to complete the task is the only one choice you have.

it's good to be crazy. Craziness lifts energy high up.

It’s good to be crazy. Craziness lifts energy up high.

Cute time. Eh, cute?

Cute time. Eh, cute?

Yoga is always a good cross training

Yoga is always a good cross training

Me

Me

And then see what happens.

🙂

COMPANY RHS | Cover / Uncover


Today our company worked about covering and uncovering.

We just used scarf, jacket to cover a friend and a friend uncovered herself. Then took turn.

After that we shared about the feeling we had towards the word covering and being covered;

Me : Being covered = I felt safe. Cover come one = I felt love.

My partner : Being covered = She felt struggling. Covering me = She felt sorry for me.

So funny as we danced together. Same movement, but completely different feeling.

One Japanese dancer performed a movement of covering someone like making a nice packaging of something.

That made me think of how Japanese people like to wrap the products nicely, sometimes overly too nice.

She shared with us that Japanese wrapping things nicely was because they wanted the receivers to feel good.

I had a feeling that it was the same as Japanese people themselves.

Sometimes they wrap themselves very nicely with a lot of rules in their cultures cause they want other people to feel good.

There’s nothing good or bad about this. It is just my observation.

The rehearsal was fun though.

Picture for the photo shoot tomorrow. Not about this blog though. :)

Picture for the photo shoot tomorrow. Not about this blog though. 🙂

LET ME SAY | Words for every dancer

One of the fresh graduated dancer in a company I am working with now is having trouble. Being a dance student is much different from being a professional dancer in a company. This is true not only in a dance career. In a school, you pay for people to look at you and teach you. In a company, you are paid for doing a good job and learning by yourself as fast as possible.

She doesn’t understand this. She has a student attitude and we have given her almost a year already. In an appraisal she still had a lot of invalid excuses. My director decided to give her one last chance until end of the year for her to climb up to the professional level of mind. However, at the end of the day she asked the director whether she could dyer her hair in red color. Absolutely wrong timing. Not surprising that the director was upset even more but she let her do whatever she wanted.

That night she texted me that she wanted to leave after this last probation period. She said,

‘Sometimes doing ones best isn’t enough to keep you going, not anymore’.

I knew that it was hard for her to continue here too as the director didn’t like her. But personally I didn’t like that idea. She thought she had done the best but I could see that she didn’t know what the best looked like. So I answered her,

‘Haha you never know that the word BEST has no ceiling.’

She said,

‘When the ceiling crashed there’s no point pursuing for the best.’

I could tell that she didn’t understand what I tried to say.

So I sent her all these messages. (Sorry for wrong typing and wrong grammar.)

Image

(PS I wrote it from my experiences. All the ups and downs in my dance career. Please give me advice if you don’t agree or have any feedback. With much thanks.)

She didn’t say anything after that. I wondered she went to cry or blame someone else about her problem or blame herself for choosing me to talk with. I didn’t care. I went to bed after that not waiting for her reply.

We came back to the studio 2 days later. She was there already getting ready for the class and rehearsal. She talked less and worked hard. I was happy to see that. In this way, although she can’t pass this last probation, all the works she is working on will make her a better dancer, the best she can be. People need to be slapped on the face sometimes. I call it a wake up call.

Most surprisingly, I found my words have an effect on me too. I also work much harder. Thanks to her to provide a chance for myself to slap my own face. 🙂

 

SITE SPECIFIC | It just happened

It was on the New Year’s Eve, 31st December 2012

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!

Music : Plus d’hiver by YANN TIERSEN

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)