RAINBOW research with Aleksandr Prowaliński
“Let there be light”; and there was light.
What happens when the light is pulled out of the darkness?
How does it differentiate forms and shapes?
How does it highlight unique qualities?
How does it reveal the hidden?
How does it propel the change?
“Rainbow” is a research into the effects of color and light on humans. It originates in a curious book of Darius Dinshah about Spectro-Chromo Therapy. At the turn of the XX Century Dinshah was testing the healing potential of light. He was exposing patients to differently colored lamps and noting improvements in their health. By some pronounced charlatan and imposter, he was seen as inventor and healer by others. No matter which perspective is true, his studies connected deeply to the practices of ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and other major cultures which made significant medical uses of light.
I plunge into unraveling and choreographing different properties of colored lights. How does a color in-form the body? Which movements, qualities, textures, emotions, imaginary realities and thoughts arise when being exposed to different hues? Can rainbow, by some perceived as a sign of deranged ideology, be a healing process?
The research will proceed systematically through each of the 7 colors of the rainbow. We will devote 5 days for each hue, leaving the final week for developing the presentation format. In order to explore the imprint of light on the body Aleksandr will design unique light spaces, differing from one another in form and character. Dressed in a matching outfit,
I will work using dreaming and improvisation tools to unfold and embody specific characteristics of each of the hues. I will derive from somatic practices and healing work to determine which tissues are affected by the light, and how the body responds.
These passages are taken from my application for the residency. I reread them now, at the end of my stay, and I find their wording accurate and precise. I feel amazed how much they actually led me through these weeks of immersive work. It has been a touching process of taking time to see, feel and know different colors, and to expand them through the body.
I started the residency alone, as the virus scrambled previously made plans. Each day I would dress in a different color outfit, and unfold its quality through movement. In the beginning, I would follow the chakra system, fascinated by its universal simplicity. And yet quite soon and quite unexpectedly I decided to go off track.
I returned to my inner images.
I roll in the green hills, sing on the blades of grass, explode in the warmth of the golden rays, simmer with blushing tongues, echo in an empty space, make friends with what is, turn 5 again, sparkle with joy, flow with an infinite change, become still and listen. Bathed in each color of the rainbow, I receive the gift of living it, here and now. It is a dream composed of many images: experiential, tangible, precise. They move my body and ignite a deeply embodied understanding of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. First I live it, then I read about it. First I do it, write my feelings down, then I watch the rehearsal recording. Reversing this order empowers me to trust my inner knowing. The words I read afterwards confirm what I know.
Aleksandr and I are in contact all the time, we brainstorm, watch and read together. Each of the meetings creates immense light within me, new possibilities shimmer and flicker, tickling my curiosity. We buy a prism to create an analog rainbow. We get an analog slide projector. We get theatrical filters. We get different sized plexiglass. We borrow special mono chrome lights. We are on our toes, ready to plunge into this technicolor reality. It is a treat.
We work at nights, when the studio is dark and silent. We don’t go to sleep before 3 a.m., watching the recordings and dreaming the choices. I am amazed, again and again, how well we work together. It is a smooth, easy, nourishing and joyful process. We eat healthy, we walk to the lake, we work hard and we still live with open hearts.
The movement material is quickly verified by choices of the lights. Each slide builds an imagery space for me to live in. It frames the body, and yet the body challenges the light. I feel it is a healing journey from being lonely, desperate, sinking in the waters of one’s emotions, to reconnecting to the mystery of the earth, regaining power over one’s image and unique perspective to finally bubbling with sheer joy of feeling one. It is actually a story my Father saw when watching us online. “Life is beautiful and we need more of this beauty,” he said, after the Unfinished Friday.
Derin was touched by the organic landscapes: “Although all the filters are square, I could really see the moonscape, sunscape, landscapes, it took me to natural places.” I realize we do work with square, angular, rough objects. It feels stunning how something so far away from being natural can still bring oneself to experience the nature. The light brings me back to nature.
We have a lot of ideas how to continue. We are grateful, excited and curious.
We will premiere the work on the 24th of June 2021 in DOCK11.
I hope we can all meet there, in this new reality.