VEIL DANCE RITUAL, FOREST, SUNSET, LATE AUTUMN
Karen's Project Statement:
The Dress Dance Ritual and Veil Project began formation within my workshop sessions in Amber Imrie’s class, Embodying Process and Imrie’s open forum Friday group Domesticity and Nature. The seeds were also planted for it to emerge in the fertile soil of my first TAAS Course, Alicia Framis’ Gendered Performance Intensive, and in Janine Antoni’s, At Home In The Body. Through the combined experiences of work, research, one-on-one and group dialogue, personal studio work and in ongoing fieldwork for these courses, my current project series Dress Dance Ritual and Veil emerged. The material and format created and orchestrated by Amber, Alicia, and Janine, provided material that was conceptually, theoretically, philosophically, intellectually, and creatively stimulating for my artistic practice. Combined with the consistently stimulating and nourishing dialogue with class cohorts, this new project made itself known to me, and began to develop and evolve. Dress Dance Ritual and Veil is still in early stages of development, research, experimentation, dreaming, imagining, play, change, and continuing fieldwork actions and collaborations.
In Dress Dance Ritual and Veil Project, I materially, theoretically and symbolically, integrate and recycle from the archive and archaeology of work over the years that I have made with wedding dresses, and other dresses, veils and garments, that are ceremonially and ritually made into sculptures and positioned within sculptural environments and performative actions and collaborations.
In past work the dresses, veils and other ritual sculpture garments are static, immobile, “Still” objects, as in traditional sculpture exhibits where they are present in cultural environments as sculpture art objects to call forth contemplation, engaged presence and inner experience for the viewer.
Performative work happened around them and the pathways open between and amidst them.
In this new series The Dresses themselves, and the Veils, as fabric and ritual or ceremonial garment, are one with a live performative body, and come further alive and active as fluid, flowing, dancing, moving elements. The Body of Artist Self or others participating in this project, are invited to dance in, with, and around, these ceremonial dress and flowing, mobile, fabric fluid forms, and let them Center, amplify and privilege themselves, as primary protagonist Elements and subjects, to introduce their own unique fiber fabric structural fluid body being voice.
From object hood to subject hood.
From silence to voice.
From static and still, to motion.
From being an object of inspiration and muse…
To becoming inspired to express its Self.
It makes me think of the dance form, theories and methods within Contact Improv Dance. Instead of Contact Improv with person to person bodies. It is a new theory and practice of Contact Improv Dance ritual and art practice.
It is Contact Improv with chosen objects and ritual elements of meaning. symbolic content and intention,
that are invited to come alive,
and be given presence and subject hood for a Dance Duet.
So Far I am just Dancing With-In a Ceremonial Dress.
Getting to know It and it, with my body/being.
Playing with and exploring, experimenting with its weighty symbolic content, history and meaning.
Allowing both my Body Aliveness and the Dress, Veil, fabric or garment, to be Energized with freedom and imagination, Activated, with Movement, Gesture, Visual Voice and In Motion.
The next step I am in process with now, is to choreograph sequences and short scores of rhythmic compositions, that integrate a vocabulary of body gestures and expressive actions from within a developing lexicon of both stillness and motion.
I will continue to further this project through the lens of class, gender, and sexuality.
Researching the history and rich varied diverse cultural heritage and symbolic depth in these subjects:
The Wedding Ceremony, Marriage, Bride, Groom, The Wedding Dress, The Veil.