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Nathan Hirschaut, Ima Kamel, Monica Steffey and Javon Jones: Mythologies personal and shared

The CM 2021 was conducted in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese

Notes are in the chosen language of the participant. Translation available at > translate.google.ca



Driving themes:

  • Emotional flow

  • Inner journey

  • Raw process

  • Intuition

  • Devotional experience

  • Ceremony

  • Inner state work

  • Shared physical states between bodies

  • Transcendental states of consciousness and the mythos of ancient Egypt.


Goals:

  • To set the foundations for upcoming film shoot and to create a way of working together as a touring ensemble that presents a multi-generational, multi-cultural, and multi-media dance production inquiring into the mythos, archetypes, and energies of humanity’s origin.


Beginning with:

  • Relationship between collaborators

  • Spoken word facilitations that invite participants into an embodied journey

  • Early development of their film project entitled “Origins”

  • Research on archetypes, particularly Egyptian


Desires:

  • To work improvisationally to unlock intuitive movement

  • To draw inspiration from each other’s intuitive movement

  • Distill ideas, themes, structures into performable moments

  • Find ways for coherence between themes, and between each others’ embodied proposals


Questions:

  • How to “make and perform in projects that connect people to their Nature and Power, a space beyond the limitations of their minds.”

  • How to organize the flow of cross-disciplinary projects and workshops.


Challenges:

  • Part of their work involves site-responsivity and the raising of collective energy – these objectives are harder to achieve when everything is online.

  • Because their strategies are experimental, some proposals present challenges in legibility to the wider group.

  • Their intentions behind their explorations need to be clear for audiences and wider public. 

  • Sacred rituals and traditions have evolved over years in specific cultural contexts. How to integrate and ground into the integrity of their personal present perspective without appropriating elements from cultural practices; offering cultural knowledge in separation from original context; and/or go beyond a shallow sense of awareness when in fact the intention of this group aims at integration of traditions, depth of experience, authenticity and honesty.


Strategies:

  • Developing movement material by each collaborator taking turns to create a spoken word journey for the others; group sound and impulse-based jamming.

  • Incorporating humour, clown logic, creature bodies, and interacting with imagination-based visualizations.


Discoveries:

  • Challenges in activating the audience;

  • Further ways of working together online;

  • Developing their way of balancing various aesthetic interests of the collective.

  • Centrifugal force Improvisaton duration, repetition, circular energy, slows down, shift in force.


Development and Skill-building:

  • How to make inner state work palatable to a wider audience;

  • Developing more spoken-word proposals to activate collaborators and audiences;

  • Ways of articulating the intentions of their work;

  • Noticing the dance that is in us right now during the wider circle of the marathon;

  • Layers of internal place + external place, directionality, internal magnetisms

  • each one finding their inner dance in the centre of the card


General observations:

  • How to develop the durational flow of the event so that one moment is emerging from another moment, and the show builds upon the interweaving of the energies that are created in the performative.

  • Because of the nature of intuitive states, sometimes it can be difficult to determine anchor points when so much of the work is dependent upon site-specificity and participant responsivity.

  • How can you limit the risk for the performers when exploring and then the audience in these kinds of participatory activations?


Discussion points:

  • How can we be together in non-hierarchical ways?

  • How can we create dance that is open enough to allow the audience to find a sense of release and freedom while at the same time creating a structure that is resilient enough to allow all involved to feel a sense of safety while in vulnerable trance-like or intuitive states?


To practice:

  • Structuring the material that is developing in order to better integrate each compositional component into a readable, comprehensive and transformative flow for events.

  • Test participatory proposals with test audiences to make sure the activations elicit the responses the group is asking about and/or aiming for.


What next:

  • Nathan, Ima, Monica and Javon created the dance film that premiered live and online.

  • The ongoing pandemic stymied the live tour plans. Nathan and Ima presented a state-based improvisation based on channeling an ancient Egyptian god at a production created by Nathan that included a solo for himself building on themes researched in the CM and solo & group works for his students.


Key words:

  • Emotion, inner journeying, raw process, intuition, devotional experience, ceremony, state work, transcendental, stream of consciousness, myth, ancient Egypt, evolution, experimental.


Biographies as of 2021


Nathan Hirschaut is a performing artist who graduated from The Juilliard School for Dance in 2020. Over the past 15 years, Nathan has studied from the world's best in dance, yoga, and artistic ideology creating the base of his spiritual, unconventionally creative, and wild performance art. His mission is to make and perform in projects that connect people to their Nature and Power, a space beyond the limitations of their minds. Since graduating school, Nathan has been commissioned and independently produced several cross-disciplinary projects, retreats, intensives, workshops, and classes. Nathan's work has been featured in The Washington Times, NPR, and the LA Post as a pioneering artist and thought leader in performance art.


Iman Kamel is the Founder and CEO of The Holographic Being. She is a medicine woman and a cultural diplomat in International Affairs. She is an award-winning filmmaker, and producer; a branding and storytelling expert. She received the award title "Iconic Women Creating A Better World" from the Women Economic Forum in India. She travels the world for her multiple projects and collaborations. As a keynote speaker, she is advocating the artist as a global player. From inside The Holographic Being she is channeling for hundreds the Visionary Akasha, opening up the field for unprecedented healings and collaborations along with stellar cross-disciplinary professionals, healers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders around the globe.


Monica Ann Steffey, is a native of St. Johnsbury, Vermont where she first discovered her love for movement with Graham dancer, Marriane Hraibi. Internationally, Monica has studied various dance forms in Israel, Hungary, and Ghana. In 2018, she was awarded the SEE-Beyond Award from Skidmore College to continue her choreographic research in cross-cultural ethnographic dance origins of Hungary. In the same summer, Monica studied Gaga in Tel Aviv, Israel, with the Batsheva Dance Company. With Professor Jason Ahrey, from Elon University, Monica traveled all over Ghana, performing West African Dance and Afro Modern dance fusions on a three-week long performance tour with the Africa Alive Dance Company. Over the past four years, Monica has performed works by Ohad Naharin, Sidra Bell, Paul Taylor, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Shen Wei, Justin Tornow, Jason Ohlberg, Erika Pujic, and Mary Harney. In her spare time, Monica enjoys exploring the outdoors for site-specific work, breaking boundaries, and snuggling with her cat, Kuni.




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