The most immediate way to express what we’re sensing is through bodilygestures and movement. The movements become the bridge between ourselves, one another, and between stories.

In July 2021, I joined the CID project as a commissioned artist. I have since been participating in workshops and sessions held by Danielle Teale herself, and other
artists that are part of the programme.. Throughout the process, I have had the honour to take a glimpse into the journey the dancers were on and to make a body of work as a response to the process.

Before the sessions, I identified myself as an observer, a collector, a listener, and a researcher. However, what this journey uncovered was something quite unexpected and inspiring. Throughout the sessions, multiple themes spoke to me.

The theme “carving of memories into movements” reminded me of body memories; where the body can store memories. Your body and you, although the
same, are two separate beings with two separate sets of memories. The physical body is seen as the map of the mind and feeling states. It is that part of our experience that can be clearly sensed and observed. It creates a map for inner experience.

Through carving out memories into movement, we are awakening the memories in our body and finding the ones that speak to us. We are retelling stories through movements; we are in control of the narrative of our bodies, rather than a narrative being carved onto and into us. I find that very liberating and empowering.

As long as you can imagine it, you can draw it.
When it comes to dancing, you could be dancing with your fingertips, your eyes, your elbow… even with your mouth! Again, the list could go on endlessly. I would
even say I often dance on paper. Moreover, it is about deconstructing and reframing. It is about deconstructing
definitions that were given to us, allowing and giving ourselves the power to reframe definitions, reframe ourselves.

I was very inspired by the warmth and authenticity I was met with on this journey. It enables sharing and expressing yourself without worrying about being judged. It pushed me to be genuine in my responses and reflections. My responses were inspired by sound, movement, conversation, and engagement. I first approached the session with the urge to join as a dancer. I’ve been creating figurative drawings on paper, capturing the people’s movements as individuals and as a group, how individuals respond to one another, how the movements are linked together and how they form into one again. Later on, my responses were driven by conversations and themes that were brought in and
carried through, as well as fragments and phases that suggested how one feels. Lastly, I was responding through the motion of mark-making. This means
translating movements, conversations and sounds into marks. Mark-making is a continuous movement created by enduring traces and lines. Through this experience, I acknowledged that I am very much participating in the
experience of dancing just like everyone else. I was responding, mimicking and connecting with movements, the only difference was that the dancing was on paper.

Through developing my work for the upcoming exhibitions, I will be focusing on retelling stories through movement, and the bridge connecting our minds with our bodies. The conversations, the story-telling and the newfound connections are what carry
the experience beyond the time frame of the sessions, beyond restrictions and nurture our creativity.

Dancers were suggested to create a movement based on a memory, something from the present or the past. Perhaps from your window, you see leaves falling from a tree, and you decide to mimic the movement of the leaves with your hands. What sounds would you link to the memory you just recalled? Would it be the sound of leaves brushing against each other, or the birds singing their morning song?

Story-telling has been a critical role in the sessions with movements driven by memories formed years ago, this morning, and in the moment. The movements guide us onto a path to retrieve our experiences and narratives. To ultimately acknowledge and appreciate others’ narratives through their movements. During the experience, we were all collecting fragments of memories, connecting them, and expanding them. We were performing, recalling and mimicking actions.
It allows me to rethink and redefine. As a visual artist, I now understand dancing in the way I understand drawing. You could draw with a pencil or a paintbrush but it could also be with your body; your eyes, nature, your voice. The list is endless.