“So I Danced Again…” is my graduate film from the Royal College of Art 2017.
The film embraces the act of listening. It is a search for meaning; a dance through our chaotic world of meaningful/meaningless sounds.
I began the project with an experimental documentary methodology, researching and interviewing people about their relationship with music and dance. This included a researcher into movement, dance and empathy, a music therapist, a researcher into the psychological effects of drumming groups, a spiritual dancer and contact dancer. It seemed to me that all these people were studying something intrinsically human. This non-verbal language that we all naturally speak became my focus.
My intention was to remain open to change as the project developed. I found that the project took the form of a search for meaning, and just as I was trying to work out what the film was about, so were my interviewees trying to work out what it was about music that effects us so strongly.
My uncertainty in the quest became a large element of the film. I started to think that perhaps if we were able to listen closely enough, the non-verbal voice of music and sound might become verbal, and that this voice would be able to tell us the answer. As I continued to research and experiment, I realised that I don’t believe there is any answer, and also that it doesn’t bother me much at all. Music is wonderful and dancing is fun so even if there are no answers, let’s just enjoy it!
I experimented with the visuals in order to encourage a way of listening that is non-verbal. I used visual rhythms in pattern and editing to highlight repetitions in the speech. This was to draw the viewer away from the cognitive experience of the words and into a freer enjoyment of the musical nature of the speech.
As part of our exhibition I created a separate website to display and explain some of my research: