ODE TO LIFE, UNBORN. WHITE LILIES, FIRE, SNOW.
DAGOMARA JOSÉ / ISABELLE ULLMAN
“Ode to Life, Unborn. White lilies, fire, snow.” addresses the complexity and paradox of Being. A spiritual being in a physical body, a public artist with a personal life, a mythological creature in the body of a young woman, a natural human in the age of technology and death as a gate to new life; simply, an ever-transforming living Life that has to be expressed in order to exist.
The performance starts behind the scenes with me playing a self-made tune on a simple bamboo flute, then entering a dark and silent stage, dressed in white and carrying ten white lilies. Slowly, lights rise along with a musical sound collage consisting of spoken word, recorded during a walk through the forest, and natural sounds (i.e fire, wind, steps through snow, metal in water, etc.), mixed live by Martin Endahl. Meanwhile, I “prepare” the stage with an intuitive dance ritual, putting the lilies in the shape of a star, followed by an improvisation based on my reflection on my own artistic process: an ending of a few years’ journey, through the present moment and towards an unknown, new beginning. As the dance comes to stillness, and light fades, the sound calls for attention with a kitchen utility drumming solo, the musician raising his voice, maybe representing the ego, or the call back to everyday reality.
The performance is, for me, a prayer from the soul to the Self, for an ending of one possible life and an exclamation toward another, or perhaps a combination? The trust and truth lies in the unknown future, shaped by a now. The spoken word is also more of a communication with the surrounding nature than a poem, guiding me to the intention of the forest walk. I believe that the soul is ahead of us, and in improvisation, it is actually the soul guiding the way, and the body just has to follow. So the performance is a way of communicating that way of being, and hopefully to connect to the often neglected soul within the city people, enhanced by the natural elements and symbols; the performance is most of all a call from and to the wild.
Discovering the pieces, rearranging them—so is the shift of consciousness. —Dagomara José