Lia Haraki

Posted on November 21, 2013


Tune In

Moving from side to side

from now to now

in a forever changing moment

allowing consciousness

to perform itself

in a dance without an ego

of a body without a mind

which tunes into whatever is

with no judgement


photo Harry Antoniades

Can motion alone arouse emotions within the viewer?

This was the question with which I started the creative process for AGAIN and which led to my research and later on to a trilogy involving a viewing process that has as its main characteristic the interaction between dancer and viewer. The question emanated from the doctrine of the affections, a theory of music in the Baroque period, according to which music can have an affect on the listener.

An affection connotes a change in someone; it is the outcome of one’s entering a new state of being.

With AGAIN we went on to further explore movement as such and nothing else. We explored how physical motion leads dancers to experience e-motions, but also how it is conveyed to the viewers as motion of emotions, through a kinaesthetic process.

We invited the viewers to share the space with the dancers, leading them along a journey of sincere presence, in which they would potentially respond in a kinaesthetic manner.

We tried to avoid any theatrical representation of emotions or symbols and aimed to achieve a state of e-motion through repetitive motion. In other words, we were interested in being in e-motion, rather than in presenting or representing it.

The practical aspect of repeating something over and over again forced us to reach a direct and raw form of performance that allows normalcy to become a space for one to experience ‘affection’.

The viewers responded kinaesthetically and took part in the action with their reactions and retroactions, exchanging kinesiological energy with the dancers and vice versa.

Moreover, I wanted to continue experimenting, as I hoped to further isolate movement in the simplest form of repetition, through an even simpler choreographic structure.

I decided to work on a solo piece in which I would remain on the spot, and allowed myself to move only from side to side. I invited Evi Haraki Mahera to join the process as a mentor-guide and Pantelis Diamantides to join as a sound designer.

At first, I really felt this return to the body; I felt as if I were participating in a 70s piece in the US, or in an ancient tribal ritual.

Unfortunately, my mind, as well as my creative abilities and habits, would not let me merely move, as I had set out to do. The critic within categorised my moves as good, bad, right, wrong, beautiful, interesting, boring, theatrical, abstract, or specific. I wanted to break free from this instrument of the body called the “mind”, or, at least, to prevent it from prevailing.

I wanted movement to emerge, rather than to be planned; I wanted to be, rather than to think. I wanted to create movement-dance through my coordination with being.

Evi, suggested the basic principles of meditation as warm up exercises for rehearsals, but also as tools-principles.

I would have to arrive at the here and the now, at a state of being, rather than at one of thinking, at existing, rather than at having to justify my existence.

So, we focused on

  • Tuning in to our internal rhythm
  • Tuning in to the everlasting present
  • Repetitive movement

in order to eventually surrender.

The above facilitated the mind to stop trying to review-approve-reprove and therefore, it stopped being creative; it accepted being as a reality, and did not occupy itself with how to be. This enabled me to surrender all efforts or expectations beyond the fact that I am that I am; thus, surrender evolved into absolute freedom.

Faith, is what I called my desire to coordinate with being.

However, faith as a notion entails responsibility and involves the risk that something exists, or something shall exist without intellectual confirmation. What I have faith in, needs no confirmation, because otherwise faith could not possibly exist.

With faith came trust.

But, more specifically, what do I trust when I dance Tune In?

  • I trust that the movement that comes is the most perfect possibility, given that it is. By ‘perfect’ here, I mean sincere, and I refer to sincerity as the ideal version of the truth.
  • I trust that whatever comes ahead is substantial, even if it is incomprehensible to the mind.
  • I trust that the breath and the heart always remain points of reference and, simultaneously, platforms of transition to the next moment.
  • I trust that there will always be a next moment.
  • I trust that if I am connected with the now, I have already gone over to the next moment because the now is perpetual.

The solo piece “Tune In” has been presented in the Cyprus Dance Platform, the Cyprus European Dance Festival, the Kalamata International Dance Festival, Bozar Theatre in Brussels, Korzo Theather in the Hague, the Made in Dublin Festival in Ireland, Studio 11 in Colonge, the Tanec Praha Festival in the Czech Republic, the Athens Festival, the Dimitria Festival in Thessaloniki and the 55th Venice Bienale for visual Arts.

Translation: Andry Panayiotou