ARCANUM: The Process behind the Hanged Man

In my blog The Tarot and bellydance READ IT HERE I spoke about being a part of a project featuring 22 dancers from around the world.


I won't lie there were a few time when I thought to myself ugh, why did I agree to do this, it was ending up being way more work what I had thought it would be, but when I saw the amazing trailer with a glimpse in to all of our works all together in one place it made me feel pretty happy that I did it. Here is the trailer, doesn't everyone look incredible.


When the show actually debuted it was so emotional to watch it with the whole world and partake in the digital comments...(my favourite part about virtual shows)


Often my creation process starts of as a bit of a gathering process, gathering themes, ideas, vibes.... it starts out as ethereal as that and gradually takes more solid form.


As a teacher of yoga and dance I am always creating new movement combinations and sequences to dive deeper in to my practice every day and keep it interesting for myself and my students. . When I create movement specifically for music the mood and the sentiment of the music influence the entire piece. In this case, I had been assigned a character, the hanged man. I really like getting a piece of a project assigned when working with other people, I like to have an Aanchor'. I don't like it as much when people say " oh, do whatever you want, I trust you artistic eye...thats actually a bit stressfull to me as a multipotentialite artist such vague parameters is daunting because anything I want could be in the far ends of the galaxy.


I have created whole characters for photoshoots based off one costume piece, or off lipstick colour. I have created a world in a choreography starting with the way you wanna move on a certain part of the song...... as a creative person I am simply always creating by responding to my surroundings, many things I do I consider to be what I call " Arts of Opportunity..... I have a few shoots which I will be visiting and breaking down creatively how the final image became.... in 2020 because I couldn't perform as much as usual I created characters and scenes and collaborated with some local photographers when our local restrictions permitted. Here a a few from 2020... often prop or costume based.



Actually I now offer a service called "Creativity Consult" - Where we break in to a new or old project that you may be stuck on and give you a fresh set of eyes and some suggestions and clarify goals.


The card I was assigned for Arcanum was The Hanged Man- as I had mentioned in my other blog I am heavily relating personally with themes from the card such as suspension and surrender and pause . Read that BLOG HERE


I could physicalize those concepts but how would I tell the visual story and portray the Colours of the card?- it wasn't like a live performance, the performance was to be submitted January 3 with the deadline extended to the 6th thankfully for editing......

I did the :

-Conceptualizing

-Choreographing

-Set design- had my 12 years old daughter fire the smoke machine for me....

-Costume

-Makeup

-Filming

-Editing



Since I had a frameworks of Mood to work within the next step for me was a song that had the quality of that card, luckily I know a lot of tarot readers and I reached out as well as asked Instagram if there was a song that popped in to their heads when they though of the handgun man, thanks for all the suggestions I was given this most perfect selection by Occultist and tarot reader from Italy Mr. Dorian Bones founder of Italian Occult Society:LSDZ.




Waitinggggg

Ok found the song, now to move to it, I had originally thought it could be a perfect song for whirling......The song that I used: Chimeras by Grant Hecker .. I consulted with Shruti to see if anyone else had already mentioned they would be doing whirling or not- she told me one other dancer had said something about it, so, I reached out to the other dancer, explained that I was thinking of using some whirling for my piece as long as it would not look too similar to her concept- we agreed our project were both unique enough to do our whirling our way. I didn't end up using whirling as I thought but I do have some turning to emulate the surrender, and the suspension vibe......




The studio I rent doubles a small theatre for student shows and has a could sets of 'wings'. I stayed after class a few days and tried a few combinations with the wings all positioned together and creating small box for me to dance in-making a tiny theatre box, there was some diaphanous fabric that I draped cross the top and experimented with feeling paused, in this spider web of time.


Relinquishing Control- SURRENDER


One night (December 29th, after my full moon workshop) I stayed late at the studio and shut off all light and just used my ring light as the only light source in the studio, I did creative movement, and whirling for nearly 2 hours to the song I was using- all of a sudden I felt extremely sick- I gave myself some type of motion sickness with a combination of the spiralling music and spinning in darkness too long......... so PRO-TIP/ WARNING! do not start in to a limited light source in a dark room while whirling for hours...


I looked at the footage the next day with fresh eyes and realized it would look better with a smoke machine, it would add the etherialness I was going for........I decided on some different angles and also decided my dress would look better with leg slits and I cut the dress liner and made the look more "bellydancer". Watching video with fresh eyes after filming is invaluable.... but it also meant I would need to go back to film again in the studio, leaving me less time to edit.



I convinced my 12.5 year old daughter to come help me film on New Years Eve and my bribe was that I would leave her alone to chat with her friends online for the rest of the night when we got home.... lol


The whole thing was filmed on my iPhone 8 and edited on my laptop in iMovie . It took a lot of trial and error , of working in iMovie using the ken burns effect for that cinematic panning effect. as well as syncing my whirling to the looping quality of the music.

The actual amount of "bellydance" that I do here is essentially non-existent


Heres My Performance :



if you would like to work with me to fire up your own creative passion hope on a quick creativity call and ill give you some strategies to up your energy and attack your project.

..... Or get in touch for my Style Audits... a quick call to clarify the bellydance bombardment with terms and scenes and conflicting information.


I love art and I love working with others to make Art- lets all become liberated through beauty and connection.


Nawal


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