Almost 10 years ago, I was completing my MA in Choreography in London. I was experimenting with repetition, ritual, aesthetics of risk, and gestures that were particularly representative of ‘femaleness’. I played with different body movements, body positions, stillness, exhaustion, and ultimately, I was curious about innovative ways to express womanhood through the dancing and performing body. This is a journey I’m still on and although the outputs are evolving, it still inspires me to share the strength, power, and vulnerability of being a woman. Most significantly, I have always been drawn to really making the audience feel something and feel like they are a part of the world I am creating.
I was and am still very much interested in pushing boundaries and creating different modes of communication and exchange for performers and audience in order to create a dynamic, genuine moment for everyone to share. Whether it’s one of our original productions or entertainment for an event, I want the audience to experience dance and performance in ways where they can wholly feel the passion -- the strength, the endurance, the joy, and the humanity. I respect the stage and the traditional division between performer and audience, but I also think it’s not the only way to experience the performing arts. In fact, I personally believe removing boundaries and the spectatorship of a performance, we make room for spontaneity, unexpected interactions, connection through eye contact, new sensory modes of perception, new experiences of a body’s pulse and rhythm-- through this new way of experiencing performance, intimate revelations can be shared. This is why I make immersive work.
Essentially, I have discovered through my decade of creating non-stage work that by transforming conventional exchanges between audience and performer, genuine connection is possible. This is the power and the beauty of immersive experience. In changing the modes in which the audience relates to and discovers my body’s expressions as a performer I discovered the following: traditions of male gaze are disrupted; the importance of meaningful connection through empathy and intimate proximity is reinforced; the performers feel empowered; and the audience feels a more personal relationship to the art. All in all, immersive performance truly connects us to the present moment. A decade ago this felt very revolutionary.
‘Immersive’ has become a buzzword recently. I have it as a google search word and when I get an alert for ‘immersive dining’ I get excited thinking innovative experiences are being embraced somewhere in the world. Unfortunately, all too often people think they can throw entertainers or any artistic element or random artistic elements to a space or event and call it an immersive experience. Immersive experiences are such because they consider connection, presence, space for personal micro-transformations, and unexpected interactions. Immersive means genuinely creating a world for audiences and artists alike. And although the work I have been doing for so long suddenly feels trendy, I believe erasing the archaic relationships between artists and patrons remains innovative and honourable -- when it is done with intention and artistic merit. I AM commits to their immersive work as always being developed and performed in the spirit of truth and revolution.