As viewers, how can we experience transcendence through ballet, without actually doing it? Is it like sport where watching a game makes you the specialist (at least in your own mind)? When performing, can those movements and the brief moments of glory the ballet dancer experiences be conveyed through art?
Every Day I Wait is a three-part sound and video work about gravity and weightlessness. One of the fundaments of ballet training is learning to pull weight out of the body; to move freely against the drag of gravity. This work seeks to elicit a physical sense of fluidity and weightlessness.
The first video depicts a ballet movement performed by ex Australian Ballet soloist Lisa Bolte gliding en pointe while making little movements with the feet. I recorded the sound of her ballet shoes against the wood floor, asking her to 'stay en pointe for as long as possible'. The amplified sound draws attention to pain and endurance.
Audiences then encounter a projected work that sees two full-body videos of Lisa improvising The Dying Swan, a solo dance choreographed by Mikhail Fokine in the 19th century. The dance follows a swan/human's last moments of life, when weightlessness fails and death comes in the form of gravity. The two dancing figures stand on either side of a projected circle, into which the audience intrudes as a shadow. Flanked by the dancer and somewhat hidden by the lighting inhibitions disappeared and reported flash mobs performed in the dark.
The final piece extends this shadow play. Projected onto sequins as a white silhouette, motion capture translates the viewer’s movement into a 2D image. Through algorithmic code, colour fields and reflective light, the viewer’s image is juxtaposed with a flock of butterflies appearing to fly out from the wall onto the viewer's arms triggering a musical composition by composer Eric Griswald, in a feedback loop of data and form.