Collision is a commentary on how seamlessly different spheres of existence and cultures are unifying into a new embodied experience. Made during the Covid-lockdown in 2020, this composite was created by participants in their own living quarters, to share a virtual space where borders and cultures have no divide, reflecting how the physical and digital realms are intersecting in the new daily routine.
Co-directed by Joshua Sailo and Matthew Sailo
Choreography and Performance: Joshua Sailo
Filmed and edited by Matthew Sailo
Music: Buanga Sailo and Tetea Vanchhawng
Sound Design and Composition: Buanga Sailo
VIrtual Faces: Verena Facundo, Ainesh Madan, Dayita Nereyeth, Vijay Ravikumar, Meri Salmela,
Anishaa Tavag, Moritz Wilbers
Thoughts and reflections
As more and more countries implemented lockdown and physical restrictions on movements and travel, new opportunities were opening up in the digital realm. I was contacted by an old friend and colleague, Tia A. Kushniruk who was directing this year's Dancing in The Park Festival (2020) run by Toy Guns Dance Theatre (Canada). Having just finished an online conference on future landscapes of contemporary dance in an event organised by Singapore's Dance Nuclues, I was eager to take my thoughts, ideas, and reserach into a tangible creative output.
With the festival being completely online, I wanted to still somehow break the 4th wall, and offer a chance to reflect on our collective situation. With our primary mode of social interaction and engagement being mediated by an interface, I was struck by this idea of cybord bodies - where our sense of touch and making connections is all happening via an interface.
I had a vision but didn't have the skills to execute it. So, I bribed my film-maker brother to join the creative process and get him to the the heavy lifting work of learning to work with green screens and bring in some digital expertise. It was a lot of trial and error, where the creative process went hand in hand with the recording and possibilties, and each element was added as we went along.
In the collision of worlds and mediums, I just knew I had to bring in something of the cultural collision happening with the youth in our small town of Mizoram. So, I asked a childhood friend to create the soundscape and compose a new song that tied in things that every kid growing up in Mizoram gravitates towards - Rock Music! This provided the base layer for all of us to start creating, dancing, editing and even adding sounds from folk tunes and instruments that are now dwindling.
Though our production may have been small scale, this was a huge feat for us as it was the first time an all mizo team put together a dance film for display in an international event.
As the festival screening went live and online, I was amazed at the meaningful engagements I was able to create with other performers in the festival and audiences who took the time and effort to write about their reactions to the film. I was moved.
I still prioritise live interactions and performances, but is this the time to start thinking about opening up possibilties in performance making? Can we go beyond the physical and create meaningful art work in the digital age in a digital medium? Is this idea to sci-fi? I think not as all our daily interactions are already happening in a digital platform - social media, deliveries, e-commerce etc. There are a lot of tech buffs, investors, and business people shaping the future of digital interaction. I hope more artists participate and actively contribute to the deesign of virtual spaces.