Zaar Breathes the Air Around You

Dancer and Motion Tracking
New Zealand, 2018

This work was a collaboration between choreographer Maryam Bagheri Nesami and Garling Wu. Drawing on Maryams Iranian heritage, we worked together to create a solo dance and live electronic performance inspired by the Zaar ritual, a practice where a demon or spirit inhabiting a woman is hopefullly reconciled.

For this work, I wanted to transform the dancers movements into sounds that she could manipulate using the HTC Vive tracker. With a sense of pent up, restless energy, the sound material has an incessant drive to it but one with no clear direction. The rhythms are heavy and tiresome, feeling like a grinding weight. The final layer of the piece is the sound of wild and tumultuous ocean waves, which we related to the various metaphors of water that often embody a female spirit.

The interaction between the dancer and the invisible sound environment offers much to contemplate. Does the sound of the ocean come from the woman? Or is she merely caught up in its tide? Is she able to fight the current or does her own energy fuel it?