Caesurae in Conversation with Mundaka
Adriana Drix and Diego Hauptman
Jayita: Thank you Adriana for the awesome photo-clips and the slide show in slow movement. Diego’s photography and his musical drones or after effects with Carsten’s Rudra Veena has created the ambiance of mysticism, which go so well with the concept we have been discussing for a while. What I like in the costumes and postures along with the backdrop and the music mixing is the multiplicity of cultural layers which you have been working with. Somehow, I am reminded of your flamenco beats with the Indian tala games we used to play when you were here in Kolkata some three years ago, on our dreamy boat rides across the Ganges with Diego and our other musician friend. And yes of course the memories of several conversations across time and space with you too blow back to me. We really look forward to watching the video. The visual impact is fascinating and powerful. It’s a play on one’s imagination. Here are some clarifications rather some points which have come to my mind, which would help in the better understanding of the concept for all readers I guess.
Well, Adriana, what was the inspiration for such an artistic conception of the secret dance? Is it spiritual as well as psychological? It kind of reminded me of Jung’s archetypes and his concept of the Anima in the cave.
Adriana: Absolutely. The cave represents myth and mystery. The indomitable feminine nature, the womb, and in that way, as much as potentially dangerous, and a refuge for the brave.
From time immemorial, dance has congregated societies in rites to celebrate and pray for auspicious birth, initiation, harvest, rain and fertility, love and death, as well as to pacify the rage of the elements and the wrath of the Gods. The secret dance is a form of meditation and a “place of prayer”. It's the quest through one´s inner depths through an ocean of “unknownness”. A leap of faith and a moment of silence. Away from the eyes of an audience, dancing secretly in natural grounds is a yogic experience.
This concept has always been there in my dance, what inspired and moved me most from the core, other than performing on stage even. And it is quite different than the everyday riyaz, which also is a form of yoga for me. But in this case here the focus is not on me as a dancer, my technique, or my choreographies, the sculpting of my art, but about the dance itself, that is there before me, beyond me. So, there I am silenced with a purpose that escapes my cognition, where even the concepts of sacred and divine are dissolved into “unknownness”. There I am dressed with surrender and reverence.
Remember God so much that you are forgotten.
Let the caller and the called disappear;
be lost in the Call.
Jayita: Yes, was reminded of Rumi a lot many times watching the photographs. The Sufi influence is quite apparent. Since we are yet to watch the video, and that Carsten is going to collaborate with you on his Rudra Veena, would be interested to know about the musical compositions Diego is exploring to blend with Carsten’s music.. Also, what was this choreography of the dance based on? A confluence of what genres of dance?
Adriana: We are currently researching the aesthetics we would like to follow for the video. As far as the score, so far, we are moving towards a mix of acoustic chords and electronic music. Not commercial, but experimental with a whisper of Musique Concrete. We have been listening to the fore runners of electronic music, such as Johanna Breyer (1888-1944), Eliane Radigue (1932), Delia Derbyshire (1937-2001), among others.
These women were really ahead of their times, touching the timeless with their sound experiments. In the seed state that we are, their inspiration has been quite suitable. But also, there is Wagner, and an incredible Spanish composer, Enric Granados. At the same time, Diego has a long research on Indian and oriental music in general. So, that is also at the foundation of it.
Indeed, the project is a confluence of genres.
At first there is a natural line of spontaneous movement towards modern dance and acting, an inspiration from the philosopher-dancers from the beginning of the 20th century, like Ruth Saint-Denis and Isadora Duncan, but also strong roots in flamenco and oriental dance forms. Nevertheless, I believe that there is a universal code of gestures when it comes to prayer and ritual, beyond all idiosyncrasies.
Working with an ever-welcoming attitude to experimental collaborations, it is sheer good fortune Jayita when you introduced us to Carsten Wicke. The depth of his Rudra Veena has suited our vision just right, as one of the possible main voices in this project.
Collaborating with such talented artist, a wide range of possibilities could unfold. His rendering of Raga Marwa added a unique substance to our soundtrack production for this preview, with tremendous richness of harmonics, deep bass and dissonances, which mirror the mystery and the beauty we found in The Tunnel.
Jayita: What “stories” that you mentioned to once regarding this project, are choreographed in the dance?
Adriana: Great question! We found this tunnel/cave by chance while we were actually going to another site of interest. In this region of Catalonia in northern Spain, you blink and you are surprised with the most spectacular views of fortresses and castles. There is a legend in this particular county that supposedly took place during the Spanish re-conquest. It’s called the “Legend of the Bushes that walk”.
The splendid Fortress of Mur was the center of the Moorish domination in the Tremp basin. The Christians had attempted to conquer it a number of times unsuccessfully. It was at the top of a mountain, surrounded by short bushes that anyone approaching could be seen from afar. One day, one of the heads of the Christian army, which some even say that could have been even the great Viscount of Ager, Arnau Mir de Tost, had an idea to surprise once and for all the moors at Mur. The army fully disguised with branches and leaves, very slowly and silently crawled up the mountain towards the castle. The Moorish princess sensing something unusual warned her father, asking him