The yellow story
Chapter 4: part 1: CHOREOGRAPHY
by Daria Lanz
I was taking a much-needed getaway up to Scotland for a couple days. I’d never been before, which is sad considering I’ve been in London over 2 years now, and my family history is rooted up there. Regardless, I was finally there, and on the first night my flatmate and I were happily wandering through the streets of Edinburgh, when we came across a pub with live celtic music.
I fucking LOVE celtic music. Especially live.
Earlier in the day we’d found a fantastic soup shop run by a lovely group of volunteers. Their food was all home-made, vegan, and heart-warming. It was cooked from would-be-food-waste from local shops. And the kicker (if that wasn’t already enough)? It was pay what you want.
We ate, we chatted, we paid abundantly. And with our stomachs full and our hearts warm, we left after lunch and wandered through the city, up Arthur’s chair, and back down the streets again until we stumbled upon this pub. It was dusk, and we weren’t quite hungry for dinner yet.
Inside was crowded, loud, and buzzing. There was a long table at the front where 9 or so musicians sat playing their tunes. At least 5 violins, a piper, guitarist, and a few other celtic instruments. It was wild, and my Scottish blood was dancing. We ordered a bottle of wine and squeezed ourselves in amongst the many other musical admirers right in the front row.
We drank the entire bottle. And we stayed until the music stopped. It was the most fun I’ve had in ages. The rhythms, the violins, the pipes, the dancing. It brought me back to my highland dancing days when I was younger. There is just something about this music that gets me going, from the inside out. It boils up from my heart and explodes over the brim, pouring through my entire body, head to toes. It makes me want to jump and dance and sing with laughter and joy.
In the front row, we had our eyes on one particular violinist. She was exquisite. I was mesmerized by how fast her fingers were flying on the strings. I was watching the patterns she knew so engrained in her muscle memory, and it sparked a thought – a connection. It made me think that choreography is just a visual pattern of a different sort. As a dancer, a musician, a painter – we practice and memorize certain muscle patterns to perform our dance, music, art. It made me think about Heather Hanson’s beautiful charcoal dancing canvases – where she dances on a large paper with charcoal in her hands and feet, capturing her choreography in a visual artefact.
I wanted to do the same, but I wanted to play with light.
And so there I had my next word, my next chapter for this yellow story: choreography
After returning home, I strapped some laser lights to my hands and feet, and proceed to dance as many styles as I could in front of a long-exposure camera.
I sent Elise the photos, each labelled with a post-it of the type of dance they represented:
All dancing styles I have danced at some point in my life. Some better than others, but all with as much heart. It will be interesting to see how she interpreted the post-it labels, whether she was able to decipher their dancing meaning.
Previous ‘yellow story’ chapter
Next ‘yellow story’ chapter