Reflection on current work AM I
I am a woman impassioned by different visions of reality and the well-being of others and I emblazoned to express this through dance and touch the hearts of others. The initial idea for the piece was to base it on a couple that lost connection, became angry and frustrated. The idea of how relationship ebb and flow, how we lose ourselves, and find ourselves is fascinating to me. The movement was meant to be reversed- retrospect. Eventually the theme of my company (LCP), human trafficking, became embedded into the piece; this was a natural progression. We focused on relationship victim and oppressor’s mind and how one could become the other leading to confused identity and reminding all of us that things are not always black and white. During the creative choreographic process I’ve explored a conflict between power and weakness, freedom and slavery, happiness and struggle, smile and tears, double face of victim and oppressor. I found that pain, detachment, dissociation from that each experiences within their respective bodies could be very similar. Both victim and oppressor can be people, who don’t recognize value in their life and become relatively indifferent. There is a very fine line between the good and evil and we can see this through the expression of lost identity, where previous values melt into the background through circumstance. For example, innocence is lost and the vulnerability comes and goes. There are shifts between both the victim and aggressor.
I became adamant about focusing my work on human trafficking when I traveled to South East Asia a number of years ago. I happened to be in the most remote places of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. When I was crossing the border from Thailand to Cambodia I met a French man who was diagnosed with cancer, and was told he had little time left. He passed on to me his knowledge of 40 years voluntary service in Cambodia. His profession was a construction engineer and he was building schools, water containers and orphanages for poor Cambodians. He was collaborating with all international organizations such as Amnesty International, Unicef and Unesco, etc… He was devoted to help others. When he introduced me to one of the orphanages with trafficked children, sold by their own families, I knew that my life was going to be dedicated to this issue. Since I was already running a dance company, I decided that through the arts I would bring awareness to the violation of human rights and specifically human trafficking.
I am humbled by the direction LCP’s work is now taking and how many people are interested in it and vision. The initial idea of “AM I” significantly changed, as I couldn’t resist continuing to work on the theme I am passionate about and is a part of my whole life. I am very happy about that choice. A few years ago I’ve tried to collaborate with a Cambodian woman Somaly Mam who wrote ‘Lost Innocence’. She based her book on her own experience when she was sold to the brothel. After her escape she funded a foundation, which supports victims of human trafficking in Asia and around the world. http://www.somaly.org/mission I’ve never managed to hear back from her. After few years the opportunity came in a different form from my own country, which is Poland.
‘Am I’ is inspired by the real story of a victim of human trafficking Sophie Hayes the author of ‘Trafficked’ Sunday Times Bestseller. She was sold by her boyfriend from UK to Italy.
LCP is collaborating with Colin Glass who is involved in education sector of Cambodia to make education available to everyone especially women. Some of them are victims of human trafficking and I would like them to be included in the movement therapy work, followed by choreographed dance performance associated with LCP. I would also like to highlight the Cambodian campaign to encourage woman to have a voice and speak up their rights http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txnyCUjOqrg&feature=youtu.be
All factors above influence my artistic work and challenge me, my dancers and other people who I work with. A 10 min draft of AM I was a challenge. I wasn’t in a right place before I’ve started working on it. As soon as I’ve engaged in this project I became very passionate about my concept and completely drawn into it. There was nobody and nothing else to stop me from doing it. At the initial stage of the first 10 min draft I was dealing with dance cast issues until the final day of performance and this experience didn’t diminish my energy at all, it just strengthened me more. It’s normal that during a dance production everything can go wrong and no matter what the show must go on. I have an incessant drive to see things through regardless of the work involved. It is this unwavering motivation that has allowed me to develop my company and to be the sole artistic director as well.
I worked on AM I for 3 years to master this multimedia live performance with a film emerging out of the artistic creation progress and theme of human trafficking in itself. I worked with 3 x 9 people casts to diverse each version of the production. Usually my work attracts mostly women because of the subject but men are also very welcome to join in.
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