Free-Flying | Interview with Elizabeth Rose Arifien

Performed by Maxine Flasher-Düzgüne?.

“Life is fleeting…particularly if you’re a ‘Damselfly’ residing just for a couple of temporary moments as a free-flying grownup. With the essence of grievance slippery and intangible, each loss is exclusive, and tells its personal story,” says Elizabeth Rose Arifien, director, choreographer and producer of Damselfly, a dance movie set in Fontainebleau, New Orleans, and supported by Arts Council England. Arifien’s historical past as a motion filmmaker usually falls into a spot with out phrases, set to the pure rhythms of the biosphere and the patches of our lifetime that slip out and in of desires. Within the following interview, she speaks about her inspiration and course of behind her artistic work and what it means to choreograph for the digital camera.

What and/or who drew you to dancing?

The final scene in Soiled Dancing the place Patrick Swayze jumps off the stage and rallies his co-workers/performers struck me so onerous. The ability a bunch of individuals have after they work collectively is highly effective and I’ve at all times rallied folks to make change by way of dance. Additionally, who didn’t love Patrick Swayze! I used to be enrolled in ballroom and latin dance periods round this time and I used to be very upset to not be transferring just like the group did. I did nevertheless find yourself competing for the UK and coming second on a couple of events from the age of 8+. The Blackpool Tower holds some particular recollections for me.

I used to look at movies like Grease and Soiled Dancing on repeat and needed to bop like them. It was such an unimaginable escapism and it introduced us collectively as a household. There was at all times singing and dancing in my home rising up.

My mum had thought it to be good for me to do one thing of a bodily nature, versus the classroom state of affairs, on account of my prognosis of dyslexia and ADHD.

Nonetheless from Damselfly.

How do you method language in your work as an artist?

In my movies I haven’t actually, language has at all times been a blockage for me. I take advantage of emotions and instinct to create and I belief what comes from that place of freedom the place limitations or constraints from written language would possibly maintain me again.

When creating music lyrics I’ve to go to that very same quiet place I do when dancing and I freestyle to a beat and start to type the music this fashion. It’s a very pure course of between myself and the producer. I normally convey the samples for us to make use of too and this additionally helps type the monitor. It’s all very collaborative.

I’ve a podcast known as Move Beyond Words the place we converse to completely different creatives who’re Neurodivergent and the conversations are at all times very pure… Effectively, in Collection Two conversations are. Collection Two flows a lot smoother as we had been in particular person and Charlotte Edmonds and I converse to the likes of Choreographer Corey Baker, chair of Southbank Centre and Vogue photographer Misan Harriman, Artist Lu Williams, Actor from Emmadale Micheal Parr, Intercourse educator Ruby Uncommon,TV Presenter, founding father of Glassett and Hooste, Laura Jackson and different inspiring creatives who occur to be Neurodivergent.

What are some ways in which movie has served your choreographic imaginative and prescient?

Firstly, I keep in mind seeing dance on movie initially. This movie opened with water dripping down somebody’s hand as they lay within the tub after which we slowly started to be invited into witnessing extra of the physique transferring. Seeing the physique so shut and the way it moved with the digital camera caught with me. I keep in mind watching and considering, that is it, I do know what I need to do, I need to inform tales with my physique. I had by no means been uncovered to artwork movies like this earlier than and my world simply exploded. I felt like my means of experiencing and seeing the world was being understood for the primary time in these “arty movies”.  

Choreography is an expression of how I really feel music. It’s a name and response, and the 2 disciplines come hand in hand for me. Processing my feelings by way of the medium of dance usually signifies that the story behind my choreographic movies is seldom linear. So I normally movie all concepts first after which create the story afterwards. 

I’ve at all times made my very own work, and movie permits so that you can be expressive even if you don’t have paid work lined up. It’s extensively accessible, enduring and lengthy lasting. 

As a consequence of having reminiscence ‘black outs’ after I would carry out, I’ve come to like movie because it helps me to recollect precisely what I’ve created and infrequently substitutes as my reminiscence financial institution.

Are you able to describe what your artistic course of was like in Damselfly?

The method was very ad-hoc. The music got here actually fairly naturally after Tony Nwachukwu (producer of Attica Blues, Mo Wax) and I labored on the monitor collectively. I’d initially deliberate to journey overseas to work with certainly one of Solange Knowles’ choreographers, however the pandemic had put an finish to our desired timeline. Ultimately there was a 2 week window of availability between each myself and Maya Taylor; and I made a decision to move out regardless of the prospect she might have to go away for LA. 

I locked in a director who was capable of assist produce the shoot however I obtained the information he was unable to shoot on account of a better paying job as I landed in New Orleans. I then had 10 days to tug a shoot collectively in a metropolis I had by no means been to. I had forged two great dancers with the assist of Maya and I started rehearsals absolutely centered and knew I might make it occur, and fortunately I did. Instagram is such a superb useful resource. I met Alejandro (DOP) and we started shaping the group from there.  

What do you imagine is lacking within the arts?

Cash and respect for the work we do and the way a lot the humanities profit all people. 

The place do you see your self going subsequent – what are you engaged on presently?

I’m in such an enormous transitional interval in each side of my life and I’m recovering from having birthed my son. While recovering my thoughts is whirling on, I’ve secured funding for the subsequent undertaking which shall be set in Sydney, Australia. It will likely be a movie combining my music and motion, however rather more experimental and uncooked. I wish to see myself being extra genuine to the instinctive means I work, and having the tip outcome being extra reflective of that. 

It’s time to point out my true self and be extra open and in entrance of the digital camera. There are some huge adjustments coming for me as I enter this new chapter.

Nonetheless from Damselfly.

How do websites affect your creative selections?

I wish to say they don’t, however the unhappy actuality is to be seen, you do have to cater to some website’s codecs and beliefs to ensure that your work to get recognised by a wider viewers. Nevertheless, I’m consciously transferring away from this method because it does little to serve me artistically, and in any case that’s the reason I do what I do.

When you may give a particular group entry to the sector of dance, what group would that be?

I wouldn’t give desire to at least one specific group. Dance has the capability to be all-inclusive and welcome all. It’s the gatekeepers who have to reassess their method to accessible occasions and alternatives for my part. I clearly perceive the Neurodivergent group and our wants however I don’t need to prioritise one group as that is what has been the problem beforehand with neurotypical folks being put on the forefront of wants being met. 

Extra of Elizabeth’s work will be discovered on her website at Comply with her on Instagram @elizabethrosearifien.