Microreview: Dream Room (moving beyond the flat frontality of online meetings)
- 2021 December
- Nienke Terpsma reviews Katie Ward and Paula Walta (choreographers-dancers): Dream Room, 4 performances of approximately 1 hour, Centre d'artistes AXENÉO7 in Gatineau/Québec, and simultaneously in Arnhem and online, October 2021.
- Author / Publisher
- Nienke Terpsma for NewsLibrary
- Author Info
Nienke Terpsma, artist, and editor, free-style researcher and typographer of Fucking Good Art, a traveling artists’ magazine on life around the artwork, founded in 2003 together with Rob Hamelijnck. Also core tutor (2012-2019) at Artez’ MOC/Master of Choreography (later MTP), and co-author (with Florian Cramer) of “What’s wrong with the Vienna Declaration”.
- Reviewed Publication
Katie Ward and Paula Walta (choreographers-dancers): Dream Room, 4 performances of approximately 1 hour, Centre d'artistes AXENÉO7 in Gatineau, Québec and simultaneously in Arnhem and online, October 2021. With: Kim-Sanh Châu, Aida Guirro Salina (dancers), Jodee Allen (digital space and live broadcasting) Gabrielle Couillard (Live and online Sound mix, -design and sound effects), Yolande Laroche (composer), Babsie Van Aalderen (light), Marie-Claire Forté (artistic support), Öykü Önder (light), Felice Parqui (sound), Marte Bosma (Internet and video).
A neatly symmetrical 47 years after Nam June Paik’s 1974 TV Buddha, in which a Buddha statue watches an image of itself on a TV screen, two dancers set out to really, really dance together despite an ocean between them, reshaping a conference platform on the world wide web into a magic mycelium Dream Room.
Originally live streamed, improvised within a tight score in front of live audiences in Québec and Arnhem, the video captures four dancers, each in a frame: 'Welcome to Dream Room. We close our eyes and we feel the forces of the world as they come to us. We feel the joy, violence, wonder and heartbreak as we enter.' Off-screen voices: Gabrielle Couillard, in charge of live sound mixing and design says, 'I am also a gamer'; the location is introduced too, 'We are all guests here'. As the viewer’s field of awareness expands, cameras zoom out as well and we see Arnhem projected in Quebec and vice-versa. Frames dissolve, overlay, superimpose. Perspectives multiply, merge and shift. A soundscape unfolds, music. Dancers speak-sing in hand-held microphones, drawing connections between stages with their long cables.
Failing to grasp, we imagine. A visceral awareness of being inside emerges–inside Dream Room. It is happening, play, and performance. I feel the excitement of shared exploration, real connection, genuine re-imagining and publicly reclaiming a space.
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