Monday, 19 March 2012

Disco Balls and Mother Nature

So you’re thinking, ‘What on earth have disco balls got to do with Fusion Inspire,’ right?

Well, the other night my sister, who is 13 years my junior, persuaded me (it didn’t take much, just a phone call) to go to a local night club. We love to go just so that we can dance together all night; the flashing lights, the loud music, the dancing like no-one is watching. We were stood upstairs on the balcony looking over and there were 5 hanging disco balls. They looked beautiful and below them on the floor the lights danced like ethereal fairies chasing each other across the stained and dance engrained wooden floor. It was quite magical, so I whipped out my mobile and started taking some photographs and then filmed the dizzy lights. The quality on my mobile was a bit grainy because it was so dark, but when I got home I put it into my editing package and slowed it right down and I really like it.

While we were up on the balcony, I noticed a young lad dancing. He was different to the other people dancing; youth, street, vibrant, mesmerising yet rough cut and edgy. Later on, I was stood at the side of the dance floor watching him. I must have been staring! I was thinking about taking him out of this club and filming him dancing in beautiful spots on the coastline of West Wales; he was a piece of hidden treasure I had found. I liked the idea of taking this gritty part of the coast and showing it in a different context because he truly moved beautifully, in juxtaposition to the stereotype that some might sketch because of the way he looked and where we were.
Anyways, he very politely smiled at me, the middle aged woman transfixed on his feet, and asked if I wanted to dance with him. I replied no, that I was just enjoying watching him dance. He looked embarrassed, like a child for a moment, then shrugged and got carried away again by the beat. We spoke briefly.
Throughout the week I thought about him a lot. I thought about the graffiti tags on our walls, the high unemployment of coastal towns, particularly out of season, I thought about this under belly of the coast that people tend to over look, case it should mar the beauty of their passing stay, their time out from reality. Yet, this is part of our reality.

There is a Graffiti Tag in Llanelli town that I have walked past for many years and it says ‘The Dragon Tree’ I imagined him dancing there and then cutting to him on a rock, or in the sea … somewhere you just wouldn’t expect him to be.

I went back to the club the following week to see if I could see him, and yes, he was there. This time we talked at length about dance and how it had brought light to his life. He had in the past, been involved in a drugs scene, was unemployed and has been trying to turn his life round, getting involved in community arts projects. I genuinely liked  him.
I couldn’t dance when I first came to this club,’ he said. ‘So I watched the women, danced next to them, took their steps and then made up my own.’
And what he has achieved by doing this is a very unique, joyous and captivating choreography. I told him about Fusion Inspire and he agreed to come and dance for me. I don’t know if he will. I have given him my business card and asked him to add me on face book. I have told him that I am not going to chase him because I don’t want him to feel awkward. That I have put it out there and now it’s up to him. He has said he will think about it for a few days because essentially he is a shy person and might not be able to do it out of his comfort zone.

A young woman was with him, his ex girlfriend but the 2 of them are still close friends.
‘I will get him to do it, don’t worry,’ she said, ‘he needs a push, this would be great for him.’ 
‘Don’t push him,’ I replied, ‘If it’s meant to happen, then it will. The time may not be right for him. Let’s see how he feels.’
And even if he decides not to contact me, I thank him for inspiring me because I will definitely be filming a piece that focuses on this B side of the coastline.
When I thought it through, the coast line has its own underbelly. Mother Nature is cruel when she needs to be, almost as if she can only be this beautiful by accepting some self sacrifice.

For instance, I have been doing some research this week into the Legend of the Lost Low Lands in Cardigan, and it seems that Mother Nature pushed her seas to consume a substantial part of Cardigan, some say you can still hear the church bells ringing on the sea bed, the ghost of another time, where 100’s lost their life on those Lowlands. Maybe it was Mother Nature, some say it was a drunken damn keeper who forgot his duties, or others would persuade us with tales of angry mermaids, who brought the revengeful seas in. I rather like this idea and will talk at length in my next blog about how I will fuse this myth/legend/history about mermaids into my creative production.

So, there you have it! That’s how Disco Balls led me to think about Mother Nature and her treasures. I’m starting to get a real sense of all the pieces that are inspiring me now and can feel how they fuse together … the Treasures that the children find on the beach, the dream catcher, the dancer, the graffiti, the disco balls, the night stars, the building of fires, the loss of lowlands , the wrath of mermaids … all balls juggled in the air, balanced with space in time, waiting for me to catch and place them …  while I wait for them to fall and place themselves.

Many thanks to Clive Brookfield @ Bar Luna NIght Club, Llanelli for permission to use photographs & film.

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