REBIRTH started as a casual conversation in a dance studio in Paris in January 2020. Patsy Lo, founder of sml Dance, had just finished a contemporary Martha Graham dance class with Rafael Molina, the founder of Graham for Europe.
It was at first a conversation about the protests around the world, how some of them turned to extreme violence. It was about the impact of COVID-19, how it was more than an illness, how it could cause certain levels of panic and irrational behaviour. And in more distressing situations, how a pandemic could force businesses and restaurants that have been around for many years to disappear.
The conversation then took a different turn. It was decided that it was time to remind ourselves that, as a human race, we have been through much worse. That we can choose not to be consumed by sadness, fear and anger.
This conviction was partly borne by Patsy’s personal experience. About eight years ago, she had a brush with death due to the illnesses that kept her in bed for months. At one point, she was not able to stand or put on clothes due to the swelling and pain all over her body. Plus, the inability to hold down food or sleep at night made her feel that the possibility of an impending death would actually be a relief.
Yet, three years ago, at 48, she left a high-powered job with Apple Inc. to become a full-time dance student in Paris, practising ballet and contemporary Graham technique.
Patsy added: “Perhaps if we can start by looking at opposition differently and always with a sense of ‘evolution’, we could take away its dominance on us. That no matter what happens, after we wipe our tears and attend to our wounds, we can make a choice to turn it into something better and beautiful. Perhaps in doing so, we would feel less victimised, less angry and less afraid.”
This artistic stage dance piece is being choreographed and will be performed by four beautiful contemporary artists who share the same dance language, one created by modern dance pioneer Martha Graham, who opened the pathway to self-discovery, and connecting emotion to motion. The four artists — Guilia D’Antoni, Jean-Baptiste Ferreira, Gildas Lemonnier and Rafael Molina — will use the same physical sources and in-depth discoveries to speak to this time, their time. They will develop their own voice forged in the rich history of modern dance that is to be rediscovered and to be born to the instant.
The Graham technique was chosen not just because Patsy has been trained in the discipline. More importantly, she chose it because of its fundamental technique is based on reaching deep inside to the power of the body — the power of the pelvic, the spine and the breath. These are the keys components of our natural self.
“My body was giving up because I didn’t listen or connect with it. I had also forgotten that there is a wealth of intelligence and power within my body — emotionally and physically. That almost took my life. I hope that through dance, we will be reminded of the power of the body. That we are built to be able to embrace and integrate all aspects of our emotions — not just the happy ones.”
REBIRTH is a platform.
REBIRTH is a point of view.
REBIRTH is life itself.
Like nature, it’s both powerful and tender.
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