2023 Regional Research Fellow, Geraldine Balcazar collaborated with artists Ira Ferris and Stella Chen on a year long (and extending) research project: ‘Decolonising Time – Discovering a new relationship with time’ .
Shaping a new choreographic practice that prioritises process over outcome, they were asking; what shifts in the individual and social body could occur if we slowed down – as an innovative approach to choreographic practice?
Their dramaturgical thinking is a blueprint for the new working methodologies within dance and body-based practices. Methodologies that nurture and liberate the creative process, by finding tender ways of making work.
“We were led by deep listening of what present time asked of us in and out of the studio.” (Geraldine Balcazar)
Geraldine Balcazar’s visual diary of the research process.
“Walking on Bundjalung Country has informed the work and given me the opportunity to connect back with culture while sitting and deeply listening to country alone, with family and friends. I acknowledge the Bundjalung people, their knowledge and culture held on this land – for holding and informing the work and for taking me back to memories of my childhood growing up in my motherland Chile. I extend my deepest gratitude to my ancestors, the extensive land and cold ocean of Chile and my parents for paving the path to my arriving and being present in Australia.”
“Throughout this year’s Critical Path Regional Fellowship, I have been researching (through conversations) and experiencing (while walking on Bundjalung Country), a new relationship with time since becoming a mother during the pandemic- while living in a state border town.Stella Chen, Ira Ferris, our tiny humans and I have been collaborating on decolonising ways of working with time and discovering new choreographic methodologies. The work has supported us to be with time – not taking away or stealing from it. Throughout the year we created trusting relationships as we engaged through personal stories and radically slowed down attending to systems of care.” – Geraldine Balcazar
“Our invisible bodily labour made us a cooperative symbiotic host to other kins (our more than mammal kins). This is our natural environment, a space where it couldn’t be reduced to notes and it isn’t transactional, and the needs must be made all the time in order to maintain in a regulated state. This is a sacred space; pure and cannot be tamed.” – Stella Chen
In response to the “quantification of time in the relative measurement of money,” Stella Chen wrote a MANIFESTO.
“To take a breath is to take a break. To break. Break a pattern, a condition, a conviction. Systems crumble under the slower time. Transformation requires softness. Change in gravity.” – Ira Ferris
“Our discussions on time were often discussions on gentleness. Time before colonialism, industrialism, capitalism. Nature time. Nurture time. More attuned and sentient time. Responsive rather than responsible time.” – Ira Ferris
At the conclusion of the residency, Geraldine hosted a community gathering “TIME PORTAL” on Bundjalung Country.
Geraldine, Ira, and Stella continue exploring TIME through a choreographic project that links to deep diving.
Image #1 and Video #1: By Stella Chen
Image #2: By Geraldine Balcazar
Image #3 and Video #2: By Ira Ferris
Image #4: By Geraldine Balcazar