ELEMENT#9: Care Index Alecia Neo (Singapore) June - July 2021
Dance Nucleus will be hosting Alecia Neo as part of ELEMENT#9 Research Project. Care Index builds upon Alecia Neo's, between Earth and Sky, which was developed with a group of caregivers in Singapore. Envisioned as an experimental platform that collects practices of care performed by people from different walks of life. Care Index is also a series of performative scores. The practices offer tools for the transference of sensations of well-being and aliveness to others.
In ELEMENT#9, Alecia Neo will form a working group consisting of artists, practitioners and individuals who are engaged in care practices - such as Covid-19 front-liners, educators, people performing non-professional care work.
Meghna Bhardwaj (Dance practitioner, educator at Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida, India) with her students from the Undergraduate Dance Minor programme at the Department of Arts and Performing Arts: Tarini Anchan, Khushi Garg, Kavya SM, Anushikha Chaudhuri, India
Wong Yunjie (Theatre artist, researcher, front-liner worker), Singapore
Carol Ee (Caregiver), Singapore
Alvyna Han (Caregiver), Singapore
Yang Yeung (Curator, Founding member & Artistic Director of soundpocket), Hong Kong
The following embodied scores are contributed by three of the student participants from the working group, after partaking in a series of online workshops co-conducted by Meghna Bhardwaj and Alecia Neo. The participants also had the opportunity to receive feedback on their scores from Marina Collard, an independent choreographer and movement artist based out of UK. She is currently a Lecturer of Dance at Trinity Laban. They also participated in the workshops by Delhi based dance film maker, Sumedha Bhattacharyya.
"Care is something that has always been proven to heal harsh hearts and broken souls. It is an impactful gesture, a feeling which can not be described with words but can be shown through actions. As a college student who was thrown into an unknown system of online classes during the pandemic, I can safely say that I have experienced varied forms of care and exhaustion throughout this period. From classrooms to our bedrooms, from seeing everyone face to face to watching everyone behind a screen, from a very definite timetable to an irregular schedule, this new lifestyle affected students like me academically and took a toll on our health.
The increased screen time affected me the most. Apart from watery eyes and problems in sleeping, it also affected my grades and concentration. The only automatic care that my body deduced was sleep. Sleeping early at night and taking short naps after classes helped my body as well as my eyes to relax. It instantly transported me to my comfort space."
Suspended Animation (2021)
"An interaction between stillness and motion, this is an attempt to reflect on the choice and regulation of the pace of our lives. A reminder to listen to our bodies and consciously impart it the care that it needs.
While randomly exploring nooks and crannies in my home during the lockdown, I found the dusty underside of the study table adjoining the wall. As I started moving in the confined space, it reminded me of how the pandemic forced us to readapt indoors. Performing the gesture brought out unexpected musings and thoughts which were buried within."
"Five toes make a foot, a part of the body that carries all your weight and handles it with care. This documentation attempts to saunter into the nuances of care through feet alone and simultaneously endeavors to discover memories that we attach with it. What is it that we seek through our feet for a sense of care? Is it a stroll, a touch, a sweep or a gait? Observing this non-idle form of care-giving as well as receiving, I urge the viewers to map a route of their own, a passage, through their feet and examine the memories, the feeling of the sole of your foot touching a surface and seek solace through the environment around you."