The Hands of the Dancer

The Hands of the Dancer (2008) – 21:06

“The hands of the dancer” is a 21 minute HD sound and video piece that focuses on imagery related to the mythology of temple dancers and to dreaming. A man sleeps and dreams of a dancing girl who multiplies and shimmers like the desert. Her image is continuously mutating and becomes the landscape of the dream. She looks into a mirror and appears next counting peacock feathers while another presence takes her place as the dancer, making contact with the dreamer.

The imagery explores the multiple ways that movement and form can be abstracted through spatial and temporal manipulation. The narrative evokes a dreamscape in which characters exchange identity and develop through physical transformation. The sounds and images depicted are inspired by traditional Baladi form and are meant to evoke a state in which these bodily gestures convey secret meanings that need not resort to language.

“The hands of the dancer” was created by Freida Abtan with footage of Andrea Fryett, Olivia Li, and David Drury.