I videotaped a dervish dancer wearing a traditional costume. The video camera was positioned at the height of a theatre lighting grid so that the dancer was videotaped from overhead. The spotlight has been enhanced to appear as if it is the surface of the moon. This work is interactive: The video is projected onto a weather balloon which is installed high above the audience. microphones embedded or hung above the viewers collect data about the volume of the crowd. This is fed into a software patch which affects the playback of the video. Audible changes in the volume of the audience affect the play back speed of the video, so that the dervish dances faster for a more boisterous crowd. Sponsored by a faculty Research Seed Grant from Brock University.
I have chosen to work with the image of a dancing dervish as it exemplifies the ancient Turkish roots embedded in my Mongolian-Hungarian culture. The correlation between the Mongolian Shamanism of the Hungarian steppes and the dervish dancer is clearly intertwined, where the worldview is centered around the movement of the heavens, and the dervish dance gestures originate in the universe itself. The dervish “spiritually listens” and translates what it hears into the movements of the planets.