In this dazzling autobiographical collage, Siobhan Davies unravels the complex processes and influences that underpin her life’s work in dance.
Transparent is a gentle manifesto and a visionary work of art itself. At the heart of the film are the reflections of dancer and choreographer Siobhan Davies as she unravels the complex processes that underpin a life’s work in dance. At the same time she looks far beyond herself, touching upon the histories of movement embedded in each of us, allowing the watcher to enter a descriptive world and feel the weight of their own body – walking or turning or falling.
The images in the film echo Davies’ thoughts, showing the physical fluidity and depth of movement between all things. Many of these things are from the art world – from ancient sculpture through modern artworks and personal photos. The art is seen to be both felt and material, then transformed by the dancer into something they can hold and use.
“The film is called Transparent because for several years I used both tracing paper and acetate to write down notes and collect imagery. Dance involves movement and constant change and the see-through nature of my note taking helped me to experience ideas and images as less fixed in time or place but rather on the way to becoming something else or emerging out of what came before.”Siobhan Davies
For Davies each interaction with a work of art is a collaboration, every cultural experience an opportunity to absorb, internalise and re-use the most precious thoughts and feelings of others. Her work with David Hinton and Hugo Glendinning is no different, turning the filming process into a choreography, intertwining three very different makers’ visions to construct a rich screen work that shape shifts between biography, lecture, exhibition, psychological study and scientific experiment. Transparent is a lucid and optimistic work, on the surface there is a delicate sense of an autobiographical narrative, but this narrative can be seen through to reveal an unfixable archive of movement and experience.
A film by Siobhan Davies in collaboration with David Hinton and Hugo Glendinning, and produced by Pinky Ghundale.
Made with funding from Siobhan Davies Studios, Arts Council England, The Linbury Trust, and individual donors. Full acknowledgements here.
Animation Editing: Noriko Okaku
Sound Design: Chu-Li Shewring and Stefan Smith
Sound Supervisor: Chu-Li Shewring
Music: Matteo Fargion and Aisha Orazbayeva
Cinematography “Transparency” (Part 3): Hugo Glendinning
Additional composition “A Lived In Circle” (Part 2): Stefan Smith
Voice Recording: Hugo Glendinning and Andy Franzkowiak
Archive Producer: Fourth Drawer
Archive Support: Rob Prouse
Production Assistance: Rosa Manzi Reid
Distribution & Exhibition Consultant: Johanna Blair
Creative Consultant: Gareth Evans
Running Time: 35 minutes
Year of Production: 2022
Country of Production: United Kingdom