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.
Production: Stefan Smith and Chu-Li Shewring
Made with funding from Siobhan Davies Studio, Arts Council England and The Linbury Trust.
Contributors to the making of the film:
Noriko Okaku, Chu-Li Shewring, Stefan Smith, Matteo Fargion, David Buckland, Aisha Orazbayeva, Andrea Buckley, Lindsey Butcher, Charlie Morrissey, Annie Pui Ling Lok, Claire Twomey, Alice Oswald, Glithero, Webb-Ellis, Lucy Suggate
Running Time: 35 minutes
Year of Production: 2022
Country of Production: United Kingdom