CHRYSALIS: New Zealand

CHRYSALIS is a series of six videos, spanning six countries, that explores the idea that a particular kind of metamorphosis, transformation, and hope is only possible in a place of darkness. Each video is a fusion of the media of classical music, dance, and film, featuring original choreography set to new compositions recorded by the Oxford Alternative Orchestra (OAO).

If Sanou in Burkina Faso focused on opening outward toward the sky, Foster-Sproull reveals the process of folding inward - the hidden, dark life inside the cocoon. Two female dancers, set outdoors in the native forests of New Zealand, the Waitaki, represent the Chrysalis. The women begin with their bodies folded together, making it impossible to determine whose limbs are whose, and even how many people are there: there is only a mass of flesh. Deliberately, with conviction and mystery, the limbs pulse and unfold in unexpected ways, until the women are unfolded and dancing synchronously in rhythm. Composer Aiyana Braun has created a piece that samples classical instruments, but uses electronics to loop them back across each other, just as the women’s bodies mimic each other but free themselves. This video evokes evolution and growth, even within darkness, and before an escape from it is possible.


You can read more about the CHRYSALIS project by visiting their website.