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Island is a silent piece that depicts the life in an Island. Using island as a place and a metaphor for life, I interpret my own life in a dance piece. Inspired by all the islands I have lived in my life- London, Manhattan, and Jeju Island, I use dance as means of communication and hope. Under the pandemic I felt the urge to create a piece that relates to the repeated daily life cycle but at the same time, Island as a cross concept of reality and fantasy/paradise.
Set between the islands in three different countries, I compose the story of my journey to rediscover who I really am. In this deep and affecting journey of self-discovery, touching on issues of loneliness, isolation, and the perseverance of the human spirit.

Island can be referred as a place of life and a journey, in which I have paradoxical feelings between relief and discomfort from being trapped between fantasy and reality in life. The dancer in this video looks for something constantly as if she will never find that tangible hope empowered by nature.
Aesthetics of colour in the film relates to attitude towards an island. Colour of the costume- black and white dresses, emphasizing emotional instability that follows emotional engagement of the characters. Postures and movement with the sword depicts the character’s phycological state caused by the repressed and unconscious inner conflict ,in a living in an island.

Through this film, I add my own voice to the dance and to all the people who are afraid to forget who they are, and where they come from while reflecting on what they may have lost along the way.

This is a poem about the context of the film


Dance along the wave

I hear the shimmering of silver melody
I am constantly looking for something
I saw the waves in my dreams. They become mountains.

Reality becomes shattered stones
Sinking into the deep sea
Storm surges

I fainted
A swarm of jellyfish wakes me up
by placing tentacles all over the body and shaking

Two swords in my hand are tools of healing
repairing the crashing waves

But my days of solitude are endless solitude
making me a desperate orphan
I can’t breathe

Fly up to the surface
swing a dream

Production context
In my film, the same character is in two different screens where they depict her phycological journey in two different spaces and state of minds. It encapsulates symbolic means of life in land and island, patterns of everyday life, translating it into a movement and posture. At the time, It was during the pandemic lockdown where everyone was feeling helpless about the disease.
I placed the framework of this film in one’s life but I hope the viewers will connect their own state of mind, bringing out repressed and unconscious inner conflicts caused by life events.

Director – Elly Cho

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