Who puts the Dance into One Billion Rising?

 

OBR Logo for article on ModemWorld.Me

It’s your Dance Correspondent, R. Crap Mariner.

Coming up on February 14th, it’s One Billion Rising! From their announcement:

For the fifth year, on February 14, 2018, men and women in Second Life will join activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, and people across the world to Rise, Resist and Unite as a show of unity, individual strength, and the need for change.

The Second Life event will feature a four-region stage where 200 people can come together to dance, surrounded by an area of art installations, an arena for poetry and dramatic productions, and informational exhibits. A variety of performers will play over the 24-hour period and poetry and dramatic events will be held at different times, enabling people all over the world to attend this virtual event no matter their timezone. The regions will have a General maturity rating to allow all residents an opportunity to participate.

That’s the TL;DR, and Inara’s covered all the bigger-picture vision and mission of One Billion Rising, but how does dance figure into it? (Because, after all, I’m a Dance Correspondent, right?)

Instead of just tossing out a few #metoo hashtags and sharing Uma Thurman’s interview on Facebook, I went to the source. I turned to Aelva, the Dance Coordinator for One Billion Rising. She runs The Night Theatre dance group, and I’ve seen her magic and mastery of hand particles in her performances with Shadows Silhouettes, Lady Garden Cabaret, and Elysion’s Luxe Girls, among other groups.

I know I want to know more. So, let’s go exploring, shall we?

Who are you?

The Night Theater - July 29 2017

Before we got into One Billion Rising, I wanted to learn more about the artist in the middle of the drafting table. I asked Aelva about herself and her dance experiences in Second Life. “Well, I did ballet and synchro swimming when I was young. I always had a love for dance, musical, ballet, and theatre. – I was rather odd as a child. But RL me, I can’t handle dancing these days.”

And art itself wasn’t a priority then. “I work in administration. I studied economy, boring, boring, but it got a job that paid the bills, and that was what counted. Arts was not considered something to make a living off. So, you did in your spare time. For fun.”

Club Image - July 16 2017

“When I got into SL, I was starting to get pretty sick RL. I have always loved arts and crafts, but I lost my ability to do them at that point. So SL became my creative outlet.”

It didn’t take her long to find dance as a creative outlet…

“I came across dancing in sl in my first couple of weeks here and got hooked right away,” she said. “I never meant to be on the stage myself, I too much of a recluse for that by nature. But I ended up with too many ideas and I just had to realize them. A friend more or less had to push me on stage.”

And why do you do what you do?

Any why does she dance? Because she has to… “For me, this creativity, the flow of the movements, keep my mind together. It allows me to express and be so many things I otherwise would be too limited to do. It is freedom, sanity, pain-relief, joy and sadness all in one. It is a kind of obsession, I guess. There are just too many things evolving in my mind that have to get out. If I didn’t, I would probably be even more bonkers than I already am.”

In addition to performing with other groups, she has her own dance group called The Night Theatre. “SL dance is my passion. And The Night Theatre is my own Theatre and where my creativity flows free.”

The Night Theater

Creativity flows from moments of inspiration, and where does she find it? Everywhere!

“It won’t leave me alone, damn it!” she says. “If I go shopping, I think in costumes. If I listen to music, I think of possible acts for the songs, and those can have several options. I always loved stories, mythology, fairy tales – so that is what I want to portray. I do love magic, and I do love expression and drama. But I want to do it in my own voice, not mimic somebody else’s vision.

“I get bored doing the same thing. I like using all the tools in the box, all the crayons. But, I think main focus in any act should be the dance choreography and the story that tells. Everything else is an enhancement to that story and to the movement. Enhancement, not distraction. If a choreography is well done, you don’t need much more than a black stage and the dancer and the music.”

Luxe - Le Cirque Des Reves - January 27 2018

OBR

Then, I asked her how she got her start with the One Billion Rising cause. “Well, after performing at Burn one year, many moons ago, I was approached by Saffia (Widdershins) who asked me if I would want to help her bring a dance show to OBR too. She told me about the movement and I read up on the web page links and felt it was something I wanted to be part of. So I grabbed a bunch of dancing friends and set up a show. “That year, it was just one proper dance show. And the Changhigh sisters, and Tansee on particles at 2Lei booth.”

15 feb_047

14 Feb_060

14 Feb_134
(Photos: 
Aelva)

And grown it has! “This year we have 6 shows booked during the day at the Dance stage, and Tansee at 2Lei’s booth too. And 2 of the dance shows are variety shows with a mix of dancers.”

(Check the schedule for the performance times… I see MAHAL starting at 6am SLT. And I just got an invite from my friend Vee about the Nouveau Ensemble performing at 4pm SLT, so those groups are pretty excited to be performing on Wednesday. Aelva says the last show should be ending around 6:30pm SLT.)

Hrm...

But with growth, challenges come. “The event itself spans over a full 24 hours on 4 sims, with constant performances, DJs, art exhibits, poetry, always something going on. It means everybody has to work together, cooperate and dive in where it is needed.

With big events like SLB and RFL, there’s weeks to prepare, but not with One Billion Rising. “The sims are not up all that long either. We get access to them about 4 days before the event. I that time we have to decorate the 4 sims, rig the infrastructure and make sure all the performers and artists get installed properly too.”

At the end of the road, it’s worth it for the team. “It is a bit of a marathon that usually ends with a bunch of giggling half awake ladies at midnight when the event ends. They are a pretty funny bunch of ladies. Very different characters but all with the same passion for this movement and it really takes the full team to pull this together.”

Pulling together, supporting each other. That’s what One Billion Rising is about. The challenge of the event logistics never obscures the depth of its meaning:

“I love seeing so many performers come together and bond over a common cause like this It feels like it is an event that matters, that empower us and gives us comfort and hope for a better future. Even if in small ways.”

What does the event mean for you? “I have some bad experiences in my past. It is not a secret. I believe in sharing, with communication about these things and speaking up, we can bring more understanding and knowledge to the world around us. No problem has ever been solved by ignoring it. I also know many of my closest family and friends have similar experiences. And I do this for them, my daughters, and me. To empower, comfort and for hope of a better world for the next generations.”

There are so many stories out there, and One Billion Rising will give many in Second Life an opportunity to share them with others and empower women to defend themselves against would-be aggressors, or see strength in reporting assaults that have happened. Coming together to dance builds trust and shared purpose, and with trust comes solidarity and unity. Because standing alone in the shadows, the longer you wait, the more victims your would-be attacker will prey upon, compounding the guilt and shame.

(Video: Trytofight)

There are so many stories out there, and One Billion Rising will give many in Second Life an opportunity to share them with others and empower women to defend themselves against would-be aggressors, or see strength in reporting assaults that have happened. Coming together to dance builds trust and shared purpose, and with trust comes solidarity and unity. Because standing alone in the shadows, the longer you wait, the more victims your would-be attacker will prey upon, compounding the guilt and shame.

Let’s bring it home!

Thank you, Aelva, it was wonderful to talk to you and learn more about you and your art in the One Billion Rising event, and find strength from you sharing your experience. And I hope that the readers mark their calendars for this epic event, whether it’s to participate in the dances, listen to and read poetry, or to enjoy the art builds. (Group joins and SLURLs will be at OBR’s website when they launch in a few days, okay?)

Not only can you catch Aelva with Elysion’s Luxe Girls and the other dance groups she performs with, but she is also planning events for Fantasy Faire coming up in a few months. So if your dance group has an idea for this year’s event, get in touch with her and let her know what visions you have to share. (I’ll do a follow-up post on Fantasy Faire dance soon, okay? I’m running out of typewriter ribbon.)

Additional Information

FULL DISCLOSURE:
I once built an art piece for OBR back in 2014 when someone mistook me for an artist. Thankfully, fewer people mistake me for an artist these days. It lets me nap a lot more.

So… who wants to be next?

Advertisements

Realm of Light in Second Life

Realm Of Light; Inara Pey, February 2018, on Flickr Realm Of Light – click any image for full size

Annie Brightstar led us to take a visit to Realm Of Light, a Full region designed by Varielle and Tai (Taionia). Described as a “medieval/fantasy sim”, I’d definitely place it as the latter more than the former; it has a delightfully elven / fae feel to it with more than enough fantasy touches to mark it in that direction rather than medieval.

The landing point immediately evokes the fantasy feel, offering a faery circle, trees with windowed trunks lit from within and clearly the homes of the little folk dancing around the landing point on gossamer wings. Four paths offer routes of departure from the ring – three meandering through the tall trees, the third a bridge over one of the region’s rivers. Which you take is entirely up to you – and guaranteed, if I might paraphrase Tolkien, to bring you a place to which you may not have been going, but where your presence is welcomed.

Realm Of Light; Inara Pey, February 2018, on Flickr Realm Of Light

Travel east along one of the paths, and you’ll quickly come to another stream, bridged by interlocking tree trunks, the greensward beyond offering a place to sit and relax – or float- among exotic and colourful plants and fungi. South of this, and sitting on a tiny island separated from the rest of the region by narrow channels, is a great tree supporting a wooden platform on which is built the most marvellous windmill-come-house. At ground level and in the shade of the tree, is a smaller cottage – but be warned! The dragon guarding both is not there purely for show; this little island is a private residence, so please be respectful and avoid trespassing.

Take the path to the north, and it will take you – by way of another bridge – to a garden and elven pavilion. The garden a place of fountains, cuddle spots, a teleport to a floating meditation island. It is dominated by a great mallorn-like tree, a passage cut through its trunk, great lanterns hanging from its boughs and a platformed house held within its crown.

Realm Of Light; Inara Pey, February 2018, on Flickr Realm Of Light

Go south from the landing point, and the path will branch and fork, bringing you to a number of places – what might be an alchemist’s retreat, an ancient walled garden, a mystical tree cave and another greensward ending at a fae waystone circle.

A stone bridge near to the waystone circle offers a way across a narrow river gorge to where elven tree houses sit within the woods, stone paths and steps running between them, the grasses in their shade home to deer and rabbits. The tree houses are connected by bridges spanning the gaps between their ornate platforms, allowing easy passage from one to the next and back without the need to descend to ground level. North-west of the tree houses sits another island, reached by two bridges; again be aware that the properties here are available for rent and may be occupied – so please resist the temptation to enter them.

Realm Of Light; Inara Pey, February 2018, on Flickr Realm Of Light

All of this is just scratching the surface of this region. Along the rivers – and overhead – one might find more dragons; to the north-east lies ship wrecks and a mermaid cove with places underwater to explore. Unicorns are to be found among the trees, while translucent butterflies flutter over plants and toadstools. Keep an eye out for the tiny houses and towers scattered around, and the fae folk who flutter about or are engaged in different activities.

Realm Of Light could perhaps benefit from a more appealing windlight, but as most photographers tend to use their own, this isn’t a drawback – but I do encourage experimenting with options when visiting; this is a place which really comes into its own under many sunlight settings. As it is, Realm Of Light makes for an engaging visit and offers plenty of opportunities for photography and exploration.

Realm Of Light; Inara Pey, February 2018, on Flickr Realm Of Light

SLurl Details

2018 viewer release summaries week #6

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, February 11th

This summary is generally published on every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version  5.1.1.512121, dated January 26th, promoted February 7th formerly the Voice Maintenance RC – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • No updates.
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Render Viewer updated to version 5.1.1.512446 on February 9th.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V5-style

  • No updates.

V1-style

  • No updates.

Mobile / Other Clients

  • MetaChat updated to version 1.2.22 on February 5th.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Eternity in Sansar

Sansar: Eternity

Eternity is the name of the fifth experience by C3rb3rus that I’ve visited in Sansar. I’ve previously blogged three of the others – 2077 and Darkwood Forest in-depth and The Diner as a part of my coverage of the Sansar’s Scariest competition – I have yet to write about Floating Temple, as I’m waiting to see if it develops further!).

Eternity is on a much smaller scale than the previous designs by C3rb3rus – but it is intricately and beautifully detailed and animated, making a visit a must. It’s a single scene environment, presenting an enormous structure in two parts, standing atop an island of floating rock, serenely suspended in the air.

Sansar: Eternity

The first part of this structure is open to the sky above, its high walls an intricate lattice of wood (or copper?) supported by beautifully embossed metal ribs. In general design, it appears church-like: a long, narrow nave leading to a short transept / choir / apse. The aisles either side of the nave are represented by two intricately patterned ramps which gently slope up along the line of the structure to follow the outward curve of the walls. Directly in front of the landing area, almost blocking the way forward, is a great mechanical horse running at the gallop without ever-moving.

To call this a work of art would be an understatement; it is quite simply magnificent. held above a platform on which gears turn and roll by a single supporting pole, this horse is a masterpiece of construction. Burnished in bronze, its legs are fully and naturally articulated, moving with the fluid grace of a horse, head and neck moving in unison with its strides. Partially covered by engraved plates and partially open to the world, the beast has a mechanised interior which rocks and moves in response to its gallop, almost as if driving it, even though none of the gear wheels (understandably) are turning.

Sansar: Eternity

Beyond the horse – which can be viewed from the rough floor of the structure or the ramps on either side – visitors can make their way to the “transept” where more mechanical wonders await. The “floor” here resembles the partially exposed inner workings of a clock or pocket watch with gears meshing and turning and flywheels rocking. A raised dais continues this theme, stretching back towards a single opening. Overhead, an orrery turns embossed metal worlds in orbits around a central point. While one of these worlds is ringed like our Saturn, they do not otherwise appear to be representative of our own solar system.

It’s a stunning, magical setting – but again, the orrery and floor workings can easily be overlooked as eyes are drawn to the far wall of their structure. Solid in nature, all of its entire face is a fabulous tribute to the elegance of clockwork mechanisms, complete with a great brass-like device standing in the middle, above that open doorway mentioned above.

Sansar: Eternity

Surrounded by the copper / bronze gears and flywheels, this round face has the look of both a clock – albeit it one telling time in a way foreign to the human mind – and the great circular window of a church or cathedral.  Indeed, the vertical face on which it is mounted – part of the second, fully enclosed structure in the scene – does through its very shape, heighten the feeling of this being a church, a place raised to the glory of Time.

Eternity is a marvellous portrayal of both our relationship with, and insignificance before, Time itself.  The horse running at the gallop is the very embodiment of tempus fugit, the orrery a reminder that some things endure within the passage of time for far longer than we do, while the great engraved heart suspended by chains above it perhaps stands testament to our own fleeting mortality.

A marvellous, richly detailed and evocative installation.

Experience URL