"I found myself, always after giving the birth to the performance, with a new perception. In this case my perception toward being the mother changed. The struggle within changed, even though the circumstances did not.
At the age 14, I had surgery of ovarian cyst. At the age 32, my menstruation stopped. The body felt good, but the mind said something was wrong with the body. To be honest, I did not like to be a woman. To keep being honest to the fact of my body, l shaved my head. ‘I’m not a woman, I do not have menstruation’. After shaved my head, I was more relaxed to be feminine. With shaved head, somehow I felt safer to be feminine which is ultimately my nature.
I wanted to be birthed again. So, I danced “birth” in the desert with sunrise.
For eight years, I kept shaving my head.
My relation towards movement, balance of the body changed without hair. Keeping light, no strings to be caught, I loved it. I kept dancing “birth” in various places in the world, sometimes in the forest, sometimes on the stage, sometimes in the desert. After eight years, I felt it’s time to face and carry my femininity which includes heaviness and darkness. I again, started to let my hair grow. I accepted to be strung and grounded to my femininity as a part of the nature. I then danced “MICHI” with the cycle of the moon.
When I thought about having kids or not in our life with my husband, I went to see a doctor, and was diagnosed as early menopause. I was released. I was released by that fact. It became clear that I cannot give a birth. So, I said ‘let’s find another way of life as a woman’. I am a woman.
Since I heard your project and looked back, I see that it has been a really huge weight on me.
It is really like a birth, the creative process. Only in looking back is it clear that my hardships, the things which I could not always get out, found performance.
That is my way to find a break through, for the stuckness, for the hardship, the things which I cannot enjoy or that I am struggling with. Instead of changing my surrounding, the way of approaching myself, the question is how to change it inside of me? how to change my perception? And that is found in creating a performance. That is the process of adjustment, adjusting my living. I found myself, always after giving the birth to the performance, with a new perception. In this case my perception toward being the mother changed. The struggle within changed, even though the circumstances did not.
Looking back I can say that these works
were to do with the early menopause,
though I didn’t realise it in the moment.
It comes from embodiment, not having hair changed
my movement approach for example. It changed my
perception of how to balance my body, how to stand,
how to move; it is very interesting in daily life
movement and in dance. At the same time, the
reaction from outside had changed too and that
made me much more comfortable. I felt I am being
honest to myself as well as to outside. That’s how I
felt at that moment.
It was almost like I didn’t have to take the shape of the image of a woman, which I had in my past.
Three years ago, I let my hair grow and that is when I felt I am ready to accept the social fact that I am being a woman; ‘okay, I used to hate it’ the attached strings, the heaviness, carrying the darkness, not the light or lightness. I said okay, I am ready to face it and deal with it; the darkness and then things came in the actual material, physical life and I had to deal with it as a woman and in that moment of real struggle, after the darkest period again my body found a way to deal with it through movement. I started.
The performance you saw (second one) depicts the cycle of the life, the title is Michi, it means path (in Japanese), the path of the life, the cycle of the moon represents how the time goes by and how we keep moving in the cycle and that sometimes Oni comes up.
Oni is a Japanese character in mythology, sometimes recognised as a god, sometimes a monster, sometimes death, sometimes as the devil, a very dark a scary character, taking you into the black hole.
Also, in the Japanese custom when you are married, Japanese women put a huge white material around the head with a traditional kimono, it is called tsunokakushi it means that material is to hide the horns, the two horns which belong to Oni. So, when you get married you must hide your horns, the part of Oni which all women have, that is the story behind the tradition. Concealing the darkness, the men in this case don’t need to know women have darkness, but of course we do.
When I heard your project, recurring my histories, it was so interesting to see that after my early menopause, stopping my menstrual cycle, I started with the birth of the sunrise and ended up with the moon cycle with these two performances. Ending facing the darkness, the moon and femininity. Sharing those two performances feels very connected to what you are doing, watching and observing the female cycle.
I am meditating all the time, two hours a day and sometimes on a Saturday for longer. I started to find pictures of nature, of the sand, of a storm, the mountains, the rivers, quiet places... more than 100 or 200 pictures in colour copy. I meditated, scanning my body, feeling which part of me felt which weather and afterward I put the photos in the outline of my body; ‘okay a storm in my head, a stone in my chest and an iceberg here or there’.
Once I mapped out visually my body with the photos, I danced with it. Probably one hour and then through that dance I felt the change in my tone, in my body weather. It kept changing and changing and then again I mapped out, rearranged; ‘maybe a little rainbow on my toes, a little snowy of my ear’ and definitely I calmed down my chest with this, maybe a rainforest around the stomach and there were a lot of tears. Again, I could see the weather on my body after that dance and it was a significant moment, to see and visualise what is happening in my body both before and after dance.