Directed by Mimi Garrad/ Reviewed by Provesha Pyne
“Dai Jian Suite” is a work of art. Mimi Garrad believes that all life is interconnected: that by transcending the ego it is possible to access universal energy.
Transcendentalism is a very formal word that describes a very simple idea. People, men and women equally, have knowledge about themselves and the world around them that “transcends” or goes beyond what they can see, hear, taste, touch or feel.
This knowledge comes through intuition and imagination not through logic or the senses. People can trust themselves to be their own authority on what is right. The film is proof of the fact that the filmmaker’s innermost feelings are transformed and exhibit themselves in this manner. The space of transcendence allows you to see where you are out of alignment with love and kindness. From there, you can re-construct your ego just as you created it, but now you can do so consciously.
The fluidity and gracefulness of the dancer is the most modern form of what dance has evolved into.
Dance, as an artform, is transcendental. It means you don’t have to be part of a culture or speak a foreign language to understand its expression. It talks to the human being that we all are.
Garrad uses all her experience as a dancer to choreograph and portray a visual feast for the audience. She has worked with with Alwin Nikolais who produced her concerts at the Henry Street Playhouse for ten years. She has also toured under the National Endowment Touring Program for many years. Having worked with James Seawright, she had her work commissioned for CBS Camera Three and WGBH Boston television. Garrad has worked on more than ninety works for the stage that were performed throughout the United States and In South America and has received two grants for choreography from the National Endowment for the Arts.
With all of this experience under her belt it is no wonder that Garrad does what she does. She somehow manages to create something powerful and poignant at the same time. Fluidity, seamlessness, art, modernity and bold visuals are in coherence with her work.
The dancer is clad in loose fitting clothes and his movements rise and fall like the ebb of the waves in the ocean. It is peaceful, serene and tranquil to be watching him. His emotions are simple. He seems lost in his movements. They define him. He and his dance are one and soon there is almost no difference between them. Such is the power in Garrad’s work.
Garrad makes sense of something that so few understand. The digital artwork is beautiful and robust. Using various digital tactics, Mimi showcases her creativity and her openness to embrace striking, poignant solos with intense expressions andartful, demonstrative movements.