Award-winning aerialist Diego Salles has made a video that is firmly rooted to the earth, which he calls REBOUND–There is Nothing to Escape. Salles says “It is a video performance about my– maybe even our– ability of process adverse situations.”
Salles came up with the project in March 2020 when he decided to transform a healing process into a motion piece. He says, “During the first part of isolation, I was mourning the loss of someone, plus there was the threat of a virus we had little information about. More than ever before, I had the time and luckily the space to feel where my emotions could lead me.” He said it was helpful because it allowed him to only feel the process as it developed, and since he knew that the world would be on pause for a while he could slow down and focus on just what was happening. He claims it was scary yet somehow comforting.
“The rebound proposal comes from my belief that all challenges in life have a purpose–that…moments of uncertainty and stress lead us to an inner growth—and…we win if we are able to rebound and to walk away from it alive. The contrast between self-control and fragility is a big part of my inspiration in REBOUND. It is on this emotional roller coaster that movements are contorted and developed.”
Along with videographer Mikail Karahan as ‘outside eye,’ Salles spent four weeks on research where he says he “investigated the feeling and ‘place’ where I found myself each week, and in that way we (Karahan and Salles) could transform it into dance and movement at the same time as I registered it.”
“Directly creating something that would only be appreciated by video was a little challenging at first. It was not just 30 seconds of video on Instagram–it was a process from which I could expose my experiences without having to worry about how I could translate it to the stage, and I wanted to take the best of it. But then the question settled in, ‘How can I keep it real?””
“After thinking about creating a choreographed performance, I realized that the beauty of this process was not in some specific result but in the improvisations, in the natural state of that period. You can bring feelings back, and somehow reproduce them but it will never be as real as when you first felt it.”
You can bring feelings back, and somehow reproduce them but it will never be as real as when you first felt it.
“The times we lived and still live in are scary, but to have art to rely on is a blessing. The benefits of art are not only for the artist who heals himself by creating…because the whole audience gets some of the hope and healing energy from what artists (and all of the professionals involved) create.” And he’s right–watching a person process powerful feelings of isolation and worry might not be at the top of your to-do list after experiencing those things yourself, but it can be the eye-opening catalyst that allows you to process some of the feelings you have suppressed in order to be strong during tough times. If an artist can help with that, it can make the world a more livable place!
Salles message to his audience and fellow artists is this, “Thank you for watching REBOUND. Better times are yet to come! We’re only in the creation process, so keep it real!”