Helen Thorsen Artist Statement 2013
Art like the night sky, that is in and outside all at once, joins that divine wildness to human freedom. In that deep terrain sits the essential self, a revolution, a freedom that cannot be shaken. I believe the body expresses a fundamental truth that is universal and healing. That art is revolutionary surrender to the forces that move you.
There is an unarticulated force in me that persistently yearns to explore the deepest most profound moments of being fully alive. I struggle to create raw defiant beauty and expose the mystery that springs from the immediate honesty of the body in a moment of crisis. I look to share that through a deep connection to audience in performances.
My art material is the body and the body has its own language. My dances begin from ideas, emotions, and reactions. These threads are explored through stream of consciousness, and the use of poetic imagery to create choreography that is non-literal. I use imagery frequently from nature. As the work progresses, the integrity of the composition itself becomes the defining factor of the choreography. The dance has its own life with the complexity that dictates what it needs for its own beauty, completion and refinement.
My work often depicts the cycle of life. Themes of injustice oppression, cruelty, transformation and redemption are often the starting place for my choreography. My art gravitates toward ideas of objectification, beauty and the brutality in contemporary society. My work shapes a personal vision with my own voice and direction. My recent work is inspired by the imagery of carnival sideshows, imagery from the short film “The Library of Dust” by Robert James and novel “The Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison.
Because of its essential grounding in transformation, acceptance and presence my work has been informed by the art form of Butoh dance. Butoh’s commitment to dancing the honesty of the emergent moment allows transcendence away from ego and judgment toward a depth of connective spirit. Other defining influences include modern dance, surrealism and performance art.
Photo: Briana Jones