The inspiration to make this film began a decade ago when I witnessed an elderly man in an Indian village. Despite the obvious decay of his physical body, he joyously stamped in circles around his walking stick in blissful and tender ecstasy, above his head the wide open sky. The wish to convey the rich experiences of my outer and inner journeys to a broader audience as well as to shed light on the topic of Devadasi, moved me to make this film.
Devadasi (Sanskrit, female servant of god) is a name for temple dance in India in its early inception as well as in certain religious traditions. The role of the Devadasi has been misunderstood and misinterpreted throughout history. Currently, Devadasi is often synonymous for prostitution. I feel compelled to help disabuse this misperception. In our film, we witness a cosmopolitan temple dancer, her pure intention, her life and work, the heritage and spiritual dimension of her dance and its role in society. Moving into the Infinite displays a contemporary expression of Devadasi, a dance practice which serves as a spiritual path beyond borders of tradition and confession.
For me, traveling to different countries, and experiencing different cultures and religions, is invigorating. Forming a connection with the varied traditions, rituals, symbols, images and stories, is like walking through spiritual doors and entering new chambers. I love the diversity of the different gardens, discovering the common essence that brings life to our heart by way of many paths.
Facing the unfamiliar can be frightening. I seek to go beyond the differences, beyond fear of touch, and to penetrate into that which is common. Moving into the Infinite is an invitation to break down borders and to grow beyond one's own horizon. In the film, the story of a grandmother displays this beautifully. Having experienced utmost cruelty, she is able to overcome feelings of rage, hatred and revenge, inspiring her entire family to seek reconciliation and peace.
Certain planned scenes developed differently than expected or even did not take place at all. Others unfolded in an unexpected way, more beautifully than we could have ever conjured by ourselves.
I spent nine days at Liane Berghammer's Horse School in order to prepare a scene with her black shire horse and stud stallion, "Hawk Stone Tom." I learned enough that I could return courageously to the zesty-blooded Spaniard, "Altanero." My fantasy to ride on him through the summer landscape, galloping without saddle or any gear remained elusive. Instead, in the morning mists, we started to dance with each other!
As a professional modern dancer, I became author, director and producer of Moving into the Infinite with the avid encouragement of my chief collaborator, cinematographer Eckart Reichl. Together as a team, we embarked on the adventure of producing our film. Shooting and editing were a fulfilling combination of my spontaneous, intuitive approach to filmmaking and his knowledge and experience in film. Each day was a creative play with the elements of planning, and chance, letting go and fresh navigation. The final project that emerged far outshone our calculating mind. The result is a film which transcends conventional forms, genre and style, and that defies easy categorization. Dream becomes reality and reality appears to be a dream.
My invitation to the viewer is to set aside expectations and to enter with an open heart. Allow the rational mind to relax and the fairytale-like imagery to induce a meditative mood for one's own inner journey.
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