NEW PRE PRODUCTION SHORT TEASER
NEW LONG TRAILER
Launching at 1PM IST on the 08.06.2022!
for WORLD OCEAN DAY!!!!
"WHY I DANCE WITH WHALES"
By Chloé Pisco
GENRE : An Eco Arts Documentary short film made together WITH wildlife
THEMES: Interspecies communication, connection, learning and our urgent climate crisis.
A freediving dancer from Ireland, communicates with wild humpback whales, through movement and dance in the middle of the Pacific.
A film worth holding your breath for...
Team so far:
- Dancers - (Both coincidentally also featured heavily in the Netflix distributed film Firestarter)
Tyrel Dulvarie - confirmed: Ex Bangarra Dancer and a proudly from Gimuy, he is a descendant of the Yirrganydji, Djirrabul, Kalkadoon and Umpila peoples.
Yolanda Lowatta - confirmed Ex Bangarra Dancer and a proud Giedi woman born on Thursday Island. She is a descendant of Yam Island in the Torres Strait and is also of Papua New Guinean and Fijian heritage.
- Co-writer/ mentor Katie McNeice - confirmed (Lambing, Who we love)
- Underwater DoP Julie Gautier - approached (Ama, One breath around the world)
- Documentary film mentor - Kim Bartley - confirmed (Pure Grit and Herstory Ireland’s Epic women)
- Editor/ mentor confirmed - Kersti Grunditz-Brennan (Blöd, Marie's Attitude)
- First AD / production co-ordinator / underwater 3rd Cam confirmed- my sister Amelia de Buyl-Pisco, (Bring them down, Callans Kicks, Float like a Butterfly)
- In conversation with potential Producer - Zlata Filipovic (the Farthest, When Women Won)
Alexis Pauline Gumbs - Confirmed : Author of Undrowned: BLACK FEMINIST LESSONS from MARINE MAMMALS.
Nan Hauser - Confirmed: Marine biologist in the Cook islands, whose life was saved by a humpback whale.
Tyson Yunkapota - Approached: Author of SANDTALK: How indigenous thinking can save the world.
Meleika Gesa-Fatafehi - Confirmed: a Torres Strait Islander and Tongan storyteller whose writing work focuses on poetry and climate change
About the director + Access statement:
FORMAT: A narrative documentary feature film
We dive into a blue world, loud with emotive songs of longing, following a team that holds it’s breath in the South Pacific ocean, lead by Irish director and performer of dance / circus, CHLOÉ PISCO.
We bring 12 DANCERS to the Kingdom of Tonga, free diving, to meet wild humpback WHALES for the first time. Our team is made up exclusively of super talents who happen to belong to marginalised groups also. I.e.: Women, First Nations’s peoples, LGBTQIA+ people. First nations people's of Australia and of the South Pacific Islands have some of the oldest living cultures on earth, (some 100,000 years old so far), and many of which involve profound links to the sea and even whales.
They are all incredibly passionate about powerful communication through art and dance; working on affecting that very phenomenon for this film, but this time, interspecies: We will communicate non verbally/ non acoustically through a dance and body language exchange…with wild humpback whales.
The director spent 7 weeks underwater doing this successfully in Tonga and Australia, before the pandemic. Now it’s time to go back with our extraordinary team to explore our questions and get the shots we need to share our ideas on these.
Pisco has been researching oxytocin since 2013 and in her recent MA thesis research, she proved that this empathy hormone is increased when we engage in live arts.
These whales build real bonds with us. They not only make oxytocin, the very same empathy and bonding hormone that 95 % of humans make, they rescue other species.
Most humpback whales also express themselves through dance and song.
Is that Art? Let’s start with what is art?
Our favourite definition: Art is an individual’s particular perspective expressed creatively. So whales are singing and dancing about their perspective on their own rich and complex worlds.
There is communicative language in that.
Pisco wants to decode it.
She wants to understand them.
Build a database of movement language.
After all, dance is an expressive format that delivers much larger and broader date packets than mere verbal sentences.
Communicating non verbally through dance interspecies is significant.
Creating movement to communicate is art...
Art itself is creative expression.
Expression is a form of communication.
Communication involves connection.
Connection is at the heart of the internal oxytocin neurochemical tides of all mammals.
We are connecting to them and building bonds through this interchange of communicated ideas / feelings / data.
So when we dance these duets, we are not only sharing feelings through communication, not only are we building bonds, we are learning from them about how it is to be a whale. And understanding them on a much deeper level than words, on an empathic and creative expression level.
Eco tourism is capitalising on bullying these whales, and at the same time capitalising on the human desire for connection - oxytocin. As well as on the whale tendencies to care for and connect to humans and engage in underwater dance duets.
Pisco is seeking a more authentic connection, that includes their consent, with and from these 30 metre beings with complex sentience, empathy, nuanced social bonds, altruism towards other species, (documented multiple times across the globe), huge hearts and giant brains that produce enormous amounts of oxytocin.
This happens in their habitat, all while avoiding scaring them, or crossing their “unspoken” boundaries.
During her 7 weeks underwater, the whales taught me how to understand them and their consensual boundaries. Tonga, specifically is a birthing ground where Pisco encountered dozens of mother calf pairs.
She will show how this happens well, and when it doesn’t work.
The Climax, as planned so far, is to have shots of whales and dancers in the same frame having a DANCED DUET conversations.
Playing a game of memory, where one does a move and the other responds with the same and then adds a move. Pisco did this in Tonga and it worked over and over again. Especially with the baby whale calves. We may even get to witness / document one of the many times that whales act altruistically, rescuing other species for example.
We know that once we are shooting, in situ with wild animals, other gifts and opportunities for themes will become apparent. Further Resolutions will become clear after the fact, during the edit.
Our goal as we lure people in with the dancing and singing whales… is to bond them to our subjects and then hit them with the hard truths.
I want everyone to feel what it's like to feel connection and care from a 30 metre oxytocin producing mammal!
You are transformed and are able to embody the truth:
We are not alone. Ever.
We are loved and a part of a inter-affective web of interspecies co-investment, dependence and care.
We are not just part of nature,
WE ARE NATURE
It is TIME TO FECKING ACT LIKE IT
Giedi woman born on Thursday Island and grew up in Mackay. She is a descendant of Yam Island in the Torres Strait and is also of Papua New Guinean and Fijian heritage.
Gimuy, he is a descendant of the Yirrganydji, Djirrabul, Kalkadoon and Umpila peoples.
Below is a sample of the RAW UNEDITED FOOTAGE from TONGA and Australia