Private Project

Dissecting the Blossom

One of the first dances learned in the classical Indian dance form, Bharatanatyam, Alaripu is a meditative opening up of mind and body in preparation for the rigors of the dance. Alaripu means “blossom” in the Tamil language. In this screendance work, a 3-beat, or “Tishra Alaripu” is danced throughout the environment of an apple orchard during a springtime bloom, connecting the symbolic essence of the dance with the burgeoning life force of the ephemeral peak days of the orchard bloom. The film opens with a gradual transition from winter into spring, followed by the Alaripu dance itself, dissected and reconstructed with multiple perspectives of its movements, including close-ups of “mudras” and footwork. Dance images are cut with illustrative diagrams of archival orchard-layout plans and bud/blossom anatomy cutaways. Juxtapositions of the dancer and biological imagery create tripartite montages, alluding to the 3-beat metric of the dance.

  • Cherie Sampson
  • Cherie Sampson
  • Cherie Sampson
  • Cherie Sampson
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 28, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    7,400 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Official Selection, Festival International de Vidéo Danse de Bourgogne
    Le Creusot, France
    May 21, 2015
    European Premiere
  • St. Louis Indian Dance Festival
    Clayton, Missouri
    June 13, 2015
    USA Premiere
  • Biennial Quad State Exhibition
    Quincy Art Center, Quincy, IL
    July 18, 2015
  • Official Selection, Movies by Movers
    Daniel Boone Native Gardens, Boone, North Carolina
    September 19, 2015
  • Third Indian Cine Film Festival (ICFF)
    Mumbai, India
    September 19, 2015
    Indian Premiere
    Best Music Video Jury Award
  • Official Selection, Citizen Jane Film Festival
    Columbia, Missouri
    October 24, 2015
  • FIVC - OFF - International videodance Festival of Chile
    Santiago, Chile
    November 24, 2015
Director Biography - Cherie Sampson

Cherie Sampson has worked for 25 years as an interdisciplinary artist in environmental performance, sculpture, video art and screendance. She has exhibited internationally in live performances, art-in-nature symposia, video screenings and installations in the US, Finland, Norway, Holland, Cuba, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong and other countries. Recent solo exhibitions/performances include “Purificación” - a weeklong performance series at Tufiarte, Gran Canaria, Spain and the solo exhibition/video installation, "Puut Punalle Maat Sinelle" (Red the Trees & Green the Land) at the Pori Art Museum in Pori, Finland. Cherie is the recipient of a number of fellowships & grants including two Fulbright Fellowships, a Finnish Cultural Foundation Grant, three Finlandia Foundation Grants and multiple internal research grants for artistic projects from the University of Missouri. She received her Master of Fine Art Degree in Intermedia & Video Art from the University of Iowa, 1997. Professional Memberships include Artists in Nature International Network (AiNIN) since 2003 as well as board membership at Soorya Performing Arts in St. Louis, Missouri. Cherie divides her time between the University of Missouri where she is an Associate Professor of Art and her organic farm in Northeast Missouri where she initiates and creates many of her art works in the wooded and cultivated environments.

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Director Statement

Many years ago in the arctic regions of Scandinavia I initiated the making of vide-performances in which I inserted my body into remote boreal landscapes of moss, peat, tundra, forest and ice and snow. These performances, in I call ‘found’ landscapes, embody temporality and cyclical change in nature – its evolution often not perceptible at the moment in its infinitely gradual process, but as an after-image. An abstracted body may appear at once human, animal and vegetative with the imagery reflecting and mimicking patterns in the environment and contemplating the stirring and stilling of time.

Informed by a visual arts background the camera is turned on myself, not so much in self-reflexive portraiture, but rather in allusion to an archetypal body that is an integral part of nature. My solitary performance work in the environment as well as performances for live audiences and gallery video-installations are often inspired by classicism and ties to cultural tradition – west and east, as widely varied as the ancient poetic traditions of Karelian Finland and classical dance forms of India.

Changes in technology have inevitably impacted the creation and presentation of the video works over time. More recent works have utilized masking and mirroring in post-production as means to explore the play of singularity and multiplicity, yet representation of the integrity of the performances in-situ remain at the core of my video art. Many of the images in the videos lie in a liminal place between the still and moving image, a vision of becoming and evanescence that requires quieting the mind enough to see the subtlety of a gray arctic sky turning blue-gray, a semi-transparent spider descending lightly through the frame or the gradual torque of the body on a bed of moss…