Dear Dancing Spirits,
I just started this project. On a Sunday evening. It is so sweet and simple. As I was going to the dentist, often -- escaping for air between teeth -- I was meeting a lady from my native country. She had been an actress and is married to a writer/filmmaker. She makes the money and he tries to get a film he shot finished. I also met them at their home. We got along well. Apart from a dog and two sons they also have a twelve-year old who is unbelievably wise for her age. And the damn tits are just about out and ready for the world. On the edge so to speak.
It turned out she wanted to be a dancer. I went to her teaching class with my camera just playing around. That material turned out be interesting shit. Emphasis on shit. I just am not the right guy. What a puppy cocoon talent. And she loved to improvise. I asked them and her later if she'd be up for a 60sec dance on Sunday. They agreed and we had some great long evenings with discussions like fools. The best. The dad had one camera. I had one. We were set to go.
On a Sunday I asked them for some outfit options and went shopping around noon. I found two amazing T-shirts which I thought would be the outfits' main element in all the dances I will do for this project. One white with a handstitched dragon. One with a dove. Art. I was hoping they would have liked the idea. I was happy. Went for a coffee. I sit. And I meet an ex stunt-guy who worked on many movies for Jacky Chan. He tells me he was on a shoot in the middle of the Sahara some 15/20 years ago. We chat and at some point I tell him what I am about to start. He tells me he's coming with a camera and an ex-dancer who worked in Paris with Marcel Marceau. Ok. We meet at 5:30pm. I have found a location in the marina where the light is beautiful. We can get on the dock unofficially after the harbour master has left at 7pm. I asked him and he said 'if we don't know we don't'. We chat more and have starbucks.
The ex-dancer is HIV+ and has survived two near-death moments. I have brought him 'Starfish Tango'. And thank him. We prepare and shoot. Pretty much done in an hour. The girl is genius.
The sun works with the clouds. Sailboats. Wind. Pelicans flapping. Amazing grace. I take them for dinner. We have a warm evening. I hear they are thinking of putting the ballerina in a summerclass but it's expensive. $200. I offer to donate the money since they are on a low scale for income. They accept. All were so happy.
I know I have a great little film. Which, in a short version, will be made in an mpeg that we will be putting online here. To then be looked at and hopefully copied and sent to friends.
Little bird. Can dance. Will fly. I will try this again myself and so if in the meantime you feel like getting involved in this videopixels dance, please send your videos on to
Whatever HIV can inspire you, amateurishly too, possibly no larger than 4 MBs. But make it fly....
Ready to take off?...
Rutger and Irina Kolesnikova
November 2009 - Irina and Rutger together in St Petersburg: he is showing her some acting techniques applied to dance. Since they first meeting in South Africa in 2006 their warm friendship has led them to exchanging artistic ideas and planning her involvement for a future 'dance4HIV' project.
Irina Kolesnikova was born in Saint Petersburg. In 1998 she graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy, where she had been studying in the class of Elvira Kokorina. That same year in December, Irina was accepted into Konstantin Tachkin’s St Petersburg Ballet Theatre as a soloist where her first teacher was Russia’s Honoured Artist, Svetlana Efremova.
Due to her extraordinary dancing and acting abilities, Irina was promoted to principal dancer in 2000 and by 2001 became the company’s Prima Ballerina. Her many roles include Odette/Odile from “Swan Lake”, Clara from “Nutcracker”, Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty”, Kitri from “Don Quixote”, Giselle, Nikyiya from “La Bayadère” , Paquita.
On April 17, 2006, Irina donated a pair of autographed ballerina shoes to Rutger and his Starfish organization.
Irina's website: www.irinakolesnikova.com
** With the contribution of Andrea Serrano (Teacher of Corporal Expression) and his students from "Sacred Heart School of Reñaca" (Chile): Francisca Aguirre, Catalina Andariza, Rosario Baeza, Valentina Baeza, Maria Jesús Cabello, Claudia Cárdenas, Catherine Cima, Camila Correa, Gabriela Correa, Paulette Covacecich, Javiera Espinosa, Alejandra Estay, Tania Funes, Ruth Gutiérrez, Paulette Massart, Jean Marie Miquel, Francisca Mondión, Javiera Moreno,Daniela Portus, Maria Fernanda Uribe, María Ignacia Zapico.