The Dancers Tarot by Moti Mark Zemelman
The Dancers Tarot
I'm creating a photographic tarot deck, using dancers and movers to embody the traditional Tarot archetypes. As a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, and photographer, my desire is to integrate these art forms in this project.
Thanks so much for helping out! In Motion,
By Moti Zemelman
As someone deeply involved in bringing the dream world into my art, I find Tarot to be a rich source of imagery. The creation of Tarot decks is a tradition that has been undertaken for hundreds of years in thousands of variations, and yet still offers an inexhaustible source of inspiration.
For me, dance is at once a spiritual, physical, emotional, and artistic practice. Tarot imagery is commonly artistic, spiritual, and emotional, yet rarely explores the physicality of the archetypes. In most decks, bodies are represented in a symbolic or stylized manner, which helps the cards function as a meditative tool; however, this kind of art ignores the fact that we are, as they say, spiritual beings having a human experience. I want to explore the ways in which spirit moves through the body, and how movement and physicality are essential to the journey.
In making this deck I am setting out on a journey, beginning as "The Fool” and maturing into "The World”. Each of the dancers involved in this project will undertake their own journey through the card they are portraying. I will work with each dancer, using improvisational dance techniques (such as Authentic Movement and Contact Improvisation) as approaches to finding genuine expressions of the archetypes.
My first medium of expression was painting, where I created surreal dreamscapes that represented the unconscious realm of the psyche. I then wanted more movement in my paintings, which led me to sketch dancers and to dance myself—and I’ve been dancing ever since.
During my years as a dancer, I began photographing dance. Through this evolution I have integrated photography with my desire to express movement, gesture, and the body in my art. For me, photography offers a direct approach to depicting the human form, which enables me to capture the physicality of dancers in the moment. Further digital manipulation of these images then allows me to create dream worlds where the impossible becomes possible, where a fusion of images stirs the imagination in new and unexpected ways.
Funds Raised on Kickstarter will go towards creating the first 22 cards of the deck (the Major Arcana). If I’m able to meet my goal of $6500, this will provide $300 per card, enabling me to cover costs including:
- Dance studio rental
- Ink, Paper, and other printing materials
- Paying my dancer/models in the form of money or prints
- Framing and matting for exhibition
If I end up raising money beyond my goal, those funds will go towards the self publishing costs of making a larger first edition printing of this 22 card deck. If the project goes well, I will continue with the minor arcana (the four suits: cups, swords, wands, and pentacles)—that's 56 more images!!
Check out the various enticing incentives on the right side of this screen for the different pledge levels – at $50 and up you get a copy of the entire deck of 22 cards!
Moti Zemelman, MFA, is primarily a dancer, photographer, and performer, and is also an accomplished musician and painter. He began dancing 22 years ago while involved in his university training to be a painter. Over the past 16 years he has taught and performed across USA, Canada, Central America, Mexico, Europe, and Israel. In 2008-09 he taught as Dance Professor at the Instituto Naciónal de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Other recent teaching engagements include Earthdance (Massachusetts, USA), DanceBase (Edinburgh), Circuit-Est (Montreal), and the Lila Lopez Contemporary Dance Festival (San Luis Potosi, Mexico) He was an original member of Wire Monkey Dance Co., (Holyoke, MA, USA). Throughout his years as a dancer, he began photographing dance. Through this evolution he has integrated photography with his desire to express movement, gesture, and the body in his art. Recent successes include exhibitions of his work at The Paradise City Arts Festival (Northampton, MA) and the Vermont Center for Photography (Brattleboro, VT) As a musician Moti plays vocal-electronic music for dancers and in 2007 released his debut CD, Doorwaves. Other training includes yoga, Action Theater, modern dance, and clowning. He also designs and moderates the international Contact Improvisation Dance resource website www.contactimprov.com.
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