Metamorphosis: An Introduction
What is it:
Voirelia: A Hub for creating original dance and art works based on questions and concepts from psychology and philosophy.
A new website for Voirelia has been launched. Check it out at voirelia.com!
The website is an older, pre-Voirelia version, and will soon be deleted.
Voirelia is a Vancouver-based dance, psychology, and philosophy hub founded by Dr. Alina Sotskova (Registered Psychologist). Its main purpose is to create original dance and art works inspired by ideas in psychology and philosophy. Existential philosophy emphasizes human freedom and responsibility, potential for creation of deep personal meaning, authentic personal expression, self-reflection, and genuine connection with others. The influences of psychology on Voirelia lead to a recognition that mental health is something that affects everyone. It is common for people to face emotional and psychological difficulties throughout life. Art and dance can become vehicles for acknowledging and normalizing human struggles, as well as a path towards connecting with others, sharing stories, finding support, and enhancing people’s resilience, creativity, and thriving potential. However, there are many other topics within psychology and philosophy that are of interest and have great potential to inspire the creation of new art and dance works: Zen Buddhism and Buddhist psychology; Freudian, Jungian, and depth psychology; philosophy of science and scientific pursuit of knowledge; unsolved mysteries of outer space and how humans relate to concepts of astrophysics – and that’s just to name a few. While contemporary dance is a priority for Voirelia, other art forms (e.g., photography, literature, poetry, music, painting) may be explored and integrated into future works and events.
My aim with Voirelia is for it to be a true hub, a collaborative endeavour bringing people together to explore meaningful topics. Besides creating original dance and art works, the goal of Voirelia is to create positive connections: between different artists; between artists and audience; between scientists, philosophers, therapists, artists, and anyone interested in art, psychology, or philosophy. To create opportunities for these connections, Voirelia will focus on producing and organizing events such as dance performances, art shows, workshops, and public talks. To accomplish this, collaborating with other organizations and artists who share Voirelia’s values or goals will be essential. Voirelia is not meant as a solitary endeavour, but as a step towards enhancing the cohesiveness of the wider community. Core Consultants will work together to shape the vision and the main events Voirelia will work towards. However, anyone can be a Creative Consultant with us – whether your background is dance, visual art, social science, theatre, music, mathematics, philosophy, or something completely different. Send a message with your collaboration idea and we will talk!
As a creator of Voirelia, I founded this hub in hopes that it will grow. Since 2009, I have been actively involved in the dance and arts community in Victoria, BC, then London, ON, and now Vancouver, BC. In the past, I have performed original contemporary dance works with Victoria Dance Theatre, in collaboration with Broken Rhythms Victoria Society, and at the Flux Contemporary Dance Festival. I have organized dance/art events, such as Ghosts of Rorschach, which was based on an interdisciplinary art series I created, and I have worked with local organizations, such as Dance Victoria, to make such events happen. I founded Voirelia because I know I will continue to create and collaborate with others, but I would like those I collaborate with to also be able to connect with one another and for the network of people interested in dance, art, psychology, and philosophy to grow. I would like Voirelia to be a place for expression of creativity and art and I would love to see it grow into a community of members who can help and support one another. You do not have to be an expert on the topic or have an interest in every single theme that Voirelia represents to become part of the hub.
Voirelia seeks to create authentic relationships among artists, community organizations, and people interested in art and dance. One way to facilitate this is to create events and opportunities for dance artists and dance audiences to interact in non-traditional ways, such as the audience members having an opportunity to speak with the dancers or create something together. For example, during one of the previous events, the Ghosts of Rorschach Opening Night, my co-organizers (Dance Victoria, Broken Rhythms Victoria Society , and Ian Sparks Photography) and I planned the event so that the dance works were shown with large breaks throughout the evening and dancers could mingle with the audience. We also had an ‘art-making table’ with prints of ink blots I created so that the audience members could try on the role of the artist, too, and create their own Rorschach-inspired visual art.
Do you have an idea for an event broadly related to dance, psychology, or philosophy (it doesn’t have to relate to all three areas) that you would like to do together and you are looking for other people to help with organizing or curating the event?
Are you an artist, dance teacher, or arts educator interested in co-creating or co-facilitating a workshop or a public talk?
Are you an organization looking to incorporate art or dance in a meaningful way into mental health awareness events, philosophy discussions, or public lectures?
Are you a dancer or an artist in a different discipline who is also interested in psychology or philosophy? Are you a psychologist who is interested in art and dance and advocacy for mental health?
If you’ve said “yes” to any of the above questions, or if you have a question yourself, get in touch – we’ll talk!
To create original dance and art works inspired by psychological and philosophical concepts and to organize meaningful connections between artists and audiences via performances, events, and workshops.
To inspire and support dancers and other artists to create new meaningful works, support one another, and create art works, workshops, performances, and events that have a positive impact on the collective mental health of the community.
To recognize the importance of mental health and the value of psychology and science to enhance quality of life and contribute to a sense of thriving.
To recognize the intersections between the art of dance, the science of psychology, and the existential philosophy. Finding new ways to connect people interested in art, dance, psychology, science, and philosophy.
1.Create original contemporary dance works, integrating influence of ballet, contemporary, and modern dance.
2.Create dance works with a purpose, focusing on authentic expression, acceptance and celebration of diversity of human experience, meaningful storytelling, and exploring psychological and philosophical concepts and questions.
3.Integrate multiple art forms (different forms of dance, poetry, visual art, literature) with the act of dance performance.
4.Organize and take part in events, performances, and workshops that have a positive impact on the mental health of individuals and the wider community. This may include dance performances, events that integrate art with informational lectures about mental health, or events that create opportunities for people to make use of art and dance to heal from mental health difficulties (e.g., workshops, public talks, etc.).
5.Participate in and create performance events and workshops influenced by existential principles of authenticity, freedom of expression, personal and community responsibility, interdisciplinarity in both arts and science, and meaningful human connection.
Existential philosophy: Human freedom. Thriving. Authenticity. Responsibility. Human relationships and connections are valuable. Focus meaningful actions.
Psychology: Acknowledging that emotional and psychological difficulties are common in life. Recognizing value in seeking support and help for psychological difficulties. Decreasing stigma that surrounds mental health problems and seeking professional help. Recognizing that creating supportive communities that are informed about mental health is one of the steps towards enhancing psychological well-being.
Dance and Art: Creativity. Appreciation of diversity of art forms and diversity of approaches to art and dance. Mutual support of other artists.