Choreographer and Director
Director of Photography
About the Film
Saraab, which means Mirage in Farsi is a screen dance film that stems from a very personal story of losing a beloved one. The feeling of being neither in the real world that surrounds you nor in your dream creates a space of in-betweenness. Bouncing between the two makes an illusion of reality, a bittersweet emotional experience. Saraab also attempts to capture the feeling of constant fluctuation between imaginary spaces where one feels the departed, but also the real spaces in which they miss their presence. How does one communicate the absence of something or someone? How is the invisible visualized? Saraab goes beyond physicality and talks about feelings, observations, and emotional attachments to the departed, to the beloved one.
Hediyeh Azma, Director / Choreographer
Hediyeh Azma is an Iranian award-winning choreographer based in Oslo/Norway. With 24-year experience in the field of Iranian urban dance, her choreographies are mainly bouncing between Iranian dance and contemporary. She holds an MA in dance anthropology, with a focus on site-specific audience-participatory performances. Her works are informed by the social issues of her own everyday life. She is interested in the corporeality as a medium to bring social matters into the collective consciousness.
Sumedha Bhattacharyya, Director of Photography
Sumedha Bhattacharyya is an interdisciplinary dance artist-researcher, choreographer, educator, dance filmmaker, and primary caregiver. Her practice experiments with camera, tradition, and gender, with a focus on screen-dance film-making. She is the instigator of her practice-led research -creation initiative Duet with Camera that activates dialogues and experimentations between movement and camera artists, scholars, filmmakers, writers, and practitioners.
In Saraab I was trying to illustrate the surreal in-between-space in a poetic way. Two completely different filming locations embodied the dual feelings. Employing four elements of body, music, camera and editing assisted me to visualise my subtle inner observations. Saraab, being my first screen dance filmmaking experience, I had an overview of how I want it to be visualized but I left room for intuition. Thus, I have choreographed a small chain of movements that I performed in both locations. While the moves were similar, their realizations were completely different according to the atmosphere of each location.
Each location inspired me in two ways: first, to create site-specific movements. Then, triggered some editing ideas, which were not preplanned. This was while clever moves of the camera by Sumedha Bhattacharya enabled the overall theme to be visualized best.
In conversation with Negin Zomorrodi, Iranian contemporary music composer, we decided to use three of her pieces, make a collage in line with the film’s narrative. Her music was an element, highlighting the emotional experience of viewing Saraab.