As an artist

Gabriela Ariana’s art

I am interest in recovering art’s origin, why humans painted about their life in rocks, why they created the totems, songs and dances they did? They weren’t trying to do art, they were trying to leave a print of their experiences, presence, teachings, advices, for the coming generations, they weren’t trying to be “spiritual” either or to please an audience…the point was helping, supporting and guiding own and future generations to survive. As well, I believe, their connection to nature, which was prerequisite for surviving, made them understand of the need of expressing and the value of that, for searching and finding surviving skills.

For me, dance, is the art of surviving through moving. I believe that dance is a tool for getting back to the body and the knowledge of its cells, which is the same knowledge of nature around. Dance was, in its origin, the great way for getting in connection with own body, and through own body to the nature around, to sense, perceive and realize the wisdom of life, in another words the wisdom of surviving. Yet, my work, is not about sharing any wisdom, but sharing my own ways and processes of connecting to nature, the motion, the expression of it.

I believe that dance has something very primordial to do for our contemporary world, dance is a tool to help our human race and planet to survive. I am not interest to make a dance or any other art expression that is not aware of the devastating reality of our planet, since I believe artists have an enormous responsibility and the tools to create spaces for real change towards a more sustainable life.

In now days society people live mostly unconnected from own body and nature. People live unaware of the interdependency between humans and nature and this unawareness is causing the destruction of life and the planet. That touches me enormously, touches my dancer body and transform my work as an artist and my entire life.

I conceive and experience the creation of art pieces, installations and the use of the voice in my works, as extensions of my dance, as a way for my dance to hold itself, as the external presences of nature passing through my body, as a nature rising. My work is far away from being an entertaining show, but more a manifesting presence, a ritual to be experienced. In live-performances, I invite the audience to be part of it actively. Ritual give birth to community and is an important base for my work.

My work is deeply rooted in my experience of nature, in what I see and sense from it. I don’t do so much plans. I go to nature with trust, that everything I need is there. I am not just taking from nature, my aim is to create a relationship, a cycle of exchange every time, a giving and receiving continues cycle.

I am deeply thankful for being a holder of the worldview of my foremothers and forefathers, their understanding of nature and its different dimensions and to my children, for being an endless source of inspiration and strength.

I practice daily in nature and my works develop organically from this practices. Sometimes a work is born in a moment and sometimes is born after several months, or even years, of practices and reflections. I have being doing this practices for very long time, specially during the last 15 years, but I only start to make a register of some pf them since 2017. I also organize workshops in the spirit of this practice and hold every year the Mentoring program in ecosomatic art and education .


Works, practices and projects

My work includes many ways of expression: dance, voice, archaic singing, installations, field art.

>>>Some short clips from a week of practicing in Espoo on Spring and North Karelia-Finland,during winter as a part of the project “Over the land of the Bear”. My thoughts were about how we inhabit and how far we have became to be sensitive and aware of how much we influence in our environment and how much our environment is influencing us. Also I work with issues of belonging/not belonging and how the connection with natures rise body memories. My movements, presence, sounds, were about expressing this sense of exchange, getting back to the awareness of the connections. Also I notice how the memories of the body awake, far away memories that took me too far to keep the awareness in the now and then coming back to the present moment and noticing what that brings to my body, a kind of coming back and being able to notice the prints I am leaving in the memory of nature and the prints that nature is leaving in the memory of my body.

I am working in this project during March-December 2021. This project is financed by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. My work includes ecosomatic practices through movement, dance, singing, field-art and writing.

>>This video was made at Lapinlahden bay in Helsinki, Finland. It is part of the documentation of the project Depth of the origins of Ariana & Syrjäläinen yhtye.

Nature in me: Embodying nature®

Working day, exploring. With the Chilean artist Leslie Apablaza. Reflecting on the project Nature in me, at the Mentoring program of ecological art and education, that I hold here in Finland. Video: Karoliina Hautajärvi.

Winter in Finland at -27 celsius. Connecting with nature. The ice and the snow possesses an ancient energy, something that could relate me with an era before humanity exist and, at the same time, something that relates us with a far future, when everything will became again like that. My body felt amazed and thankful for the winters deep pause, the silent, the simplicity of the landscape. In the snow field where nobody has walked yet, own print became clear and reminds me that, that’s how it happens, we are always living prints in every step we make, all of us. Influencing and changing nature. And we can choose what print we want to let behind, at least at certain level. Video: Karoliina Hautajärvi.



>>>THE TREE OF SHAME (complete performance)

The Tree of Shame is a dance, music, installation work that talks about shame and the need of humans to recycle own body in order to get rid of it. There is so much shame in human bodies, maybe as much as plastic in the ocean. We need to recycle everything, also ourselves. Only by recycling ourselves from shame we might be able to express who we really are, we might be able to connect with ourselves, others and nature. Connection is surviving.
Concept, installation, voice, choreography: Gabriela Ariana
Music: Tuomas Rounakari
Dancers: Taru Kokskinen, Riina Huhtanen and Jukka Tarvainen
Video: Karoliina Hautajärvi
Audio-material (interviews about shame): Emilia Frantsi



>>>Working on the installation for Tree of Shame project. I was really concentrate in this brunches, working with them carefully to be able to return them after to the forest. When they where all hanging from the celling it felt like a real presence of something else, also working team and the public notice it.

>>>Rehearsals of The tree of Shame. Practicing with voice, contact, sensitiveness on the theme of shame in the body and moving shame. Dancers: Taru Koski, Riina Huhtanen and Jukka Tarvainen. Choreographer: Gabriela Ariana. Video: Karolina Hautajärvi. August 2019.


>>>Working at the studio of Harri Kentala, with the musician Ville Syrjäläinen. Doing recording and starting a research that we will be sharing with you already this year, but mainly during 2021. We will be with on-line and also live performance events. Here some clips from our session on the 03.09.2020.


>>>2017 Embodying Soul, some clips of the seminar I teach at the University of Chile in Santiago. The seminar was open to artists from different fields and anybody working in education. A very nourishing experience of learning to trust in the quite and in the simple. To give up aesthetics and play once more with no fair of mistaking but letting mistakes be the perfection of the moment. Remembering together the ancestral body we are.

>>>Dance practice by the sea/Mujer sola at Lapinlahti bay in Helsinki

>>>It is the ending of the autumn in Finland, still couple of degrees over 0. I see the dance that is around me, everything is in movement and I let it pass though me. In this video I am practicing with sensing the outside around and the inside of my body in constant communication, in a constant exchange. I practice to discover how much the body carries the sense of belonging/not belonging in relationship with the moment. The music is a song I record in September 2019. If you wish to listen the whole version is in the next video: