“The Boogie Girl” is the visual representation of what I could look like if my outer form truly resembled how I perceive my inner reality and existence.

The Boogie Girl

We speak with Duran, as she explores her shadows through her latest piece “The Boogie Girl“.

Contribution by Duran Abdullah.

Modern societies encourage the repression of expression, by telling us to hide the darkest parts of ourselves, lock them away, for the sake of respectability and convention. We travel through time responding with ‘I’m fines’ when really we carry the world on our shoulders.  Creatives, however, exist within the privilege of having found ways to communicate their deepest feelings and in all mediums we see a range of stories, emotions and characters being shown. Today we speak with Duran, a dancer and all round creative as she explores her shadows through her latest piece “The Boogie Girl”.

The Boogie Girl

So tell me about this piece and the inspiration behind it?

“The Boogie Girl” is the first of a trilogy dance film series that explores the different ways we connect to our inherent darkness and personal demons. The ways in which we relate, resist and harness the power it possesses and how we can translate this through our creativity and disciplines.

The Boogie Girl” is an exploration of “true form” and the visual representation of what I could look like if my outer form truly resembled how I perceive my inner reality and existence.  The image of a little blue devil appeared to me in a vivid dream during a night of restlessness, masquerading as this creature when all along it was myself. A lot like the mythological story of the boogie man, I reimagine my experience and bring to life my very own “Boogie Girl” as an interactive stop motion skeletal doll that I handmade and sculpted.” 

Who are you and what do you do?

Whenever I am asked this question, I always think of the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland.

“Who are YOU?” said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I-I hardly know, sir, just at present – at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.

I think I could find a quote from Alice in Wonderland to answer pretty much all of life’s most difficult questions…it is my favourite book in the world. But I can say that my name is Duran aka Dee Dee, and I’m a multi-disciplinary wizard/artist

Describe your medium of creative expression?

I grew up in the 90s when inspiration and pop culture influences were at its peak and when true individuality was celebrated. I can see so clearly in my work how much that time has influenced me and informed my process. I use film to bring together everything that I love into one space. Directing, dance, martial arts, stop motion animation, MUSIC, fashion and storytelling.

“You used to be much more…muchier. You’ve lost your muchness”.– The Mad Hatter 

Basically, I just never want to lose my muchness…

The Boogie Girl

What does your work communicate?

I create what I want to see and the things my senses are missing or lacking in the world. What I bring to life through my work is soul medicine and when I heal and mend certain parts of me, I hope I carry it forward and free a little part of those who experience my work. 

If I can inspire people to use their hands more, think a little less and let go of perfectionism, that would make me super happy. 

What vision do you hold for your work in the future?

As an empath, all my senses are constantly fuelled which can sometimes feel like a cocktail of emotion and hyper awareness. I want to give this way of experiencing the world some purpose and intention through what I create…perhaps create an alternate reality somewhere where we can all be kids forever.

One of my missions is to take up more digital space with my presence and knowledge, and to bring wider audiences together to experience my work in film and live spaces. 

How did you nurture your creative freedom?

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Limitless limitation… Even though lack of resources and funds may seem like restrictions to your ability to create outstanding work, this is where true creativity can be tapped into. Nothing is ever off limits because I will always find a way to make it happen. You must let go of what you think things should look like and leave an openness to the process to find things that surprise you. I don’t like to control my creativity. Instead, I prefer to listen to what its calling me to do and guide it with my skills, my disciplines and my heart. Every time you succeed at finding creative solutions, the more you believe that you can do anything. Everything else is just a matter of universal timing.

Film Credits:

Producer/Director/performer: Duran Abdullah @duran_deedee

Music: “Gas money” by @yazzus__

Filmed and Edited: Q @mrqstudio

VHS camera operator/Directing assistant: Ellie Harulow @ellieharulow

Makeup/prosthetics by Nicole Milton @nicole_milton_freelance

Project support and location: @gymboxoffical

Check out the GUAP Arts & Culture section, to discover new art, film, and creative individuals. 

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