Dance research platform “bitės’22” | UNENDING RESEARCH | Sountu Sarastel

We invite you to get familiar with the last participant of the dance research platform “bitės’22” – Sountu Sarastel – and her insights about the process:

Do you have questions/thesis/challenges from which you want to continue the research that you have started?

In my research I’m looking at surprises, where do they come from, and how is the moment of surprise. I’m also interested in looking at myself and asking why I enjoy these unpredictable things. I know some people are the complete opposite. In my research I’ve been taking walks to find/notice surprises around me. I’m curious about finding out more about the specific presence I’m tuning in when going on these walks, and to see how to transfer it to another space and context. During the walks I try to be free of stress and time limits, and in a way very spontaneous and unproductive. However, I’m still working on my research and being productive. This paradox is interesting.

Which aspects of the platform enabled you? Which aspects were challenging? In order to know: what did you need/what worked for you?

For me, constant talking has been useful. We have talked within the group and with visiting artists. It was especially good to talk about our own research from a very early stage. Sometimes I had to talk even if I didn’t know beforehand what to say. I figured it out as I was talking. It is precious to have time scheduled for talking. Sometimes life is busy, and in our everyday environment we don’t have time to have long conversations. For me it worked that we had deadlines during the week for our blog and for social media sharing. Deadlines remind me of studying at school, which felt familiar. They structure my working routine.

What is the value of having a constant exchange and discussions with the same group of people? How did it influence your thinking?

The fact that the group stays the same allowed us to build trust. Sometimes people were sharing quite intimate things, which they wouldn’t have without trust. During the meetings we experienced stuff together and could refer to that later. Even though everything happened online, and the relationships with other participants would’ve probably grown stronger if we were meeting face to face, I feel like I’ve built great connections and would be happy to work with these people in the future someday.


The project is funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture.


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