is a new film which brings together the practices of Liverpool-based
creatives Aline Costa and Tommy Husband. Aline is a Swiss performer and
movement artist with a background in contemporary dance and physical
theatre. Tommy is a writer, director, filmmaker and musician with a
recent focus on music videos, working with Stealing Sheep &
Ex-Easter Island Head among many others.
Filmed and directed by
Tommy Husband over two days in the Invisible Wind Factory, UNEASE
documents a new dance work devised and performed by Aline Costa. It is
accompanied by a musical score created in response by Tommy. The dance
piece takes as a starting point the female body, and uses movement to
explore the tensions between beauty, fragility, strength and grace.
In addition to his music video work, Tommy
Husband co-created, directed, shot and edited Stock Footage
lockdowns of 2020/21. This Arts Council funded series of live music
performances and interviews was broadcast from our closest neighbours,
Stockroom, and features a range of local talent including
recent OUTPUT exhibitor Podge.
Originally from Cornwall, Tommy studied
Film Production at the Arts Institute in Bournemouth before joining
Warp films, working across multiple projects and roles. His work has
screened in competition at the London Short Film Festival.
Costa moved to Liverpool from Mexico in 2016, having studied Scenic
Dance at the Institute of Fine Arts, Colima University in Mexico, where
she was an active member of Univerdanza Dance Company. She has
presented her work at LEAP Dance Festival, Threshold Festival and the
Unity Theatre and was recently selected for the Associate Artist Scheme
at Ludus Dance where she has developed a new solo piece entitled ‘A
Woman’s Face’ which will be presented at the Lancashire Fringe Festival
in Preston in May this year.
Aline explains; “When I
this project I found myself in the difficult situation of not knowing
exactly the concept that I wanted to explore, nor the story I wanted to
tell. As a first step, I took the body. I wanted to break its beauty, I
wanted to make uneasy angles, to make it unnatural, almost painful...
and from there a little story came up, back in time, back in some kind
of surreal and mystical place. As a choreographer and as a dancer I
really believe in the romantic idea that dance is a universal
language. I have always been amazed at how much is understood with only
a movement or gesture, and how much can resonate with each individual
in different ways. Dance speaks many languages, whatever you understand
of this piece is what you need to hear in yourself, what moves you, in
your own story and your own experience.”
OUTPUT thanks Bluecoat
for their support of this project.
UPDATE: The film which made up the second screen of UNEASE's
dual-projection installation is now also online, and can be viewed
Q&A - ALINE COSTA
How long have
you been a dancer, and what attracted you to the art form of dance?
have been a dancer for about 14 years. I started to study dance when I
was 19 years old, which it is pretty late for this artform.
in dance at University was four years and this August will be my tenth
anniversary as a solo dance artist. However, I remember enjoying
dancing since I was very very young. I used to spend hours
music by myself and I recall being amazed by what I could hear: so much
passion, so many textures (I loved and I still love music). My body
couldn't resist, I had the need to replicate what was in the music, and
how it made me feel, so dance was something that it always came out
naturally for me. Later on, I learned how much I love the power of
gestures and movement, and it is precisely that what attracted me, and
still grabs me from this art: the body itself, it's movement, postures
and shapes says so much, as if it has its own melody. You can express
so much without any words, only with your presence in the space...I
love dance for that!
What are the
emotions and experiences which inspired this piece?
I'm creating a new piece I always want to share somehow something of
myself and this time was no exception. My work always reflects
something of me, it is kind of a mirror. In this piece I took as a
starting point the beauty of the female body, and I wanted to break it
down a little bit, to explore a different structure of it, unfollow the
natural lines of the body. And when I was doing that, I
feel uncomfortable, there was a bit of frustration, sadness but also
some fragility. Then when I accepted these feelings and sensations
there was a moment of empowerment, of expansion and satisfaction. This
piece goes back to very old and maybe even imaginary and mystical
memories. It is an "up and down" of emotions, bouncing from one side to
another, but mainly it shows a woman as complete and as vulnerable as
any other human being.
How did you
find collaborating with Tommy?
is not only a great artist but also an amazing person. He
dialogue and that for me is the most important things when you are
collaborating with someone. With him it was easy to share ideas and
there was no fear to be judged, he listened and suggested. He followed
me through must of my creative process attending many of my rehearsals
and made the whole process very smooth. I'm a person who gets very
nervous in front of a camera, but I have to say that, as an extra
quality, and probably a very good one for a filmmaker, Tommy makes the
working environment very easy, very supportive, and in fact, I loved
the filming days!
What are your
ultimate goals or ambitions as a dancer?
is a deep and difficult question, maybe a bit selfish in the answer...
It is closely related of why we create "art"... I would like to have a
voice as an artist, I would like that when people see my work, it will
resonate with something inside them. I want to surprise and awake
emotions in audiences. As a dancer and choreographer I would like to
find my own language, my own style, to know it so well that it would be
recognisable to everyone, but yet, I would like to still evolve,
change, to never stop this process and to rediscover myself each
I hope to never get stuck! Of course I would love to be able to tour,
nationally and internationally, and I would like my practice
sustainable, so I could dedicate 100% of my professional life to it.
How long have
you been in Liverpool, and how has the city affected your creative
have been living in Liverpool for 6 years. Before I moved
here, I was
in an "artistic crisis", I was ready to drop the towel (is never simple
as a solo artist), but as soon as I arrived here I had a change of
mind. Liverpool was a fresh new start. It is a city with lot of
independent artists, fighting for their art and that was a huge
motivation for me. As I said, it is never simple when you are a solo
artist, but somehow now I know that Dance has to stay with me, even
during "crisis periods" (specifically during them!). Liverpool gave me
that, it was the city that offered me the time and space to reflect on
it. I now know that I have to create dance, it is a way to find myself,
it is the way to be myself.
Q&A: TOMMY HUSBAND
would you describe your practice as a filmmaker / musician - what kind
of work do you make?
pretty DIY: I write/direct/shoot/edit/sound mix/etc. I make music
videos and short films at the moment. I do make music but i don't
really think of myself as a musician, It's all just the same thing.
of your work is collaborative - how do you find the process of artistic
used to see collaboration as a necessary evil to be honest but I really
love it now. I'm not sure what changed, maybe i got better at
other art forms affected how you create work?
I don’t think so - only in as much as everything affects or inspires
you somehow in a positive or negative way.
was this collaboration in particular? How would you describe your role
in the process?
was great. I didn’t really do much for most of it. I met with Aline a
few times at her studio and she would show me the piece as it evolved.
I just sorta observed and thought about how best to shoot it. Then we
had two days in the Invisible Wind Factory basement where we shot it,
it was no frills.
long have you been in Liverpool, and how has the city affected your
been here for eight years? The first five were all on renovating a
property in a similarly hands-on DIY way, so it was deffo frustrating
to not really be able to work on anything else creative in that time.
city is just people I guess, so all the cool people, bands and
organisations I’ve worked with that have helped and supported me.