LIfe is Movement Rachel Gozlan

Rachel’s life, her dance, never stopped. It started at 15 and still goes on today: “I understand now that life, it’s movement, movement is a dance, so life is a dance. When I feel it, it’s like magic. I imagine myself like a small boat following the waves with belief ...They say, 'Think about what you want' … I don’t know! … To say, I would like this and this and this … I have no idea.”

"But to follow the inspiration and the life stream that goes through me – yes, I want to be in this flow … And this flow is always going, going, going …”

Rachel Gozlan was born in France in 1961. She studied piano at the Versailles Conservatory and passed her baccalaureate in Music in 1979. She studied a variety of musical genres, including singing. She worked with Michele Granger of the Paris Opera on jazz and improvisation at the Institute of Art, Culture and Perception in Paris. At that time, she also studied Indian singing with Nagesh Vara Rao. At the age of 16, she studied contemporary dance and developed her own creative choreographic style. From 1978 to 1989, she studied with Carolyn Carlson, Francois Verret, Jacques Patarozzi and Hideyuki Yano and also experimented with the dance techniques of M. Graham, M. Cunningham and A. Nicolais. In 1980, she created Ville-Vie-Vide, a showcase of dance improvisations, accompanied by the percussionist J. C. Feldandler. In 1981, she set 'Labyrinthe' to the music of Michael Vinson. In 1983, she put on 'Commemoration' to the music of Polymorphe by Pendereck. In 1987, her dance performance 'Maman les petits bateaux, une trilogie du depart', set to the music of Joel Patin, ran for one month at the Chateau Rouge Theatre in Paris. In 1997, with one little child and pregnant, retreating from aggressive husband, she wanted to make a trip around the world. A friend invited her to the island of Syros, Greece, telling her: “Come to Syros, we need your energy!” So she did. From 1989 onwards, in the years following the birth of her second child, she began to concentrate on sculpture, where she found a new opportunity to express her love of movement, rhythm and space. And she regularly runs art workshops for all ages. P.s.: "Making costumes" with Eleni and Maro – two ladies from the island – is one of Rachel's playful projects that ended up as a very sophisticated art show in the Ermopolis town hall gallery this year.
“It was difficult for me, with no money. And I told my children we might go back to France. And then, the little one said to me: 'Now, when I speak Greek and I have new friends, I stay here. And the older one – there is 20 month between them – said to me: 'Look, mamma, I can understand you, but why go back?'” Ghédalia and Yinnon finished their high school in Syros and were also involved in music (in a group "LifeTree") ... Ghédalia became a graphist, and Yinnon found his place in the field of hypnotherapy.

"I work a lot in improvisation in dance, this helps me understand something very simple: if you want to go up, you have to go down as well. You can't be in the past or in the future, you have to be here in the present. This gives you equilibrium. And this really gave me the structure, to raise my children, to grow myself … I understand that everything is energy. And when I work now, it’s the same: when I work, I dance.”

“I was sleeping very well last night, with no fear, at peace. I have confidence inside, not in myself, but a general confidence. Many people say you are strong, you have confidence in yourself … No, no, no, sometimes, I’m very much without confidence … But confidence in life, yes! Confidence in the move … To be confident in myself, I work. All my life, I'm trying to become confident that we are connected, that we are light, but my belief in life, the moving of life and all, comes from beauty and love. And I believe this energy is inside me … How should I put it? I don’t want to say that it is difficult to achieve or that it is difficult to be different from others. Sometimes people did not understand me, I was a little early, ahead of time … All my life … and … I have a belief inside me, stuck on me. And fear … I don’t feel fear. And so, it was not difficult for me to not have fear, because it was like that. People who have a lot of things in their heads have fear.”

“For me, success means to find each time this kind of identification, of equilibrium. I think I have success with my art pieces because I know they’re beautiful. I need to sell them so that I can live, but inside me, I don’t need recognition.”

There’s no reason to be jealous. "This life is my life, your life is a different life … I have no fear, but I have to work for this. I have been working on myself for a long time. I was often alone, working, reading, thinking …”

"Nothing is bad in itself, it’s how you are dealing with it. Even in chocolate, there’s a lot of bad … It’s not about what, but about how."

“The system is dead, there's a lot of rust that cannot be repaired. The game is finished. So they will make stronger and stronger the things that make you hang on, that form the attachment to life … Because it’s the end, and when the end is coming, one doesn't want to be alone. So we believe in power, but this can't go on for long …”

“The machine is broken, it has been broken for a while now. We understood that some time ago …”

“Perhaps, there was a period when we went into deep materiality, the humanity, and I think we learn, learn, learn, until we see the limit. And now, we have to pass over to another consciousness. And we have already passed. So now, we need the same energy, to believe, to continue … It is not so easy to continue, so I am thankful I have this power – without any real theory to believe – to feel that we went for something different. I was working for that. And now it turned out I was right.”

“Development is more a technique of this world, it’s nothing very important to me. Evolution is important, because evolution is more common … For me, evolution is to learn why we are here, to learn what we have to learn, to recognize and feel and live the unity of the universal ground … To align. Evolution is to grow up. We were very free, education and culture make us go ‘du-du-du-du-du’ in our heads, and when we have the click, we begin again to be free, to be light, to be happy people, to enjoy. I think we came here to enjoy and to learn; like a child, but with the consciousness. We should stop listening to politicians, stop drinking Coca-Cola … Evolution is to recognize what we forgot, to say: 'O-O, perhaps I have to think, about what I want really, perhaps it’s not this … Evolution is to begin being an adult. We are children of the earth, and with the consciousness, we become adults.”

20 years ago, when Rachel came to Syros and made her first exhibition with recycled objects, they said: 'Look at this, she’s crazy!'

I belong to all religions, I am a citizen of the world“

In Syros, the weather is very clean. “We have summer from April until September. But 10 years ago, summers were different, because now, you have to put something on in the night, whereas before, we couldn't sleep until 3 a. m. because of the heat … We never used to put anything on us until the end of January. And we were eating outside until the end of January. Now, it’s different …”

“When I came here, the first words I learnt were 'Siga Siga Rachel’ and 'What we can do' and 'all the things go well'. And 10 years ago, I stopped a friend on the road to ask him how he was, and he said: ‘I run, I run …'. The way of talking is different now, in the mornings, we speak about running, not having time, and before, we never talked about this in the morning. It’s been 10 years now that everyone has a computer, and life really has changed. It's a different life … but the quality of life is still good. Last year, I had my doors open for 6 months, just had my mosquito nets … The quality of life here is very beautiful.”

“Love doesn't expect anything, love is to make and to give.”

“Lots of people are afraid of change, because you definitely lose some things. But nothing is permanent … Everything changes. If you understand this, deep, then you’re not afraid.”

“If it rains, I come with my bare feet to get into the mud, because I’m the only one here going outside … I say, ‘Ela, we are flowers, we have to clean ourselves!'”

“I like to share … Everything I learn, I pass on. But it’s not about teaching, it’s about sharing things: joy, love, inspiration, fantasy. To open something. Sometimes, I think, it’s not the things we do, but who we are …"

Music, dance, all I teach, is the same, they speak of the same…to be ourselves. I made here in the village lot of things to stop the TV haha… I say take the opportunity, I’m already here; take what I can give you, take, what I am. Because after, when I go, they say why you go? Take now!…”

Open Art Studio association

Yorgos Terzis – https://openartstudios.gr/portfolio/giorgos-terzis-yorgos-terzis
Rachel has always been a start-upper, and "connection person" on Syros island, being involved in many creative things, with people of all ages. Among other things, she initiated the founding of the association Open Art Studio as the legal ground for funding, organizing and implementing creative project, such as festivals, exhibitions, workshops, concerts, etc.
Konstantinos Katagas/http://kkatagas.tumblr.com/
Martina Mamali (https://openartstudios.gr/portfolio/matina-mamali); Konstantina Margarita Terzis (https://openartstudios.gr/portfolio/constantina-margarita-terzis)

She was also involved in the international Syros accordion festival, "a unique celebration" started by her friend Christelle Loukitch, accordion player.

Christelle Loukitch and Candia Prindezi are now both involved in the festival. Chistelle (born in France) and Cindia have the same story about how they started to play accordion: their fathers both had friends who were accordion teachers and suggested them to begin learning this instrument.

The festival has been going on since 2012, promoting non-formal segment of accordion music. Each year, they try to present a different way of listening and learning the accordion (classical, contemporary, rebetiko, tarantella …). Last year, the festival featured 26 accordionists, mostly from the Greek region of Thrace and Italy. The theme was traditional Italian tarantella and the traditional music of Thrace, which is played by Bulgarian Greeks and has the same rhythm as tarantella. The festival opened up the space for their collaboration and experimentation.

Athanasia Mpolia studied botany but never completed her study. She was interested in bees and honey, but slowly, she started to make instruments. She now makes 4 kinds of instruments: lute, buzuki, baglama and duras. She has been doing that for 10 years, but she is still discovering something new with every instrument – some new way, new technique of making it. The first year she decided to make instruments, she worked in Open Art Studio Group. She buys the wood for instruments, ebony and walnut, in Athens; besides wood, she only uses wood glue and varnish. It takes her a month to finish an instrument. Last winter, she made 4 lutes, one baglama and one duras. She make them to the order and sells them at selling exhibitions.

The way Rachel creates her art pieces reflects the way she is; the way she understands and dwells in the world. Everything and everyone she runs into is never useless, a mistake to be forgotten, something wrong, but is always something she can connect to in a special way, something that contributes to her life, and what she can recycle … It’s an experience, which gives the opportunity for new ways of understanding the wholeness, and at the same time offers the opportunity for reuse …


Released by MED Land project / photography, audio conversations, editing: BB / cover photo –self-portrait by Rachel / on-location team: Charlotte Ballet Baz, Kim Feldman, Melania Gymonat, Kubilay Günther, BB / transcription: Melania Gymonat, Ivana Petan / text editing: Ivana Petan / proofreading: Tadej Turnšek

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