Landscapes of Improvisation

~ Interconnected ~

Created: December 2021 - January 2022

Location Filmed: Northern California

Performance & Production: Sophie Spiral

Music: 'Mycelium' By Maya Elise and The Good Dream

This next episode of Landscapes of Improvisation follows me to different locations around the SF Bay Area, as I come back to visit the lands of the Ohlone and Coast Miwok peoples where I grew up. I spent December 2021 and January 2022 reconnecting with these landscapes that are very close to my heart. When I saw Maya Elise and The Good Dream perform their song 'Mycelium' live, I felt it would be the perfect song for this footage. The title is an homage to Thich Nhat Hanh who died while I was editing the video and who's message that our lives (human and more-than-human) are deeply interconnected has forever changed me!

Landscapes of Improvisation

~ Ancestor Tree ~

Created: November 2021

Location Filmed: ZK/U, Berlin, Germany

Choreography & Concept: Sophie Spiral

Camera: Cris Amate @crimaramat

Costumes: Rebecca Hiles @kkim_rosario

Dancers: Miriam Beike, Aymara von Borries Bisbicus, Elisabeth Lehmann, Sophie Spiral

Sound: Benedikt Wieferig

This is a ritual to honor trees as part of our family. Ancestor Tree is our grandmother, grandfather, auntie, father, daughter - they are our inner child and our higher self. A gender queer being encompassing all the care, protection, and wisdom we need to reimagine the world we live in today. How can we be aware of this support that’s always been there? We honor them, our tree ancestors - we dance, we sing, we breathe as ways of being in reciprocity.

Landscapes of Improvisation

~ Pandemic is Portal ~

Created: June 21, 2021

Location Filmed: Viktoria Park, Berlin, Germany

Choreography & Concept: Sophie Spiral

Camera: Cris Amate @crimaramat

Sound: Reinartz

This short film is a reflection on this year of pandemic - inspired by Arundhati Roy - the dance envisions the possibility that the pandemic could indeed be a Portal to another world. This piece was filmed at sunrise on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. The beginning represents the darkness of these times, like Valarie Kaur suggests, these dark times are a womb fertile to birth the new world we are longing for.

Landscapes of Improvisation

~ Dance through the year of pandemic ~

This ongoing project began in 2014, and has become my embodied research practice - dance as a pathway towards connecting with land as decolonial, ecological practice. Through improvised movement in outdoor spaces, I am learning to listen more deeply to my body and Earth.

The one thing that didn't change for me during Covid-19 is this ourdoor dance practice! It stabilized me when everything else felt uncertain. The following videos document my dance practice during the year of the Covid-19 pandemic - beginning in Spring 2020, continuing with Summer, Fall, and Winter 2020-2021. Enjoy watching in the following order, as you reflect on the year for you.

Spring 2020

Photo credit: Carmen Gondard

Landscapes of Improvisation: Ode to Corona


Created: March - May 2020

Location Filmed: Neukölln, Berlin, Germany

Music by: Laura Gris

The Covid-19 pandemic supported me to explore the land in my neighborhood. I went on walks every day, finding places to connect with different outdoor spaces through dance. Thus, my embodied research practice supported me listen to what was closeby. This is my Covid Diary, documenting this phase of transition and transformation globally - on a small scale.

Summer 2020

Landscapes of Improvisation: Ode to Sea

Created: September, 2020

Location Filmed: Istria, Croatia

Music by: Soyinka Rahim (@BiboLoveUs)

Improvised movement performed and edited by Sophie Spiral.

Autumn 2020

Landscapes of Improvisation: Ode to Letting Go

Created: November, 2020
Location Filmed: Viktoria Park, Berlin
Music by: Reinartz

Improvised movement performed and edited by Sophie Spiral.

Winter 2021

Landscapes of Improvisation: Ode to Snow


Created: March 2021

Location Filmed: Switzerland

Music by: Kilian Ludwig

In honor of winter and the glory of snow!