Moved By The Stars
Kiani del Valle on her work as a conceptual dancer
In the same way that a sailor uses the stars to navigate dark oceans, conceptual dancer Kiani del Valle uses star constellations to chart the movements of her body. As a dancer, choreographer, and director, Kiani employs unconventional artistry and experimentation in her passionate exploration of movement. From planetary science to historical biographies, all disciplines are relevant to her work.
From Puerto Rico to Montreal, New York, and LA, Kiani del Valle has found her home in Berlin. Kiani trained in painting and visual arts from a young age, then stumbled into dance. In a whirlwind of dance gigs and parties, she eventually found herself embroiled in the world of dance film and reconnected with her passion for visual storytelling. Her movements are bold and bare as she twists, turns, and contorts in her experimental dance films. She paints a picture, she tells a story, she submerges us in the primordial language of movement. Here we sit down with Kiani in her home and studio to talk about her work and the ways in which she speaks through dance.
How would you describe your work as an artist to someone who knows nothing about dance? Describing my work is a little bit difficult. I’m actually more intrigued for other people to describe it. One thing I could say is that it is a very cathartic process and it’s there’s a lot of transparency and honesty when it comes to my work. I am just being completely honest with the things I like and that’s reflecting in the work I do. I love dance film and music. I love film noir, I love silent films, and I love installation, painting, and sculpture. There’s a little bit of all that in my work. It’s contemporary dance but it has a lot of references from visual art.
I still think I'm painting with my body, I still see it as visual art.
Can you tell us about your current projects and dance films? These past years I have been really focused on collaborations with film. I’ve done so much video work that I’ve ended up becoming quite picky and specific with the videos I do. When I got here it was like an avalanche – in the first two years I did something like 35 music videos, which was great but then it made me miss the stage and miss being a dancer for the theatre. The whole video thing happened in a really organic way and snowballed, so my first two or three years in Berlin were really overwhelming.