Repetition is not repetition

Limited screening

Four Seasons After 37 Cycles
An Homage to Pina Bausch’s original work: The Nelken Line

Performed, captured and created in Vancouver, Canada.
A short film by Chimerik 似不像, produced by Kinesis Dance Somatheatro

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My first encounter with Pina Bausch was through the language of cinema, when I was still a film student seeing Pedro Almodóvar's film Hable Con Ella (Talk to Her) for the first time in 2006. A few years later, I received the shocking news of her passing. This was around the same time when I began my career as an artist, departing on an epic creative journey of integrating movement-based live art with new media technology. A decade has passed, and an invitation came from Kinesis Dance Somatheatro—to create a film to mark the tenth-year anniversary of her passing. I began thinking about ways to pay respect to such a ground-breaking pioneer of dance—with the new media, film and the contemporary lens of the current socio-political climate in Vancouver, the city where I reside. I'm interested in seeing the present and viewing the changes which have happened over the last decade - especially in relation to a work that was created 37 years ago by Pina.

During the conceptual stage of the project, I was having conversations with the Dramaturg Andreas Kahre and the Artistic Director of the performance Paraskevas Terezakis. We were fascinated by the juxtaposition of the beautiful yet artificial composition of Granville Island with the skyscrapers of Downtown Vancouver as a backdrop – an enchanting urban touristy location. By contrast, Deer Lake, located in the neighbouring suburban municipality of Burnaby, was a calm location filled with trees, grass, and a small lake. These contrasting and distinct locations permitted us to contemplate the socio-economic status quo of global capitalism, displacement and colonialism.

Something that Pina said really resonated with me, “repetition is not repetition, ... The same action makes you feel something completely different by the end.” I think about meditation; I think about the Daoist notion of the non-action 無為; I think about the kind of spiritual light that guides us to create art and move through the world. We as little human beings embodying these four simple and repetitive gestures—weaving through the four seasons threading our complex relationships with the land, city, technology, glamour, vanity, joy, darkness and spirituality—just as the vicissitudes of the universe continue. This is where we are now. How do we co-exist in this reality, yet seize the light that continues to guide us?

Sammy Chien and Alfonso Chin on site filming. Photo by Rod Matheson
Sammy Chien and Alfonso Chin on site filming. Photo by Rod Matheson.

When I look at the contemporary dance scene in Vancouver and the screen culture in North America in general, I’m still troubled by the lack of representation for POCs (people of colour). As much as we celebrate white European legacies in the arts, I wanted to challenge the issues of representation that can reflect a bit more accurately on the demography of our city. I did what was within my power. I suggested that the producing company reach out to more BIPOC and immigrant communities. I brought on a full POC team to work on the film along with Chimerik 似不像 Collective ranging from a Korean underground Hip Hop musician, to a South Asian video editor, from a Mexican born, Chinese-Canadian cinematographer who made it into Hollywood, to many others (please see full credits in the film). Moreover, I also incorporated the new media software, Isadora, to create unique ways of using algorithms as an unconventional video editing technique—a new creative process for filmmaking. I wanted to create and to share a new kind of language, to amplify new voices which do not quite fit into preconceived boxes. My hope was to bring courage and inspiration to the world, and especially to the shadows and the nooks. With the little power I have, I want to shine a light on hidden, undermined and invisible creative souls.

Alfonso Chin & Elissa Hanson. Photo by Sammy Chien.
Alfonso Chin & Elissa Hanson. Photo by Sammy Chien.

The Fall chapter

The Winter chapter

The Spring chapter


Title: Four Seasons After 37 Cycles

Four Seasons After 37 Cycles
An Homage to Pina Bausch’s original work: The Nelken Line
A Short film by Chimerik 似不像 Collective, produced by Kinesis Dance Somatheatro
performed, captured and created in Vancouver, Canada

Chimerik 似不像 / Sammy Chien

 Kinesis Dance Somatheatro/ Paras Terezakis

This film is captured and created on the unceded, ancestral, and occupied, traditional lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Watuth), Stó:lō, Shíshálh (Sechelt) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations of the Coast Salish peoples, where colonially known as Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Film Credits:


  • Director & Media Artist - Sammy Chien
  • Cinematographer - Alfonso Chin
  • Video Editor - Rashi Sethi & Sammy Chien
  • Sound Design & Electronic Music Score: Jake Geun Uoo Kim & Sammy Chien
  • Original composition “West End Blues” by Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five, performed and recorded by Tim Sars and the Carnival Band Musicians.
  • Pre-production Concept - Paras Terezakis, Andreas Kahre & Sammy Chien
  • Titles & Credits Graphic Design - Ivan So
  • Film Producing Adviser - Lora Campbell & Kristina Lemieux (Scaffold)

Live Performance:

  • Artistic Director/Choreographic arrangements - Paras Terezakis
  • Dramaturg & Scenographer - Andreas Kahre
  • Carnival Band Director - Tim Sars
  • Production Manager - Carolyn Lair
  • Rehearsal Director - Claire French
  • Costume Coordinator - Janet Harper
  • Technical Director - Rod Matheson

James-Amzin Nahirnick, Oksana Augustine, Jenna Berlyn, Aiden Cass, Eowynn Enquist, Isak Enquist, Mavelin Grace, Elissa Hanson, Megan Hunter, Sarah Hutton, Talia Langtry, Juolin Lee, Ted Littlemore, Alexa Mardon, Daria Mikhaylyuk, Hannah Richard, Zahra Shahab, Juan Villegas, Matthew Wyllie, Sintija Zigure

Community dancers:
Clémence Beurton, Adora Chen, Andrew Czink, Shirley Gable, Tin Gamboa, Alana Gerecke, Caitlin Griffin, Tracy Hébert, Sofie Heye, Georgia Kirkland, Heather Kirkland, Chinami Kobashi, Jacqueline Levitin, Natasha Lutz, Janine Malikian, Janis McCaffrey, Ricarda McDonald, Tess Munro, Tanya Petreman, Lada Santic, Matthew Tomkinson

Carnival Band Musicians:
Don Hardy (trumpet), Yonathan Uriel (clarinet), Ian Migicovsky (alto saxophone), Ross Barrett (tenor saxophone), Gary Carsten (baritone sax), Tim Sars (baritone sax / tuba), Michael Harding (trombone), Carolyn Schaffer (trombone), Pim van Geffen (trombone), Nathan Barrett (sousaphone), Brian Siver (snare drum), Willoughby Arevalo (snare drum), Diane Groleau (percussion), Lorelei Pepi (tom drum), Brenda Koch (surdo)

We would like to express our deepest and sincere appreciation to our funders, partners, volunteers and supporters who made this project possible.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
We acknowledge the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia.

This project was made possible in part through Granville Island’s Activation Grants and Initiatives.

We are thankful to the following foundation and organizations for their generous support: The Hamber Foundation, The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and The Scotiabank Dance Centre.

Sammy Chien
Sammy Chien (Artistic Director of Chimerik 似不像) is a first generation Taiwanese-Canadian immigrant and queer artist-of-colour. He is an interdisciplinary artist, director, performer, researcher and mentor who works with film, sound art, new media, performance, movement and spiritual practice. View bio.