WITH “HOW?” ON STAGE
In this text I’m going to concentrate on my group works. My solo projects usually have a different character and artistic output.
I’d like to begin by announcing that I’m not a visionary. It’s a very rare situation that I see a clear picture of what the work will look like in the end. I have some ideas about the direction, frame, colors, shapes, background, etc., but it’s the process of development in the “laboratory” that makes a final image appear.
FOCUS ON PHYSICALITY AND THE STATE OF THE BODY
Most of my works are characterized by a strong focus on the body. Even if text and vocal expression are present they are always in strong relation with physicality. A body state derives from the theme of a particular work. For instance, in “CLOSE-UP” a dance came out of body response to a topic of intimacy. The physical language was constructed through observation, analysis, embodiment and deconstruction of the human body in a situation of affection. In this context I can’t imagine a process without creating an intimate and trustful situation in the studio that allows people I work with to openly interact, experiment and search. I try to create a specific universe in which the final picture is born out of our dialogs, sensitivities, qualities and capacities.
LANDSCAPE BETWEEN CONCRETENESS AND ABSTRACTION
I start each project with a more or less concrete interest or question. My latest works were circulating around topics like intimacy, public - personal distance, relation between physicality and voice, how to bring the effect of close-up on stage, etc. Those themes lead to the definition of the field that the dancers are going to operate in. It usually takes quite some time to draw the borders and inhabit this particular land. Then out of “living” in this place we create the material that ranges from everyday action to abstract forms. In the process of developing a homogeneous body language of a particular piece sooner or later we are confronted with two questions: how to abstract the narrative forms and how to give a meaning to abstract forms? I try to find the answers through the process of developing a particular stage presence.
I’m usually not interested in action as a 100% narrative or abstract momentum but in its execution. For instance if a dancer touches the wall my focus wouldn’t lie on the act of touching as a narrative action or a detached abstract movement but in the way how one does it. Therefore the laboratory work during the creation is so important in my work. It generates the strategies how to “live” the forms and actions on stage. Those strategies derive from concentrating on different systems of stimuli coming from body, senses, emotions, imagination, musicality, interactions with partners, etc. They can be abstract or very concrete. During the performance a dancer is occupied with forms and tasks that are filled out with information coming from the activation of the whole sensing system. The meaning or fill-out of specific actions has to be clear for a performer but not necessarily for the spectator. At the end the audience is confronted with the dancers “living” their choreographies on stage.
ARTISTIC OUTPUT, STRUCTURE AND STAGE DESIGN
The universe that my collaborators and I inhabit for the time of the creation and the theme of the work are reflected by the performers' physical response to it and their specific stage presence which I described above. But also the performance's structuring and stage design play a significant role in the communication with the audience in my works. They create a context for the dance and determine the directions of reading it. For example in “ZOOM IN”, which explored the topic of affection by way of shifting between public and personal distance, the stage was situated in the corner of a rather small room. The squeezed-in public sat close to the dancers and had two more walls just behind their backs. During the piece the performers were consequently approaching the spectators and finally crossed the border between stage and audience. The people watching the performance were recorded by a hidden camera, and at the end they could see themselves reacting to the show on a video projection in the adjacent room. Though the structure and stage design are very important, they do not give any answers, and their main function is to emphasise the “HOW?”