Seeds of inspiration are being planted into my body, into my brain. Initiated by a text, an image, sound or a certain atmosphere. I let it grow, let it spread out and lead me to some kind of manifestation. I draw, I write, I listen to music. Mostly I start very intuitively. Without any spcific expectations. Without knowing where it will lead me. I feel like making myself available for inspiration to take space and flow. At some point I start to analyze what is there, what it really is, that I am interested in and in which direction I want to go.
STUDIO-ME-TIME AND MOVEMENT RESEARCH
Having my (at least temporal) vision more less clear, I go to the studio. I give myself some kind of task. For example: „make a solo in 7 minutes, using only your head“ or „close your eyes, incorporate the feeling of restlessness, move only in 1sqm of the space“. Like this I generate material that is related to my topic and approached playfully. To play is only possible by setting some rules and structures. This is how it works best for me: letting creativity unfold within a set frame.
When I have some rough material, I start to work more specific with it. At this point I would invite my collaborators – dancers, scenographers, musicians… – and try out with them what I found in the research with my own body and theoretical research. I love to see how my language, my world starts to unfold and is being transformed within other bodies and minds. After a first improvisational phase where it gets more clear what works and what all of us bring into the process I start very soon to arrange, to compose. In this phase it often shifts from „my project“ to „our project“, which I enjoy very much. Something was initiated by me but now it has already spread out to the others and they own it as I do.
I made the experience that if you wait too long to put things together you can easily get lost. So I make a lot of drafts in my process in order to learn from them and take them as a base which can be developed further – or we see that it doesn’t work, so we know that we have to take another direction.
I like to work focused, very physically and also give space to reflect and talk about the experiences we make both with dancing and watching. That’s how together with the dancers and with my interdisciplinary team of artists I create defined bricks in the shape of movement sequences, structured improvisation, scores. If I am in a solo process I create different settings and improvise inside of them. I record myelf with a camera, analyze the content after the session and/or send it to the others to keep them updated. When the others are with me in the studio – what I actually prefer – all of us are busy with our own field (sound, performance, space…) but exchange a lot and borders between our professions blur. I, for instance, love to work on the scenography as I see space and choreography as inseprarable entities. It also happens that the dramaturg brings in some movement ideas, the musician comes up with a text. It is like a workshop where each of us can integrate their personalities and ideas to one artwork.
After collecting all kind of material and creating rough drafts we take a step back and see where there are connections between the bricks and images and which of them make sense with another. This can be due to similarities in terms of energy or movement or also because of the contrasts they have compared to each other. What do they tell us?
In the composition phase it is all about timing, space and the message that is transmitted to the viewer. How do I want this piece to start and what is the last image we share with the audience? How is the energetic level changing within the piece and what does it tell? What do I want to communicate and is it visible for the audience? And if not – what do we have to change?
I really like that phase because everything is already there and it is all about making sense of it. Often I am so surprised and excited when something comes up I didn’t expect at all but it just fits so perfectly. So for me it means to be clear with what I want but at the same time stay open for new ideas and solutions to occur.
In the end it is important that all of us are standing behind the piece we created together. On the way we are facing crises, doubts, need to make compromises and lose our goal from time to time. But I learned to trust that in the end it will work out and we will feel connected to it. The experienced process connected us deeply with ourselves, with each other and the creation. In this case, the audience will appreciate our work and ideally let themselves be affected emotionally and mentally by what is shared with them on stage.
OUTCOME & AUDIENCE
It is clear: when the piece is born, a big step is made. We had an intense process and now it is shared with the viewers. It is somehow given to them. To their projection, their perspective, their lives. Each of our team really needs to let go of the piece and stay curious for the dialogue that is created with the audience – in an experiential way as well as in formats like talks after the show. It is very important for me to facilitate a discourse about our work so that it doesn’t seem like an isolated product that they see. I want them to have the chance to ask questions, give feedback and get in touch with the people behind the production. It is also about making transparent that there has been a long way until the point where you see a piece on stage. As artistic team we try to stay open and curious about opinions, observations, critics and reflect about it in order to continue the journey – either with the current project or the next one to come.
We need to talk about art.
We need to talk about the process.
There is nothing seen on stage that doesn’t have a whole journey behind it.
Doubt, fear, not-knowing, being lost. Feelings you face during creation.
Fun, love, curiosity, trust. Feelings you face during creation.
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