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Madrid workshop: a space to intersect different perspectives, experiences and areas of research

The 24th of November will start the workshop week in Madrid, conducted this time by the choreographer Hannah Buckley and the local dramaturg Sergio Martinez Vila. The workshop will be hosted by Paso a Due and many other partners... 

We asked Hannah and Sergio some questions to know more about their approaches and to preview some of the upcoming workshop. Read further to find out more! 

In your work Hannah, you question existing social structures of oppression, with a focus on female experience. Your current research is based on the concept of ‘feminism as the female command of space’. Do you think you about further exploring this topic within Performing Gender? Or you are looking for different lines of research? 

Hannah: My position in Performing Gender is slightly different than the other artists as I have stepped into the role very late in the process, as sadly the original UK artist Sophie Unwin had to leave the project due to illness. I was invited to join largely because I am already exploring gender in my work and from my perspective due to the timescales, freelance life, workload, where my other projects are etc etc using Performing Gender to continue my current research made the most sense to me.

The statement ‘feminism as the female command of space’ was coined by artist Jessy Tuddenham as part of my research for a previous work and it really resonated with me. It felt clear but very open at the same time. I am interested in the many things it could mean, the many ways it could manifest and how others might relate to it.

By using this statement as a loose frame for our week in Madrid my desire is that Sergio and I create a space that is full of potential and allows other people to bring, intersect and share their different perspectives, experiences and areas of research. Hopefully this will be fruitful and interesting for everyone!

During your carrier, Sergio, you developed an extensive experience in audiovisual and filmmaking, then you shifted towards theatre and finally dance in 2017. How this journey with Performing Gender is shaping your approach to dramaturgy in relation to dance? What have you learned in the past year?

Sergio: I didn’t know how to approach dance dramaturgy in the first place. It didn’t seem to be about writing anything, necessarily, but it’s not supposed to be just one thing, either. There are infinite ways to approach movement as well as there is an unending list of possible genders out there and inside each one of us.

The most important thing I’m learning so far is to train my eye for the unexpected, for the appearance of what I won’t be able to name immediately, for what I know I haven’t been very attentive to till now. This helped me realize that I’m even a foreigner in my own body. So I’m only trying, at the moment, to feed each process of Performing Gender with different perspectives (and my own personal doubts) in the hope that I can give back what the project has already given me.

Now a question for both of you. Could you give us a little preview of the workshop? What can we expect from that week overall? 

Hannah: Its a workshop full of metaphors and imagery. If I was being idealistic I would probably say the workshop was trying to transcend gender, or at least come at it from a more poetic perspective. I’m not approaching the week with expectations - just hopes. Hopefully the workshop will be a space for both critique and care.

Sergio: I try not to expect anything in particular when I am in a process like this, just a few things that are always needed in order to shape any journey. I am very interested, though, in the links between a motionless body and a genderless body, and its roots in tradition and in early forms of spirituality. How stillness has all the potential to become a tool for resistance, and how a fluid identity can express itself in time and space. But there are more themes that will be addressed, for sure, as gender lies in almost every aspect of our lives. I want to remain as open as I can about how the sharing of the materials will be, as, for me, the relevance of this workshop lies in the workshop itself, in the collective ritual that it is and in the creative energy that can be released from it.