Tilburg workshop, how to combine individual experience for a collective creation
Performing Gender moves to the Netherlands, in Tilburg with Nina and Roberta the focus will be on the creative process strategies
The third workshop for the young professional dancers will take place at the Dans Brabant studio in Tilburg from the 26th to the 1st of November.
The previous experience of the dancemakers and dramaturgs is the start point for the second phase of Performing Gender project, dedicated to the training with young professional dancers. Roberta Racis and Nina Aalders told us what to expect from this workshop and what are their personal feelings before the beginning.
Read further to find out more!
Roberta, you went through a lot of professional training over the years, both in Italy and abroad, more recently with Performing Gender. When you think about the week you’ll spend with the 10 young dancers in Tilburg, what will you pick up from your personal experience with training?
The technique, the language, the study and the ability to adhere to somatic practices given and the training are for me instruments aimed to a deep exchange between bodies that share a space of time and place determined, are the keys to open up the imagination and new thoughts.
During the Tilburg week, I will share with the 11 dancers some of the technical training necessary to understand and enjoy the choreographic material which I explored in the frame of the Performing Gender Project. I wish to create with the dancers a collaborative environment, one of exchange, learning and support. Making a local mind, remembering my first work experiences, I think that the understanding of the dynamics related to the creative process are an essential part of a performer's path in order to define a personal strategy to becoming an interpreter capable of asking questions on stage and in the rehearsal room.
I hope to offer shared moments of freedom, pleasure and discussion on the theme of gender under an individual profile but also under an artistic profile welcoming questions and in turn bringing questions to the table throughout our journey within the creative process, for example: how can the topic of gender influence our somatic practices? How will it influence the way we built choreographic material? Which are the responsibilities we want to take as individuals while we create and perform and beyond that in our daily life?
Nina, in August you spent a week with the other Performing Gender Dramaturgs during B.Motion Festival in Bassano del Grappa for a Dramaturgs Residency. Together with Peggy Olislaegers, you reflected on the dance performances and shared your personal thoughts. In which way this experience is going to influence your role during the Workshop?
This week with Peggy and the other dramaturges has influenced my perspective on my practice as a dramaturg as a whole. Both practically (How do I frame my availability? Or my co-responsibility? What do I want to bring to the rehearsals as a dramaturg?) and socially (What role do I take when? What options do I have to react to certain situations?).
Also, we have talked through a lot of examples that taught me much about ‘dance culture’ and its specific expectations. It has supported me in thinking about how I organize myself before the workshop and I am sure it has offered me tools that I can use during the workshop. Very inspiring was also the openness amongst the dramaturges. I very much appreciate this way of working and sharing. Peggy gave us some examples in how we can stay true to ourselves and make our emotional response productive for the work.
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?
R: During the Performing Gender Project I have been opened up to new reflections and thoughts about my own work and practice as an artist, mover and maker. Some of these reflections will serve as a basis for the workshop. The need to stage a non-individualistic political body, bearer of a renewed self- awareness and sensuality, the desire to exhibit through a choreographic score a process of private and public self-determination in which the experience of the pleasure is central to the emancipation of the body are just some of the considerations that I have developed and that will act as a guideline in my relationship with the dancers.
From a conceptual point of view, I'm interested in the possibility of arriving through performative practices to a body and to an organism of bodies which perform a transfiguration in which gender is no longer perceived, a collective transformation capable of evoking freedom, joy, desire and change. I'd like to direct the dancers through the workshop to embody hedonic, animalistic and sensual personas through the exploration of the potential within the physicality of the bodies and finding pleasure in the materials.
N: I’m looking forward to meeting the dancers in person and to speak with them. I will do my best to find a common language during the week. Dutch, English, Italian are only few of the languages that are spoken within the group. But besides this language-bridge, also the personal connotations with notions like ‘freedom’ and ‘self-determination’ I expect to be very diverse. The workshop offers us as a chance to investigate how our moving bodies relate to power structures. Our conversation will touch upon conceptions like love, pain, joy, pleasure, freedom, submission, technique, and of course our relation to other bodies. What does moving together do with how we feel about ourselves? Also, the very nice and warm team of DansBrabant will hosts the workshop in one of their studios and will support us in many ways. It will be fun.