In Spider event in Zagreb you will perform your solo “Black”. What is it about and how did you get inspired for it?
“Black” is a performance about making things appear. With spoken words and movements I play with invisible objects and try to bring a world into being. The piece comes out of a desire to make something with nothing.
Have you ever been in Zagreb, in Croatia? Are you familiar with the scene here?
No, this is my first time in Croatia.
Why is it important for you to make things appear, like you say in Black?
What is your message with this performance?
I started out with the idea to make something with nothing. If all the objects would disappear and there would be nothing there, what would I do. Of course there is never nothing, but in a space removed of every thing there would have to be something else to play with, something to perform. The starting point for the piece did not arise from a question about speech or language, but in response to my previous works and my relation to objects. This piece is a questioning of the objects: why are they here? What is my relationship with them? So then in an empty space with nothing there was my body moving and talking. It is a play in imagination, but trying to make that felt, or experienced.
How do you feel on stage?
I am totally inside of the world I have set up for this piece and I feel driven by it. I use speech as a transmitter and I see myself as a medium between what is there and what you can see. I can imagine seeing things you can’t, and through speaking and relating to them, these things can become visible for you.
What does dancing mean to you? Do you feel better, or more comfortable, dancing or choreographing?
I think of myself as a performer rather than a choreographer. This is connected with where I come from and my experiences as dancer and performer. I cannot separate myself from what I do in that sense there is not a position as such outside the work, except the audience. I prefer to say ‘I make performances’. Sometimes I dance. I used to dance a lot. I like to say that I write with the body in time and space. I always try to see myself from the outside, to see my pieces. Some things I can see. For the rest I need to follow my intentions and feelings, and other people’s feelings.
When and why did you fall in love with dance?
I don’t know when or if there even was such a decisive moment that brought me to dance, or that I fell in love, as you say. My memories of dancing goes back to very early childhood. But around the age of 13 I was very committed to my dance training. It was both a solitary thing and a sense of belonging and being part of something.
In your opinion, how does people in general, and by that I mean people who attend performing arts shows, react to dancing? Can they really connect to you as a performer?
I don’t like to think of people in general. But yes, I certainly think that many people can really connect to dance and performance. Then it is a matter of taste and sensitivities, what we are interested in and open for. For me what keeps me attached to the performing arts as an art form is the fact that we need to be there, present, to experience. So no matter what piece, we share the social situation of being there together, sharing time and space. I think this is important.
What do you do if you feel you are misunderstood?
First, I am not sure if I would know if I am misunderstood? Not liking something doesn’t mean it is not good, but being misunderstood is more tricky. It also makes the assumption that there is something to understand? In life I find it difficult if I am misunderstood, but in art it is a more complex communication. It is like poetry. The level of abstraction is important in my work. The reading can take place in several layers. Maybe exactly a place where it is not about understanding, but about experiencing, seeing and feeling something.
What are you doing currently?
At the moment I am working on a new piece which in a way picks up the thread where “Black” ends. After insisting on what is here, I try to look at what is not as a way of activating and producing thoughts and imaginations. The work continues the play with the possibilities and limits of language, and that of being, in time and in space.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? You have been performing a lot abroad, collaborating with a lots of artists, doing your own shows, teaching…
I consider myself as a dancer and a performer. I do still occasionally perform with or for others, but mainly I am making my own work. I am also always performing in my own pieces whether it is a solo, a duo or a group work. For me it is hard to imagine that I would make the same work and not being inside of it, ‘doing it’. It has to do with how I think, how ideas come about and how they develop.