many hands make light work

In creative process on November 30, 2009 at 11:05


Iron John is a solo-project. It is a continuation of Performing Portraits. A dance project which researches how to capture the personality of a person in a danced portrait. Iron John is a self-portrait. I am going to be the dancer/performer of the piece. I will be the one making/choreographing the piece. Difficult and challenging position to be in! What will be my strategies to not get bored being alone with myself in the studio????

I will have 5 weeks of production time to make this piece. If I have to work for 5 weeks by myself in the studio I will get crazy. So, I want to make sure that I get some people walking into the studio once in a while. When you work by yourself it is so easy to get closed up in your own mental box. You have certain ideas of how things have to be. You have an image you want to create and you try to make it but physically it doesn’t feel good. Then you drop it and you improvise around and try to discover a way of moving and performing that does feel good, but then you become insecure that it looks completely stupid. You are always in the work. You can never step out and look at it from a distance. Even working with a camera is not always satisfying. And even when I would be able to look at myself from a distance, I don’t think I would like it. Do you like to see or hear yourself on a videorecording? Your attention just gets stuck on all these personal behavioural habits that you don’t like of yourself.

I want to make this solo into a ‘social’ project. I want a lot of  people to be part of this piece. I would love to have  people walking into the studio constantly and becoming part of the process. Sometimes I can ask them their opinion after showing some new material I might have made. There can be discussions, advice,… But I also would like them to come in and give their own ideas what they would do with the themes that I am working with or with the material I already have. I would like them to give suggestions. And maybe there is a wonderful opportunity to work it out together.

I was recently part of a creation of a dance piece of a dear friend of me. We had a little team of 4 people (dancer/choreographer, musician, scenographer, and me, the assistant choreographer). Some days I would be alone with my friend in the studio and try to work on some scenes. But as creative processes go, sometimes it just wouldn’t work. Then the scenographer walks in with a fresh mind and manages to see new possibilities. And the scenes whirl into place.

Ik stoei met jou
De hele dag door
We kussen urenlang
Geef jij mij een laatste zoen
En zegt:
‘Ik moet er niet aan denken
Dat ik dat
Allemaal alleen had moeten doen’

~ Herman Finkers ~


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