The choreographic process can be summed up in one question - What might be the right thing to do next?.

Not what I want, what I planed, what I want to say or show, what was my vision, how I'd like it to look or feel or be.  

Just the simple question of what might be the next best move. At every single moment of the process, and regardless of my own opinion about the whole.  

The choreographic process moves forward through the endless number of times we answer that one question. 

IMG_3495.JPG

Most of the choreography being made, is the result of a certain type of education, a cultural context and social conditioning. That's why most of it isn't really concerned with the inherent questions which arise from the choreographic process.

IMG_3616.JPG

Performing a choreography, is simply managing the gap between what was planed and set, and what is actually happening in real time during the performance. it's this gap, that should be the creative focal point, rather than the thing which was preplanned.

IMG_3601.PNG

I choreograph with no ideology. I'm only interested it what is actually happening. Inserting ideology into the choreographic process, pushes it away from the actual. it's an escape route from the concreteness of the choreographic event which is taking place.

Same thing goes for principles, ideals, believes.

To find out, to discover, to experience, to come upon that extraordinary state when a choreography becomes it's revealing self, one must completely set aside every form of believes, prejudices, conclusions and definite opinions, which prevent clear seeing and listening. Whereas, if I look and listen, without approving or not, but with a certain quality of attention, then perhaps I'll manage to understand the thing which takes place, and work from there.

But you can not observe with a conditioned eye. In order to understand the choreographic process, in order to examine the questions it holds, you have to look at it with a free, unconditioned eye. 

To make choreography, one must understand it, and in order to understand it, one must be free to look only at what is happening. When this takes place, the whole sense of struggle to make the work this or that, disappears.

It becomes what it is. It is what it is.

 

 "when you're in the studio painting, there are a lot of people in there with you - your teachers, friends, painters from history, critics... and one by one if you're really painting, they walk out. And if you're really painting YOU walk out. (Philip Guston)

IMG_4251.JPG

Since no choreography can, or should be fully set (and if it is, it's no longer a choreography anyway, as the true nature of choreography is that of a living system), it can happen only in the presence of a choreographer. Whenever the choreographer isn't present, the choreographic process ceases to exist eventually. The work becomes something else, remotely related to what it was when a living thing. 

The entire logic of dance repertory is based upon the idea that choreography can be fixated, and it is for this reason, that it is deeply harmful to the art form.  

IMG_3813.JPG

Choreography is conversation. Conversation is counterpoint. Counterpoint is bound to the existence of two or more separate, autonomous entities. Counterpoint, as a phenomena, can happen regardless of deliberate intention. Conversation on the other hand, is a conscious and deliberate act. It's an active form of generating counterpoint.

 

If choreography isn't conversation, it has very little to say about anything.

IMG_3649.JPG

If too much information is gathered about whichever thing without experiencing it, it creates a false sense of knowing. That's the danger of over intelctializing choreography. Intellect wants to dissect everything. It wants to dissect and KNOW, but choreography can't be known by breaking it up. You can know certain things, but you cannot know choreography by breaking it up to little pieces. Just because the intellect is sharp, it doesn't mean it's effective. In that sense, information isn't knowledge, Experience is. Choreography, being a form of consciousness, has to be experienced in order to be known. The intellect is a tool amung others, the sharper it is, the more it has to be handled with caution and moderation.

IMG_3626.JPG

There's an evident link between the abstraction qualities and tendencies of an art from, and it's ability to travel through time, epochs, cultures and contexts with ease. Music being the most abstract art form, travels easily through all these. A musical piece createed hundreds of years ago can have immediate contemporary relenevce to a here and now, remotely similar to the one in which it was created. 

Dance I think, is on the complete other side of that spectrum. Although quit frequently referred to as 'abstract', I think there can never realy exist any notion of abstraction when talking about dance, or choreography for that matter. 

The mere présence of people, being the subject matter whether one wants it or not, make it as concrete as it gets. And when looking at other forms of art it's obvious that the concrete, travels through time and different contexts In a much more clumsy and hésitent manner.  

The dance of the past can be many things, but it can not truely be expirienced as a relèvent contemporary comment or observation.

Choreography and dance are mediums bound to their time. They make little sense outside of it. 

IMG_3687.JPG

I find that the most efficient and deep way to improve the movement/dancing abilities and understanding of a dancer, is to shift their focus from their own movement/dancing to the choreographic situation they are part of. The body can do amazing things when you stop bothering it.  

 

Also, To dance well, is to reach a certain level of being un self aware. 

IMG_3870.JPG

To plan is to limit, by definition.  

IMG_3885.JPG

The work has to hold a personal angle for everyone involved. If the dancers don't have a clear and effective entry point to the process and ultimately to the piece itself, which is deeply personal, the work as a whole is rather meaningless and pointless. 

IMG_3871.JPG

You can't lower the artistic standards of your work to people's level of readership, if you want them eventually to catch up with it. 

IMG_3820.JPG

natural systems constantly produce an endless number of effects. Visual, sonic, theatrical and many other. But these effects are mearly a by product. A side effect of coherent, organic systems or structures. They are obviously not the cause, nor the aim. 

art making, in any field, is a constant choice between trying to produce premeditated effect, or concentrating of devising a coherent system that will In its turn, generate all sort of effects. 

 

The first is lazy and opportunistic and is a sort of reverse engineering, the second is what art making is all about.  

 

IMG_3883.JPG

I find that the most effective way in which I can establish the logics and Intentions of my work, is by framing the process clearly and efficiently, and then letting the dancers create their own content within that.

I feel that trying to come up with and control the content of a choreography, from an external position (which is the usual choreographer's one, whether she likes it or not), hedicaps the creative process and disempower the dancers, by limiting them to only being vehicles for someone else's ideas, thoughts and vision. 

Frame the situation clearly, lean back, observe and wait. 

IMG_3436.JPG

The musicality of a choreography (and it doesn't matter if there's any actual dancing involved), is far more revealing in regards to the intentions behind the work, than any other aspect. Whatever is actually taking place on stage, as well as what's written in the program and the choreographer's intention note, are almost a kind of distraction from what is really happening.  

Choreography is a musical event, wether the maker is aware of that or not, and it can be accurately red through listening and looking at its musical properties alone. 

IMG_3486.JPG

The most effective way I've found to motivate and engage the dancers I work with, has to do with being able to accurately identify the moment when they become familiar and comfortable with a certain way of working and thinking, and shift away from it. But you can't just shift for shift sake, it has to be a genuine evolution of what they know so far. 

Dancers authentically challenged and intrigued by what they're working on, will give it their hearts and souls. 

IMG_3359.JPG

I feel that my first duety as choreographer, is to be able to gain the dancers' trust. To manage to genuinely convince them to follow me, rather than force them to do so out of a certain power position I'm at. 

IMG_2844.JPG

Dancers will always create better material for each other, than they would for themselves.  

It's an interesting phenomena to observe and contemplate upon when thinking about creative models and their efficiency.  

IMG_2628.JPG

I try to create choreographic systems, that will host anyone who steps inside of then, with the same indiscriminative ease in which sports game do. You don't need to be a professional NBA player to fully engage and enjoy a game of basketball. Any group of kids or retiered elders can just as well play the game, enjoy it, fully engage with and benefit from it. The sets of rules which make up most sport game, are not related to the technical level of the people playing them. They create an objective, neutral system. I find this to be a valuable angle under which to examine my own choreographic 'games'. They should be able to host anyone who wants to play them, in a natural and effective manner. 

FullSizeRender.jpg