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The labours of dance

September 12th, 2010


2: Dialogue with Lucinda, by nb / Nicole Beutler

In a breathless interview with 4 of the 5 dancers of the 2: Dialogue with Lucinda company, The Dossier collects these notes on the workings required to make this powerful minimal choreography (see above video impressions too!). For some excellent reviews on their work (The Dossier can’t really add more, it was a brilliant evening), click here!

The Dossier: So, what’s going through your mind while you’re dancing this piece?
Christiane: You really have to concentrate. If you lapse, it’s really dangerous. I did it a couple of times tonight – did you see?
The Dossier: No, honestly I was in a trance.
Javier: You have to be careful because you get really dizzy in the first piece.

The Dossier: What are the time signatures? They seemed too hard to work out.
Aimar: The first piece is in 9/8 and you make a full round in 9, and 3/4 of the circle when you are doing the leap. The second piece was in 8/8 and 12/8.
The Dossier: Aaaah, I see.

The Dossier: How long did it take you to prepare these pieces?
Christiane: It was a 6 week project to get the piece together, but I am filling in for someone. I had to learn it in 5 days.

The Dossier: Tell us more about the music in Interior Drama – which was amazing by the way.
Aimar: It was composed by British composer Gary Shepherd who is based in Amsterdam. He actually referred to the original choreography and then composed a new piece which we then collaborated on, and reworked it, with Nicole’s reworking of Lucinda’s choreography. So it was a sort of double-layered process.

Interior Drama

The Dossier: How do you rehearse a piece like that? Do you say “let’s go back to bar so-and-so” and take it from there?
Hillary: Um, we call them figures. (Ooops, The Dossier). For the second piece we can practise it by section, but sometimes we know the problem areas and pick them up at those points.

The Dossier: Have there been any major stuff-ups with this piece?
Hillary: We were in Gent at an open air festival, where our performance was to be done on grass, in a setting with dogs barking and kids playing. Normally we’re inside with no distractions and we’re used to hearing the beat on the floorboards in a theatre or a studio. When we ran through it on the grass earlier that day it didn’t go well. In time for the performance we worked out that we needed to look at each other and connect that way – to substitute for the conditions we’re used to.

The Dossier: What’s Nicole Beutler like to work with? (She is unfortunately not present tonight, but has been and will be present for the rest of the festival)
Aimar: She’s really intuitive. The most important thing to do when working with Nicole is that you have to trust her. If you do that, then it will be great.

The Dossier: How were the costumes chosen?
Aimar: There was actually an idea of us perhaps wearing superhero costumes, but at a certain point as a performer there are certain things you aren’t quite prepared to do… But there were many layers with these two pieces, and because they’re both very minimal, the outfits needed to reflect that. But as performers, you don’t really have a lot of freedom when you’re dancing these pieces.
Javier: Yeah, from the moment you start you really have to ‘go through with the rest of it’.
Aimar: So it’s like hard labour, that idea of the camps, you know. Well, we’re not imprisoned, but we are working. So the grey colours seemed to be the right choice.

The Dossier: What are you eating there Hillary? Is it some sort of dancer trade-secret?
Hillary: Um, it’s apple with peanut butter. No, it’s no secret. It is very American though!

The Dossier: Where are you staying?
Aimar: We’re in the Sofitel, so, yeah, a nice place. We’re really being looked after. We have a bathtub, which we use every night, believe me.
The Dossier: Big enough for five?
Aimar: Nah, (laughs), we get our own rooms!

Final performance at Flux-S 12 September, 3pm. Click here for more details.
Original music by Gary Shepherd (UK).
Based on the original choreographies Radial Courses (1976) and Interior Drama (1977) by Lucinda Childs.
Dancers: Hillary Blake (US), Aimar Pérez Galí (Spain), Christiane Ruggieri (Italy), Marjolein Maria Vogels (Netherlands … from Eindhoven!), Javier Vaquero Ollero (Spain)

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