To the Other Side

22 September 2011 text Dannie Nikolova
All we`ll hear during the last week of September will be: dance!, dance!, dance!, due to Sofia Dance Week (26th of September - 1st of October). The great choreographer Asun Noales is coming with her group of dancers OtraDanza.

What makes you want to become a choreographer, not just a dancer?
The need to communicate, through the body, the movement and the totality of the scene. Being an interpreter for other choreographers does not allow me to find my own language. The need to investigate on my movement, my ideas of the scene and my worries led me to make choreographies little by little with assiduity.

Where is the biggest thrill – to fell the energy of the audience while dancing on stage or to be behind the curtains, watching everything as the choreographer?
They are so different, these are so different emotions that I cannot choose between them. When you dance, you forget everything, you enter almost a spiritual condition where the only important thing is giving yourself to the audience. You cannot think about anything else. Being out of the scene, you have all the senses to 100 %, you see everything, you notice if everything is ok both technically or choreographically. The timing or the silences sometimes vary. Some of them become eternal, other ones happen unnoticed, depending on your mood that day. You do not have the control over the scene that a dancer has. He leaves the skin on stage. But you feel the audience because in this moment you are also a part of them. But if I have to choose I remain with the emotion of dancing, hehe. Being out is harder and makes you more nervous.

What is actually needs to be a good dancer or choreographer, besides the hard word, discipline and rules?
Everything is important. A good technique, a great discipline but there is something essential, without artistic talent or “duende” - as we say in Spain - with the dancers of Flamenco, all that remains just into a cold useless thing. To me, the most important thing in my dancers is that they put their soul and heart when they dance on stage. They inspire love in me when I see them. They are art, beyond the technique.

When you do the choreography what comes first – movements or the concept?
It depends on the work that I do. But normally the idea or the concept or “why?” I want to create something or “on what do I base?” it is ahead. I do not have a model to follow not even a method. I am anarchic enough.

A lot of dancers and choreographers say: I don`t like to talk. I express myself better with movement. How about you? Do you also like to talk the language of the body?
I believe that when you are maturing you are more able to find the words to express and to report on your own works. It is true that initially, your own work has much of chance, intuition and experiment; that is why is hard to talk about it. But as you create more things, you develop as a choreographer, are you learn about yourself, of your structures, of why did I make that this way instead that other one. Is like your creations were informing you about your own personality. Every time I speak more of my works.

How modern dance is a unique artistic language?
The dance in general is a unique artistic language, not just modern dance. It is a way of expressing through our body, our emotions, our body in relation with the space and with the others. That makes dance unique and universal.

When you create a new piece, how much of your own personality influence your work? How much of your own faith hides behind the concept?
Absolutely all my works are full of my personality, my experiences, my attitude towards life and my understanding of art.

Tell us more about OtraDanza? What types of people do you have among your company`s dancers?
OtraDanza is a shared view – to show our enthusiasm about the body as a primary language in creation; our desire to transmit through the ethereal trace of the flesh those dances. We want to diminish the line that separates the audience from the dancer, to show that each choreography is a shared journey.

The concept of Back is not so simplet? There is a mission – the audience must be lead towards where? Roots, other dimensions?
Back is a trip across the body, through the simplicity and the purity of the things. Through the beauty of the human being who drag us to the deepest of the spirit. Back enter us to a three-dimensional world, as if we could enter the muscles, the nerves, the arteries of the body to flow throughout an hour with the dancers.

There are 6 dancers on stage - do you leave them free to find their own stories behind the concept? Do they have the freedom to communicate with the audience?
Certainly, in this spectacle we can know each of the dancers according to his movement. I always say and I have also heard from other many creators, that “you are as you move” and in this spectacle every dancer has his own moment. They are six very different interpreters but that united create an almost perfect synergy. Each of them takes us to a condition and with each of them we enter a small and intense landscape of this trip that is Back.

You use some some great visual effects, special lightning, the stage is made from mirrors…
This is it, Back is like a great mirror where at all time the bodies of the dancers are reflected. These reflections sometimes are projected in the bottom, giving the sensation of interesting projections. They are just reflections doing that the scene turns into a wonderful fantasy, sometimes aquatic, sometimes futurist, that helps to enlarge the power and the force of the movement.

How you see the dance in - let`s say, five years? Back to the pure body movement or using more and new technologies?
The technology must be totally well-taken if it is in use. It is necessary to advance with it and to use it with naturalness but without neglecting the movement and the scene. When everything complements itself and is fused, it is when the spectacle is a total spectacle.

Is dance already your whole life, your way of living? 
The dance occupies most of my time but, certainly, I have my valves of leak to disconnect of the world. The sea and sailing are one of my major pleasures besides the dance.

What advice would you give an emerging choreographer?
I would tell them that they let their intuition led them, that believe in them. That the beginning is slow, sometimes frustrating but with work and dedication everything matches. To be perseverant. Surround yourself with a good artistic equipment. Enjoy creating. Don’t stop learning.

Tell us the name of a dancer or choreographer that you absolutely love and admire.
Pina Baush, of course

Back is in National Theatre Ivan Vazov, Salza i Sniah Scene, 27th of September, 19:00, 20/30/40/50лв from
Sofia Dance Week is in National Music and Ballet Centre; Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture, Mladejki Theatre Nikolay Binev; National Theatre Ivan Vazov National Opera, 26th of September – 1st of October


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