Just a few hours to go

picture by Ginelle Chagnon

Ziyian, Peter and Marco

Tonight at 9 pm the informal sharing of the first step of Triptych 2012 will take place at the CSC Garage Nardini in Bassano del Grappa.

Marco D’Agostin, Peter Trotzmer and Ziyian Kwan will share with the audience their work in progress. It is a very sensitive part of a creative process, since the choreographers are opening up the private diary of their inquiry. The audience will play a fundamental role in providing a feedback for the artists.

Feedback can even imply a sheer watching, as a conscious outside eye, because the artists can feel the involvement of the audience. A more active feedback can mean asking questions, or expressing what one has seen there.

Polar judgement is banned: it may be harmful, unsensitive and, in my opinion, unrespectful of the artist’s journey. The focus is on research, there is no right or wrong.

Yet, the Bassano audience has been accustomed to attending this kind of public sharings and their participation has often been fruitful.

Physicality, building an environment, shadows and protection. What will happen tonight?

Last steps in the Bassano research

On the 17th July Ginelle invites the choreographers to focus on the sounds, the visual aspects, the aesthetics and the proximity to the audience of the research they are going to present on Wednesday night. The aim is to visualise a bigger picture within which the work may set itself.

Ziyian has realised that her development is deeply rooted with her precision in physicality.

Peter appreciates the struggle in her to succeed more than her actually succeeding.

The core of this work of hers consists of movement, physical ideas. So much that the text part in it has a specific reference to bodily processes, words like “pituitary”, “pulse” are repeated, so digging profoundly in the essence of movement and of what can become of a body. The piece is divided into 5 states, each one embodying a part of Ziyian. Marco detects a wave-like form in these states, which he doesn’t perceive as separate at all.

“I am mostly interested in the poetics of movement, because that’s why I dance”. (Ziyian)

Peter goes on with his research on creating an environment through objects and their relationships with each other and with the performers. Ziyian and Marco are invited to experiment with this concept. It is more about building things than about “real” dancing. The structure should be circular.

The issue raised by Marco is to whether the performer is informed by the object or the other way around. “The focus is on how and where you are putting objects. Then I want you to play a game. The game is catch”. (Peter)

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Marco D’Agostin

On the 15th July the three choreographers experiment with their ideas resorting to each other as interpreters.

After inquiring on the subject of water in the previous days, now Peter is building a “bridge“. He wants to reveal the secrets of objects, open up the possibilities they have. Peter would like the actions to have an unconscious feel. “As soon as they become conscious they distract me”. “If you take a path, we don’t have to see that you’re taking the path, we need to see the path”.

Ziyian’s idea is the one of falling and getting up again and again. A chair in the space may be the goal, or, quite the opposite, the starting point. New quality of movement is then added to this process and the sensation is that Ziyian is “making things appear” (Peter).

The instructions are very clear, although sometimes the timing may differ in the choreographers’ approach to new information.

Marco has been working on the idea of a set, with one source of light and two sources of darkness. The point of light stands for a place of pleasure or a place for revelation.

The first box, as Marco calls them, is protection, for that Marco gives specific tasks.

The second box is intimacy, loneliness, where the performers enter the space.

There, “light is what you want, but maybe what you have is darkness”.

The third box is a moment in which the performers will take the microphone and say what they want from their work.

In the mountains

On Friday the Triptychs went to the mountain. After getting to know the city of Bassano from within, it is the right time to try and have a glance at it from a distance.

Ginelle: “The mountains are the perfect place to understand dimensions. You are also asked to add dimensions in your work, because you deal with a human body. Getting to know the geography of a city gives you a different perception of space”.

The scary places

After letting their movement material emerge, after reprocessing it according to Ginelle’s guidelines, on Thursday the question is asked as to whether to go on with what was done on Wednesday or whether to develop it.

What is the difference?

Ginelle: “You can either work from the inside of the work or in perspective”. “I want to go to the scary places, we’re not here to avoid continuing with one thing”.

The time is left at disposal to reflect on these two options, for preparation.

But what does preparation exactly mean?

Ginelle: “Sometimes choreographers need space to think, by themselves. It may be preparing not for today but for what you’re going to do in the future. Because you are articulating, you are in a different process than in the studio. We are all preparing for the next moment. You lead the creative process but the process also leads you. It’s not true that the process needs the same approach every day. It is important that you challenge your way to deal with it”.

Marco: “Sometimes it’s also good to be comfortable. I had a workshop called Killing your darlings. Well, sometimes you also have to live with your darlings, not kill them. Maybe I am not in love with the material I’ve created, but I am in love with the idea of making things I am not necessarily in love with”.

Peter decides to start composing with what he has, because composition is more pertinent to him at the moment.

Marco will start alone, then he will ask the others to work with him.

Ziyian creates stations in the studio, as a mapping of the space, involving the other two choreographers. Then she will go on by herself.

The recollection

The Triptychs didn’t listen to their recordings immediately. On the contrary, on Wednesday, 11th July they were invited by Ginelle to reflect upon the experience and try to remember those sounds.

They worked following these three stages.

1 try to remember the soundwalk and transfer it into movement individually

2 re-live that experience by taking the space into account

3 teach a selection of that movement material to the other two choreographers.

The last stage makes the transfer issue arise. Which methods do you use to transfer the movement material? How similar should it be to your own movement? This is a moment when the choreographers’ different approaches come to a dialogue. Marco: “My method is creating little boxes, frames where I give instructions, and the dancers can create their score starting from there”. “In this moment I am interested in what we mean by presence and being present, in the sense of being here and now, and the methods I can give a dancer to grab what he/she’s doing, how that can make sense for them. This is connected to what I learned working with Alessandro Sciarroni: he quotes Marina Abramovic, who states that the present is the last tense we’ll ever have, which is not the past and not the future”.

The subject of presence inspires one more issue for Ziyian and Peter: the idea of being present is somehow intertwined with the one of autenticity.