Introduction to my work in Live Interdisciplainary Performance
Improvised performance has become my primary artistic focus over the past two years. It does a number of things that are very important to me. Besides its ability to bridge and blur artistic mediums and the hierarchies that accompany those divisions, it requires people. It requires collaboration, communication, navigation of difference, making with and being in relation to other people. Improvised interdisciplinary performance acts like a magnifying glass for the social, political and emotional dynamics that accompany making and being with others. Along with that, improvised work provides me with the space to explore my embodiment, knowledge and memory and is thus also a very necessary practice for me as a person.
My approach to this work varies depending on the project, but generally I spend a lot of time in rehearsal working on tools and techniques that are intended to inform the performance, but not restrict it. It feels like an action of creating an environment or ecosystem in which to create in.
Please find below a small archive of the live interdisciplianry work I’ve done.
Julia de Rosenwerth & Beatriz Gijon Live | Online Performance (2020)
Beatriz and Julia engage in an interdisciplinary conversation through sound and movement. This improvised online performance is simply a sharing of our correspondence thus far, having had some time for certain themes and elements to develop over the past few months.
Beatriz Gijón Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/beatrizgijon
AADK Spain Centro Negra Residency Programme (2019)
Interdisciplianry performance of music and sound, in collaboration with Josman P# / @josman42. Originally created and performed in residence at Centro Negra in Blanca, Murcia, Spain as part of AADK Network’s September Open Studios. Rehearsal filming by Dorothy Cheung / @dorothy_films. Performance photography by Pablo Jordan.
This work was very important for my development and began from quite a lonely place. I felt very alienated from the idea of solo performance and began to realise that, for the work I want to do, I need people to do it with. I was lucky to find a musician to create with.
Our performance was composed in sound and movement, in real-time. In rehearsals we worked on techniques of connection, communication/ sensing, prediction/ anticipation and intended contradiction. Learning to sense one another’s energetic outputs became the technique we used to hold the performance together.
At the time I was thinking a lot about the boundaries of one’s self and how those can be extended, blurred and permeated. I resonated with the idea of ‘opening’, and ended up practicing a multitude of physical, emotional, social and spiritual techniques in preparation for the performance.
Music Dance 021 (2019, 2018)
Music Dance 021 is an interdisciplinary performance platform for composition in real-time for dancers, musicians and actors. It is run by Manuela Lucia Tessi (IT/NL) and Thalia Stella Laric. MD021 has run for two years in Cape Town, and is the South African branch of the Music Dance series that also takes place in Berlin, Germany, and Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Music Dance 021 was my introduction to the ‘institution’ of contemporary interdisciplinary music and dance performance. I began to find language and for the explorations I had already begun in my own choreographic work with Adriana Jamisse and Kerim Becker. I had also been practicing flamenco for many years by this time and was interested to experience how the Music Dance 021 approach differed from the folk music and dance customs of flamenco.
Music Dance 021 takes quite a musical/ compositional approach to performance creation. It works very practically with concepts of timing, phrasing, rhythm and space for both dancers and musicians. My experience is that through these techniques one finds the layering of mood, emotionality and narrative – although these are not the basis from which the work is created.
In 2019 I performed a duo with musician Vintani Nafassi (MZ), as well as in various group performances. In 2018 I performed a trio with Hannah Loewenthal and Robin Brink, as well as in other group performances.
Independently produced performance with dancer Adriana Jamisse (MZ) and musician Kerim Becker (DE). Performed at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Cape Town, South Africa. Lighting by Frans Mandilakhe Zunguze. Photography by Alessandra Griffin. Rehearsal assistance by Tania Lea Vossgatter.
Whisper was created as an interdisciplinary improvised performance. It arose through questions Adriana and I asked ourselves including ‘what makes us move?’ what are our impulses?’, ‘why do we continue to move?’ and ‘what movement is contained within our so called ‘still’ bodies?’
We agreed that a live musician was necessary for the performance, as we both discovered music to be a huge impulse for our desire to move our bodies. Yet, we also discovered that taking an interest in sensation created some very strong impulses to move, and to rest. We spent a lot of time observing the small, ongoing dances inside our bodies which created an interesting interplay in the work. Finally, it only made sense that the work was a collaboration of people, as we experienced dancing together with others fuels a fire that asked us to keep moving. Personally, this work became a meditation on movement ans stillness and was very joyous to perform.