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The newly founded Contact companI spent 3 weeks in April 2022 in a residency in SerVivo, Portugal to explore the theme "back to the roots".
The intention of the 9 dancers and the musician was to practice Contact Improvisation in a very simple, pure form and to let the richness of possibilities unfold. The goal was to understand CI also (again) as performance art and it was shown in public at 4 different locations.
CI research in Marseille, Nature and Studio Kashdance-CIAM
For a week in October 2018, I was lucky to be part of a residency with Aude Fondard and Jennie Zimmermann in a dance studio in the center of Marseille.
The space enabled us to practice Contact Improvisation on a daily basis and focus on several technical areas (lifts, slow weight transfer, body-tone, etc.).
After sharing our wishes and needs, we started each day with Contemplative Dance Practice. Contemplative Dance Practice, also known as CDP was defined by Barbara Dilley in the 1970s. It sets a serene framework for a conscious movement session, creating an awareness of the self and the space.
Most days we spent a few hours in the studio and a few hours outdoors in the city or in the nature around Marseille.
We paid special attention to the subtle changes occurring in our body-minds when working inside (closed space) in contrast to the outdoors. How does our direct environment (from its sounds and smells, to its shapes and colors) impact our dance? We also realized that the practice can be perceived as a performance by curious passers-by.
We agreed on filming some of our improvisations. This was to get used to the presence of the lens (which acted as an additional witness), and to keep a documentation of our work.
Many thanks to Elise Mautalen from Kashdance-CIAM for the residency.
Some impressions of our work:
Designed to Die?
dance-theater piece by Aude Fondard and Jo Bruhn.
(Duet, 20min, 2016)
We have a sorrowful, loving, and amusing concern with the topic "planned obsolescence". In other words: how things become waste in a planned way. This concept has to do with printers and other technical wonders which break after a short period of time, or are replaced by others which are just a tiny bit changed.
(Dance solo, 4min., 2015)
I asked 15 people to say 3 things which come to their minds when they hear the phrases "saying yes" and "to commit".
Based on my own interpretation of their answers, I noticed 4 main attitudes within their answers:
- saying no / resistance
- letting go
I then researched movement and connected these different ways of moving by using these attitudes.
I also recorded the interviews and made a sound collage.
Fire Dancing and Stilt Walking
After more then 15 years of working as a professional fire performer and stilt walker, I no longer call it my profession. But, if the opportunity arises, I do still like to be a part of projects. Recently I took part as a stilt walker in "The Fair at Sorochyntsi" at Komische Oper Berlin (directed by Barrie Kosky) and as a fire performer in "Romeo and Juliet at the Gornergrat" at Freilichtspiele Zermatt in Switzerland (directed by Livia Anne Richard).
The art of fire-playing or stilt-walking in combination with acting or dancing is still very fascinating to me.
One of my former solos as a fire artist: