Modul-dance experience. By Tina Valentan

Delovni naslov @ Move to Maribor

I was recommended by Plesna Izba Maribor as one of the modul-dance artists in 2012. They also promised to be the main producers of the performance and cover the premiere, so all I needed to get on board were at least three partners. I was seducing them in Barcelona and gave it all to catch their attention, which was not easy. It felt like I was a product on sale and they are buying. There was no big interest but in the end I got what I wanted; three research spaces/residencies, one in Portugal, one in Denmark and one in Slovenia. They offered working space, accommodation, travel costs and per diems, so all the basic needs were covered and I could focus on work, away from trivial obligations in my home town. Therefore going abroad seemed very beneficial for developing work and growing as an artist and as a human being.

New environment was refreshing and revitalising. Being in touch with a new culture opened up curiosity and senses, which was also helpful in the creative process because we were more alert for details. In Faro, Portugal we (Luka and me) were totally motivated for work out and discipline. We were waking up at around six in the morning to meditate, rehearsed through the day and went to run in the evening – across town, by the coast, pass the palm trees. It did not correspond with the laid back nature typical for the warm south but we were so grateful for the big, bright studio and the Mediterranean winds were giving us strength. In Copenhagen we rehearsed in a black box, after the theatre closed the season, so pretty cut off from events and other artists, which influenced the nature of our material. We produced something minimal, slow and intimate, which was really useful for us later on because I got pregnant before the premiere and we had to throw out all the dynamic material and forget about big movements.

We could take good advantage from the research and residency modules. The time we could afford to try out, think and re-think was precious. We could go to many places inside the creation, shifted ideas and had a chance to shape material that was developed through sharing our fascinations and knowledge. The premiered version of Working Title framed all those different off springs into a distinct composition, determined by fatal decisions concluded in the last faze of creation. Because we let the performance develop rather than forced it into a predetermined shape it got an unpredictable form and content, for which it seems to me, it was made with a force bigger than us humans. This life force was something we wanted to come through in the performance and touch the audience. We did not get much chance to try out the effect on audiences because I was not able to perform any more and after me giving birth we were not able to sell the piece. This is where we were not so successful. It was clear from the beginning that being a modul-dance artist does not promise you a tour but maybe the last two modules could be organized more carefully. Perhaps they could run another selection from all the finished works; meaning all directors of production houses would watch all videos and than they choose some to tour. Otherwise mostly those artist that got support from big production houses that have money get the chance for some re-runs. Probably too many artists accumulate over years for something like that. But in the end does size matter?

There are still ideas to make a new version of our performance and from a solo extend it into a duet. We will see about that after the next funding call. Before that I will dance in a piece called Hunting Season, choreographed by Malin Tomašik, so you better watch out for this one.

Picture: © Saša Huzjak

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