00:00:49 00:00:52

There’s going to be some crickets in forty minutes.

00:03:53 00:04:37

This is the improvised medley of made up songs. The improvised medley of made up songs is taking or using sensation to determine the content. And the style of the melody is influenced by the traces of the sensations you are experiencing through your voice and your body. And you indulge in the style that comes. Yes, you do! Yeah. Yes, you do!

00:04:37 00:04:55

And you push them, even farther, until you get to a new style. And then you kick it in that style for a while. What? I was like, what? I was born ready, bitches! I did not even have to prepare this shit. What? What? What? (Air guitar.)

00:05:04 00:05:18

And I heard him calling the other day. I didn’t know why he called me that way. I didn’t know he or her name. Her name would call me a Wayne. In a Wayne. In a Wayne. In a way…

00:05:21 00:05:40

It’s coming to me from somewhere else. I don’t even know what’s a happening to me. Is a happening to me. I’m receiving it. From somewhere else. Hallelujah!

00:05:48 00:05:55

I don’t even like this kind of contemporary music. Doesn’t it drive you nuts?

00:06:12 00:06:34

The way I understood this invitation - let’s speak about the context of walkie talkie for a moment - is that you are invited as a choreographer, as a practitioner of movement to practice and speak at the same time about what it is that you do.

00:06:36 00:06:54

This invitation was somewhat of a novelty, I suppose. When it was first introduced, I think the idea was to give the discourse back to the artist in a moment when maybe dramaturges, critics or journalists were taking it over.

00:06:54 00:07:05

What’s strange now is, I feel a part of a generation which doesn’t need this permission.

00:07:05 00:07:21

I don’t know if it’s because of a ‘postconceptualist’ moment, when we’ve been educated by the people that came before us to think and speak and premeditate a bit about what we’re doing.

00:07:23 00:07:34

Or if it’s because I just happen to know a lot of people who are very adept to language. I mean, take the discourse into our own hands.

00:07:36 00:08:01

I think part of it has to do with funding. I’m not mad at funding. That’s why I live in Europe. Don’t get me wrong. But the fact of having to write an application about what you’re gonna do, before you can get some dollars in your hands to do it, definitely means that the linguistic form of the idea precedes the physical form of the idea.

00:08:02 00:08:19

I like this tool. Every time I write an application and every time I have to go on a date with a programmer and tell him how great my idea is, I use this moment for my own benefit.

00:08:19 00:08:28

I use this opportunity to clarify what it is that I’m interested in doing.

00:08:32 00:09:10

I consider myself part of a milieu or a club of people who produce a lot of discourse around their work. Publishing, writing. I’m a control freak. I get so mad when I see a text published about my piece which says something like ‘pure dance’. I could kill. So language is an important part of my process already. So I thought maybe I should talk less for this invitation, but I won’t.

00:09:12 00:09:17

Thought forms.

00:09:19 00:09:33

I think an interesting subject… an interesting subject - we will not use the word ‘interesting’ tonight! Never. This word means nothing, nothing. ‘Interesting’ is a meaningless word. Never use it in the studio. Never, never, never. Okay.

00:09:33 00:09:51

Thought has shapes. I think thinking has a formal aspect. There’s formal properties of thought which are expressed through the gestures that come out when you’re explaining what you’re thinking about.

00:09:52 00:10:11

Thoughts have forms that are expressed in diagrams, models, language, graphic design. And movement is just one of many ways that a thought or an idea can symptomatize its formal properties.

00:10:12 00:10:30

Néanmoins, nevertheless, I do think the question is then for me as a choreographer: What is specific to the medium of dance in this translation from an idea into material?

00:10:30 00:10:59

And what’s superinteresting - interesting, interesting - and what’s even more challenging and precise, is to figure out how the material can generate thoughts. Can a form produce a thought and not only the thought, the form is a derivative of the thought. What if!

00:11:00 00:11:20

So, I don’t think I have an answer to this question. But sometimes believing there is an answer to this question encourages me to go to the studio and do something before writing about it or talking about it. Which is difficult if you’re not alone.

00:11:21 00:11:44

Two things wrong with the studio. The studio gives me nothing. Nothing. You go to the studio and you’re in this empty room. It’s a tragedy. It’s a luxury problem. You’re like… This floor, tell me something. Tell me what to do.

00:11:44 00:12:06

So if you don’t plan what the f*** you’re going to do when you get there and you haven’t done some thinking or some chatting or some writing, or some planning… I take a nap. 20 minutes. To allow my intuition to begin to function. And I think it’s okay, because I’ve heard Steve Paxton does the same thing.

00:12:08 00:12:11

I did the improvised medley dance.

00:12:12 00:12:22

But this was… Something interesting maybe… Oh, fuck. Oh, God.

00:12:23 00:12:49

When you’re like this on the wood, you’re like: Wood, talk to me, give me something, talk, gimme, gimme. How do you access the meaning of materials without the formal idea principle preceding the material experience?

00:12:50 00:13:09

So we came up with this task, called ‘STC’. This stands for two things. It stands for ‘Severe Tripping in Context’. And it stands for ‘Space Time Continuum’. I will demonstrate.

00:14:48 00:14:51

It never made it into the piece.

00:14:54 00:15:23

It’s two things. You experience space and time as a continuum. You as a continuity. The idea of continuum is that the divisions of space and time, like seconds or molecules, they’re fabrications as good as any. But I mean that once you can see and sense… If you go teeny, teeny, teeny, tiny, tiny, tiny into the quanta - let’s say, I’m not a scientist.

00:15:23 00:15:48

If you get to the place where the difference between this edge and this edge is moving, is not fixed, so the difference between my face and the heater, it’s a margin of… I don’t know how it works that my face does not become the heater actually. I’m trying!

00:15:49 00:15:57

So you’re trying to perceive this continuity with space and time.

00:15:58 00:16:10

And how do we move? Like I can sit on a pillow and I can do this and nothing would happen. So we take a hybrid score. We say that your curiosity, your anxiety is what we call ‘übersubjectivity’.

00:16:10 00:16:26

So you say that a subject is defined by his or her sensations, right? Like if my subjectivity in the world is determined by my percepts, when I see and experience, basically is the very first contact between me and the world, and locates me as ‘here’ and the world around me.

00:16:26 00:16:50

And if you wanna say like Nietzsche, like Übermensch, like we go over the subject. The übersubject would be someone who uses these very tools of subjectivity to erase the difference between himself and the rest. So that’s the ‘Severe Tripping in Context’ if you will.

00:16:50 00:17:13

So you use your subjective curiosity and interest to navigate and you just accept. You just kind of say yes to everything that comes. And if you lose something, you drop it, and you get to the next thing. You just go through the whole space-time continuum, trying to match states with all the things.

00:17:13 00:17:22

And it’s totally fictive. I mean, you make it up. A lot of interpretation, but you try to not judge that. You really believe it. It’s a fiction.

00:17:22 00:17:42

Most things require a fiction. Everything you do, you have to just temporarily decide that’s what’s gonna happen right there. If you sit there all day, going like ‘But it’s not happening!’, you’ll never do the things. So sometimes you have to exclude like 80% of what you already know in order to try to get yourself into what you don’t know.

00:17:44 00:17:53

How do we not always repeat ourselves? Well, we trick ourselves into believing we’re not repeating ourselves.

00:17:54 00:18:04

Which brings me to practice. How does an invitation to talk about my practice makes me ask myself if I even have a practice at all?

00:18:04 00:18:11

I mean, I make a dance every day, almost. I make dances every year. I dance for other people every year.


But to me a practice is defined by, like, I think practice has something about repetition and something about discipline. And honestly, I don’t think I do much of either.


I think I have too much energy, which makes me do a lot of stuff. So I’ve decided that part of my practice is using ADD as a method. Attention Deficit Disorder.

00:18:46 00:19:00

It means you can do whatever you want. And you do it with fervour. You can do whatever you want is a topic. Actually, it’s an anecdote and it’s a slogan in the studio.

00:19:02 00:19:11

‘You can do whatever you want’ comes from my dad. My dad was driving - a stupid story, let me just tell it, can you just tell it? My dad’s driving - I’ll do some movement to make it better.


My dad’s driving down the street, the road, with my mom and my sister and her boyfriend in the back. I wasn’t there, I just heard about it, my sister is a good storyteller, she made it good, I don’t know, probably it’s not even that good, but it was good when she told me.


So he’s driving on the street and there’s a huge obstruction. It’s like construction, orange, fences, guys with flags. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Traffic backed up forever. You don’t move, you don’t move there, you’re not going to, you’re gonna just follow the dude with the flags there, alright? There is oncoming traffic on the other direction. You can’t see around the thing.


My dad wheels off into the oncoming traffic, turns around and comes back in the other direction. And my sister is like: ‘Dad, can you do that?’ And he says: ‘You can do whatever you want!’

00:19:55 00:20:00

So apparently, you can do whatever you want.

00:20:01 00:22:13

And I think: Where did that come from? That came from ADD as a method. I think ‘doing whatever you want’ is important as a method of the use of self.


When we deal with the body, we deal with ourselves. I mean, we deal with ourselves as people, as performers, as brains, as thinkers, as a whole mess of ideas and sensations and desires and interests and curiosities and emotions and affinities and appearances and characteristics and demographics and style and resources and personality and training and autobiography. You’re dealing with the use of self.


How do you use yourself? You do whatever you want! No, I think, there is something interesting in the people. Like you’re here right now, because you’re kind of voyeuristic. There’s part of you that is not here to know about my practice. But you’re like: What is that girl going to do? What is she like? And I think a big part of going to see a performance is about ‘people watching’ naturally.


So, if you employ people, you’re employing them as a person and there’s a certain amount of respect about that and admiration and you choose people you’re interested in and you like them. But if you just rest there, when you stay there, it’s not enough.


If you want to use the people. You got to get into what they like, whatever they wanna do. And there has to be a space where your interest and their interest can meet.


And this is one of the most difficult compounds in the choreographic practice, I would say. It’s the source of most social unrest. Most insecurity. Most manipulation.


And what I’ve come to call is a practice I see more and more today in the performing arts, called ‘Curiography’.

00:21:58 00:22:15

Curiography is when the writing of the dance disappears. We are no longer writing dances, we are curating the talents of our people. Think about it.


I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It’s just what’s happening.


So I think language becomes one of the mediators between whatever I wanna do and whatever you wanna do. No, what language becomes is the interface between my understanding of the thought-form.

00:22:35 00:22:56

I mean, movement is too. There is a lot like imitation and unspoken agreements that happen when you’re in the studio and you start to practice together. You absorb stuff like this. You get it. Like there’s something you get about what I’m doing right now, up in your face. You would know. Like I don’t have to tell what this is about. You would get something about it. Right.


Well language is someting that makes people feel comfortable. So if we explain what we’re thinking about and give people tools, it’s like a translation. I can also draw pictures about this. Or show you a painting about this.

00:23:11 00:23:32

But it’s a way that you wouldn’t just imitate me doing this, but you could find a way that this, if I would translate this to language or figure out what this is about for me, then you have another access to this which you could translate into this. Or what have you.


My experience as a performer for other people is a huge part of my practice as a choreographer. Because it makes me sensitive to said issues, the ones I just mentioned.

00:24:39 00:25:09

And it reminds me that there’s many different ways to get from a material to an idea. Or from an idea to a material. Or from a piece to a concept. Or from a concept to an exercise. Or from a score to a phrase. Or from a phrase to a dead end.


I think it’s healthy for my practice and I encourage all others to do the same. As I think it’s healthy for the field to avoid the settling on ideologies about what dance is or should be.

00:25:34 00:26:02

I’m an openminded gal. I like to be surprised. I go to the theatre to learn new things about the medium that I’m a part of and I work with different people to change my ideas and not only confirm the ones that I have.
But if I will, I do have limits.


I hate Romeo Castellucci. I just saw his premiere [The Minister’s Black Veil] at TNB in Rennes and I was pissed off. I was like:

00:26:17 00:26:57

Why? Why this is only your… You’re just making pictures, you’re just illustrating shit, it’s not even… If I force myself to think about this thing, I get nothing. Nothing. I should have read the book by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It would have been better. And you’re wasting so much money! Maybe in 1980, I would have accepted it, but I wasn’t born yet. And times are different.

00:26:58 00:27:19

Entertainment is an issue, okay? I can’t help it. It’s not just because I’m American. It’s because I’m here and you’re over there. And I’m over here and you’re over there and I’m like: I can do something for you, it’s gonna be good, and you’ll laugh, and I’ll feel encouraged, I’m a sucker and I’m like: I’m gonna do it again cuz you’re laughing, and I’m stupid.

00:27:21 00:27:29

I’m gonna do this until you don’t laugh anymore. No, I’m not, that would suck.


Video, as an outside tool, this is dangerous. Very, very dangerous. Because if you work alone with video, and you like what you see, it’s probably like 50% because of vanity.


And if you work with video and you don’t like what you see, how could you know? It’s like because video is boring and you didn’t see the real thing. Well you don’t like what you see because what, because of vanity? Because you’re disappointed?

00:28:05 00:28:26

If you work with video and you work with other people, everybody only watches themselves when they watch the video. You learn nothing about the composition. It’s a great tool because then people can learn what they’re doing. Nobody watches the whole picture. Nobody, you can’t on the video.


Just in case, anybody didn’t see ‘This is it!’? This is important. Okay, so, there’s… Did anybody not see ‘This is it!’? The movie about Michael Jackson. Did not see? Okay, I’m gonna do it.


So he’s up there, he’s rehearsing ‘it’. It’s ‘it’. This is like his last show. He’s like gonna die. It’s gonna be the biggest show ever before he dies.

00:28:57 00:29:23

So he’s got toasters. Okay, these are like things that come out of the floor. Guys, like muscle dudes, like a bunch of Marky Marx and the Funky Bunch types of 1000, they pop out of the floor. And the guy’s like: ‘Alright, guys, get ready. There’s two speeds. There is elevator speed and then there’s toaster speed. This is toaster speed.’ Toaster speed? All right.


So this guy has toasters, he’s got Marky Marx and the Funky Bunch clones, he’s got pyrotechnics like what, he’s got laserlights, he’s got electricity burning here, electricity burning there. He’s got a band, a really bad, funky band going on.


He’s got a huge LED-screen. Huge screen. A football field. An LED-screen, like a flatscreen the size of a football field. And it’s got like the city skyline. And they’re doing… Or the rainforest. Or ‘Heal the world’. Or explosions. Or whatever. It’s a screen, you can put whatever you want on it.

00:30:04 00:30:20

So he’s standing up there and he’s getting reading to do this thing, or he’s going to like a ‘hehe’, fast, the same moment that there’s like ‘toaster, toaster, bam, bam, lights, lights, city skyline’. And it all has to happen at once.


And the guy in the back of the room, he’s like: Uh, Michael? Michael?




How are you gonna know when it’s time to turn around and do the thing?

00:30:40 00:30:43

I’m just gonna feel it.




I wanted to cry. I thought that was like: toasters, pyrotechnics, ‘I’m just gonna feel it’. That man was in the ‘STC’. Do you know what I mean? He was born on the stage. He’s just gonna feel it.


That brings me to a nice slogan from my friend Mikael Marklund: ABR, always be ready.

00:31:22 00:31:32

When you’re on tour, and you’re in London and you just had a whole bunch of fish and chips and you don’t want to warm up, you’re just like: I was born ready. ABR.

00:31:33 00:31:39

Video: did that.


Pleasure. Okay, so, I did this interview thing for this project called At Large in 2007-8. And we went through this crazy laborious process, and the books are outside in the hall if you want one, where we interviewed people in New York and in Brussels about what they do.


Why do you dance? Terrible questions. Evil questions.


Why do you dance? Why do you make dances? What is the position of dance in your life? What is the position of your dancing in the lives of others? Why do you go see dance, what do you look for, what do you see? And what would you like to see change?

00:32:18 00:32:40

And amazingly, with all these different people, from totally different economies, very established choreographers and very like, just young kids who go to take class at Movement Research, I mean, a huge spread of people, almost unanimously - almost - very common answer to ‘Why do you dance?’ was pleasure.


So we came up with this task. It’s grimy. It’s a task, it’s called ‘The Pleasure Quest’. It’s not really competitive, but it’s selfcompetitive you could say. And you get like, we did it in a 1 minute or 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 30 seconds. I’m kind of afraid to do it right now.


No. It’s the pleasure quest. You move to feel good. And that’s it. And the whole concept, the whole naive belief is that my pleasure is your pleasure.

00:33:26 00:33:39

And it’s harder without music. But I’m gonna… I’m just gonna try to stick with it. Okay. Shut up.

00:35:10 00:35:15

I didn’t ever call it a dance.

00:35:17 00:35:23

Things people have asked me recently about my work.


If another person tells me after seeing a show - Okay, most people are really cool and nice, and they say really smart things and I love my colleagues, it’s awesome, I love a talk after the show, it’s radical. But…


I’m at a loss, because when I get another person asking me if I’m serious or if I’m being ironic, I think I might die.


I’m so f-ing serious, people. I mean it. I don’t know how to convince you that I mean it.


And I do believe to my soul that humour is a product of very serious thought and that humour comes from uncanny connections between thoughts which you would not expect, which is a form of intelligence.


I do believe that laughing is a sign of recognition. And I’m not mad at recognition. I think it’s fine.

00:36:49 00:37:02

I don’t need to make things that are illegible. I’m alright when the audience has something to look at that they think they understand. And if it makes them laugh with pleasure, so be it.

00:37:30 00:37:45

Questions/ideas about dance. Dance about dance: no. Dance about other things: no. Dance in relationship to other things or itself?


I realize that I start… If I would say: okay, I have a practice, how can I define my practice? What are the qualities or the characteristics that are consistent in my practice?


Because I nixed discipline already. I said that I use ADD as a method. It’s over here somewhere.


I realize in my choreographic practice I start with a question from my practice. Which is dangerously hermetic maybe. I usually confront an issue in my dancing.


With ELEANOR! (2004), I confronted the question of economy. Realizing that having left New York, what do I still want of these people? Why do I go back there to perform for free… The whole piece became about economy.


That in a place where there is no money to validate the work, or less money, people exchange recognition. So this whole piece was about my relationship to money.


But I hit this wall in my work when something I said, it was actually just a reaction to an invitation. I was invited to perform somewhere and said: Oh, I think I’ll go.

00:39:02 00:39:13

After leaving New York to say: No, I don’t go there anymore, there’s no money there, then they invited me, I bought a plane ticket, it went negative, I lost money to go perform there and then I made the piece in reaction to that situation. One example.


Or with Dig my aura (2007) the question was: What is this value of the authenticity of the first thing you do? And when you do something you like and it’s great. Or when you’re improvising you have this sensation of realness and the question of reality.


And it went into the whole issue of the internets and low-fi documentation of things making things more real, et cetera.

00:39:42 00:40:10

I’m not going to explain to you all my pieces, but the idea is basically is that I would start from something, a question about dance, and then through reflecting on that thing, which I came to by practicing dance, I find my practice in relationship to other things. So my practice in relation to economy, my practice in relation to Youtube, my practice in relationship to cultural currency, let’s say at large.


At Large was a dance about dance actually. Really a dance about dance. Sorry.


And then with the solo Big Girls Do Big Things (2008), I hit this issue in my dancing about how people perceive me. And the question of the use of self. Like not how a choreographer uses yourself, but how would you use yourself as material?

00:40:32 00:40:49

And taking as such the issue of scale. How do people think when they see someone who has got a big mouth and a big body and a big head and a big personality and a big voice and… And all the assumptions…

00:40:53 00:41:10

This is the moment where we have approximately, I’ll give you 10 minutes, 8 minutes. I’ll give you 8 minutes for questions or requests.

00:41:18 00:41:22

What’s written on the rest of the papers? Very fast.




I already said: Intuition/attraction/curiosity.


Performing/choreographing my experience from the inside.


Importance of working for others. I said that, but I just didn’t crumble it.


Writing first, talking first, dancing first, sleeping first, eating first.


Desire/blind spot. i.e. like Lacan, but no thanks.


Questions from the audience. We’re doing that now.


I’m just gonna feel it. Did that.


Broken jukebox/broken drum machine dance. That’s what I do when I’m alone. It’s a warm up thing.




Ambition/mania versus one thing at a time.


Sensation/image/marble cake. Sensation, image, two separate topics. That’s in the song. It was covered, that’s why I skipped it.


Change. Self-reinvention or self-repetition. The idea of a practice that if you… the extent to which you think you reinvent yourself every time you make something new, but then you realize actually you’re the same you the whole time. We’re not or what? Oder was oder nicht.


Repetition of pieces. Updating versus reenacting. Archive versus artefact. ELEANOR versus Big Girls Do Big Things.

00:42:49 00:43:10

When you perform something again do you have to reframe it and update it and contextualize it and change it? Do you change it each time you do it like purposely and the work itself? Or do you consider the work a sort of artefact of some moment and some interest and you have to stay faithful to that thing, so you reenter that head space every time you perform it?


XXX sucks anyway. I shouldn’t have put it in.


The bear suit. The material, the bear suit in the beginning of the solo as the combination, as a performative definition of the sensual as a combination between material and expression. I would expound upon that if I had time.


Research versus I was born ready.


And anything good. As in Jessica’s Daily Affirmation: I can do anything, anything good, better than anyone. It’s a Youtube meme, doesn’t matter.


Ah, and time. Back wall. Time/speed. Time of the body. Faster than words. Thought faster than words. Time of the body learning. Slower? Time of practice.


And next to the window is the world outside.

00:44:27 00:44:36

Administration is included. But I kind of talked about that. That’s it.


Did you write your notes while you were in the studio before the performance now?


Did I write them in the studio? Well, I’ve written, I wrote, I was practising, every time I practised, I would write some new ones and throw out old ones. Some of them I rewrote today because they had been crumpled too many times.


But I mean, they’re accumulated. Some of them I really just eliminated, I don’t do anymore. When I do it in the studio, when I do this walk+talk assignment in the studio, I use the papers.


And have you done it before being invited here?


I did. I practised for here. I mean, I didn’t just make it up today. Almost. No, I had some studio time. I worked a bit. I don’t know if you can tell.


I was actually wondering whether you can sleep?

00:45:37 00:45:44

Whether I can sleep? Yes, I sleep pretty well. I have two speeds: on and off.


Is there anything you would give up?


Is there anything I would give up? Of all this stuff on the floor? Yeah. Sure. I mean. I could add 25 more.


No, no, not to add. Give up.


I could do up to three hours on desire. I could do, I think ‘I’m just gonna feel it’ is about 5 minutes, no matter how you cut it. Yeah, give up like in my practice? Really get rid of it forever? In my consideration that…


For a while. Nothing is forever. For a while.


Give up like for this, in this show or give up…


No, come on, in your future.


Yes, yes, yes. This is a good question. X is included.


I would keep broken jukebox dance forever. It’s fun. Broken jukebox dance.

00:46:55 00:47:07

I think this ‘sensation/image/marble cake’ is finished. I’ve been kicking that one since P.A.R.T.S. I made it up like in 2004, get over it. That is so fun.


I would like to challenge ‘writing first, talking first, dancing first, eating first, sleeping first’. I think, I mean, I’m thinking about it all the time. But I don’t know if I would actually change it, the order of things. Like, I really…


So there have been phases when I really wanted to make my whole life like a Gesamtkunstwerk, like to have a, my life practice, like the way I live every day, everywhere I go, everything I’m doing is part of my artistic practice and that’s a piece and then a 6 hour lecture is a also piece, and my garden is a piece, and my cooking is a piece. That just sort of erases this idea of, whatever, productivity and how you think about it.


And then there’s been phases when I’m like ‘Agh, I really wanna be super-articulate and have a method and now I’m gonna do it!’


Or there’s times when I’m like ‘I really need to figure out, what’s this about, what do you wanna say to me, body, what’s going in here, I’m listening. And then let me think after.’


But basically, it’s, I don’t really change that much. All of those things happen and they don’t happen. This issue of what you do first, and what you do after. I think I remain kind of in ADD as a method. Eternally. And this can be challenged. Yes.


That’s why I work with other people, I think. They force a structure in a way. I don’t know, that’s not true. I work for other people for a hundred reasons. Because they’re cool. But yeah, collaboration is a good way to challenge your own habitual methods.

00:48:45 00:48:55

That’s a good question though. What would you get rid of? I would get rid of questions from the audience. Just kidding.

00:49:00 00:49:13

I’m over the irony thing. I’m just over it. I’m just done with it I’m not even gonna deal with that question anymore. I’m just like whatever, I’m serious. It’s not gonna, I’m not even gonna… Thank you.