Video

Subtitles

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It starts like this.

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We are eight performers in the space.

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There is a woman sitting on the floor, on my left, next to a light panel.

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There is also a woman standing in front of me, facing the back. Her position is kind of close to mine, but not identical.

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On the floor behind me, there is a man, lying. And next to him a woman, standing with a safety blanket in her hands.

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Behind me, there is a small man and he’s also wearing a pair of shorts and holding a safety blanket high above his head.

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On the side next to the camera, there is a girl, sitting. And in the middle of the space, there is a tall man, standing.

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The scenery resembles an abandoned city, or a city that has been left behind by most of its inhabitants.

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We are standing still, trying to eliminate any movement that might be happening inside or even outside of our bodies.

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Little by little we start to follow any kind of movement that is already happening inside of our bodies. So it might be the rhythm of our breath, or the shaking that comes from being nervous on stage, or it could be the pulsation of the blood. Or let’s say, a muscular tension that makes a slight trembling happen.

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And we start to follow, or create a looping motion. So it’s like a repetition of something that we already sense inside, but we try to follow any kind of impulse.

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It’s not only organic, it’s also a kind of manipulative thing that sometimes almost becomes mechanical.

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But we try to think of each repetition that we make as a change from the thing that just happened before. So we never actually do the same motion twice, but we constantly transform…

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We also call it trans-dancing, which comes from transformation dance or transition dance or trance dance, which has to do with a kind of… almost like hallucinatory image that comes from repeating something over and over again.

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We think of our senses as being hypersensitive, so as if the light would be cutting into our eyes, or as if our ears would be as sharp as those of a dog, or as if we would be able to taste things we ate hours ago, as if the taste would kind of remain.

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And the funny thing about pretending to be hypersensitive is that you’re actually, you become hypersensitive. Like, if you would for instance start to smell the room, you might be able to smell your neighbour, the perfume, or smells that are slightly less pleasant.

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Or, if you’re actually looking at the walls or the floor, you would see that they’re full of shades and different colours, even though you make them into one kind of grey.

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We try to avoid what I’m doing right now, so we try to avoid responding to the audience. We try not to actually smile when someone is smiling. We try not to get offended when someone falls asleep, because that happens sometimes.

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But we try to look at you or read you, as if you would be information. So as if the colours of your clothes, or let’s say if someone is wearing a ring that might create a reflection or… nail polish that shines back…

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We try to take this information, but as if it would be affecting us, or affecting the space in between us. So as if there would be a physical affect between you, being there, and us, being here.

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After a while, we start looking at each other. We start to create a kind of space in between us. So we don’t actually copy or imitate what someone else is doing, but we try to feel how the space is moving around the other bodies. So, as if the space would be kind of thick, or full of foam, or something sticky, or something extremely light.

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And we try to make it that each motion that we make, is creating an effect on someone else. Or that each thing that is happening, is also directly affecting our motions.

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So we’re trying to make the space visible or physically perceivable, as if the air would have a colour or a texture. So as if you could actually see what is around us, and not only our bodies.

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So it’s opposite from thinking choreography as kind of gestures, as something that you do with your body, what we’ve been speaking a lot about the last days. But it’s much more about thinking movement as something that is a consequence of relation between bodies, as something that is actually happening between bodies, or in the space.

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And this trying to make the space visible, is somehow connected to immaterial architecture. Some sort of idea that architecture could be created from bodies, and from how bodies move in relation to each other.

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So, not actually the walls or the lights or the streets or the buildings, but much more the physical motions that would be happening in between things.

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So, for instance, if we think about flows or flows of people, you imagine people in a shopping street, who have to compress to enter in through the door, before they spread back out into the shopping mall to buy things.

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It could also be like the flow of cars in a city. So how there is a kind of natural flow, that when for instance there is a roadblock, all of a sudden these cars need to find another pathway, which often leads to traffic jams and problems, because the infrastructure of the city is not ready to adapt to these flows.

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The same goes for the flow of money, or the flow of information, how it flows through people’s… Let’s say, all the immaterial flows.

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There is a bridge in London that was opened some years ago, and it was immediately closed back down, because the real architecture was breaking down from the fact that people were moving on it.

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So there was a malconstruction in the real architecture. And it made it that people started walking in sync. So there was a tiny movement in the actual structure of this bridge. And people started kind of walking like a military march, like right, left. And it made it that the movement of the bridge kind of, made it very dangerous, and in the end they had to close the bridge back down.

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There is also the question of whether stable architecture is actually stronger than that of moving bodies.

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So, in trying to make a piece about these rather abstract questions, there is some need for abstraction also.

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So we have this, we have three abstract principles of how to move in space and the first one that I did, about twelve minutes ago, is this idea of a body moving inside of a space.

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Then we also have the idea of moving the space in between bodies, so between one and another body, so that you really can feel the density of the air.

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Or what we’re doing right now, which is to be moved by the space. So basically we’re imagining that we’re on a platform, which is rotating on a stick, and that we’re actually standing still.

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When we were working on this piece, we read a book called Invisible Cities. And it’s a book, where a huge number of cities are described but on a very short period of time. So it’s maximum one page and each description is describing the architecture, or the behaviour or the way the bodies are together.

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And there’s especially one story, which is the city of ChloĆ«, because for one reason he gave all the cities names of women - still one of the mysterious points in the book for me, but…

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In the city of Chloƫ, everybody are strangers to each other. So basically, wherever people go walking in the streets, they have the fantasy that anyone they encounter could be a possible lover.

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So they cannot not think about the kind of conversations, or the kind of caresses or the kind of bites they might exchange with these other bodies.

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But they never actually greet each other, so they never speak. And they kind of look at someone for a while, and before this gaze turns into something more than that, they shift to somebody else.

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And the people in this place, they are rather particular, because there’s this woman who’s always wearing a parasol, or an umbrella kind of thing. And she’s always twirling this parasol, while she twirling her hips as well.

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There is also a woman, who’s dressed in black and she’s carrying herself with an enormous dignity and kind of pride.

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There’s also a man, who’s tattooed, like you can’t see his skin anymore because he’s completely covered in tattoos.

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And there is a couple of identical twins, who always wear purple.

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And between all of these bodies, it’s as if there is something running through them, as if there is like a network of gazes that connects them, so as if one point connects to another connects to another, until all the different relations have been mapped out.

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And when they happen to get stuck in a place, either because the rain is falling or because there’s a concert at the city square, they start to actually meet and seduce each other. So they basically have orgies and copulations in any kind of space inside of the city.

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But they don’t ever speak about it. So there’s this one rule that none of this can be outspoken. As if the city would desintegrate or fall apart if the fantasies would somehow be verbalised or put into real, concrete expressions.

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And so this idea of thoughts or fantasies being invisible - this was something that we were speaking about a lot, because when we’re dancing or performing, there is always this question of how much of our mental thoughts, how much actually comes through.

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What do you actually see? How much is it indicated? How much do you actually access of let’s say, what is happening inside the heads of the performers?

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And we tried to have this idea of shared imaginations.

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Right now we are imagining that the wall is kind of attacking us, as if the whole room would be falling down.

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And we’re imagining that the whole space is moving from the outside. But also that we are all going through the same affects. So we all kind of experience this hitting against the wall, in the exact same manner.

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As if we would have a kind of shared nervous system or something like that.

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I don’t know if you feel it, but I’m trying to move the space. I don’t know if it’s happening from where you are, but it’s definitely happening from here.

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And if it’s not working for you, you can either try to imagine yourself also inside of this space that is moving. But that would mean all of you should move, moving from side to side, which you are not.

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So you can also just imagine that it’s my part of the space that is moving and that your part is fixed.

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It’s a little bit like… this thing of being moved by the space, I think, has something to do with how bodies are governed. Or what kind of invisible forces actually move bodies.

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But it is also a really physical thing. Like if for instance, you imagine being in a bus, and the bus driver hits the brakes and makes the whole, all the bodies in the bus fall in the same moment.

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It’s this kind of involuntary movement, that you somehow can’t help but do. But at the same time it’s not something you actually decide to take part in.

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It’s a bit the same when you do the escalators, standing on the right, walking on the left or crossing the…

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Right now we are starting to shrink the space. Like as if the whole space would be reducing. As if the walls and the ceiling and the floor would be moving closer. And it also means that we are moving closer.

00:26:57 00:27:27

And we start to move this compressed space. We start to move this space through the room. So as if that would be like a carpet pulling us. I can imagine that alone it’s a bit hard to imagine, but when we’re many, it kind of works, because it’s like a block of space that moves.

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And we’re imagining a huge space, as if we were leaving behind one city and moving towards another.

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And then we try to create a kind of slope or hill with our bodies. So we try to create this space that is not actually there.

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And then we start running.

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The next part is about travelling or about how bodies are constantly moving through space or being asked to be flexible and agile and ready to change. It’s a bit about…

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… about nomads or about nomadic ways of living, so how we have to move around from city to city and stay very shortly in one place before we go to the next. And somehow, I don’t know if this nomadic question is a contemporary or very ancient one.

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Because in fact already like 500, 700 years before Christ, there was this people, called the Scythians, and they were living on horseback. So actually they were constantly travelling and they didn’t really have any possessions or any belongings.

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They were very feared by the Greeks and the Romans because they didn’t have cities, so there was nothing to possess, nothing to occupy. And they were of course warriors. So they were these people, where even the women, they had to kill someone before they would actually start to reproduce.

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And basically they were like extremely free when it came to possessions and properties, but extremely attached when it came to friends and social relations and the clan structure that they lived in.

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Now the lights are flickering. There is a light panel, down there on the floor, and there’s another one back there.

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And we are back at doing something more individual. Basically, we’re following vibrations. And we’re trying to make these vibrations go from the inside of our bodies to the outside of the space.

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So basically, the lights are starting to flicker and flicker and it’s flickering very heavily, and the more it flickers, the more it starts to look like we are actually standing still. Because the motion gets much larger in the space, it finally starts to appear as if we are immobile but we’re still moving.

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And the lights are flickering to the point where they’re going on and off. So they blink, blink, blink. And they blink until the point when there is a blackout.

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And then it’s over.

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Thank you.