Aug. 5, 2011
Q: What do you expect from ArtsCross?
A: Well, I don’t think I have expectations per se, but I do feel very uncertain and frightened, since this is such a big project. I guess I do expect uncertainty, the uncertainty of meeting new people, the uncertainty arising from not being completely independent from all the factors surrounding the creative process.
Q: I know, since we are so short on time, and you’re creating a new work under so many limits.
A: Yes, this is a project with strings attached. I’m still adjusting myself, finding how to put it under perspective. I was talking to the dancers today, telling them to have a good time in my dance; but when they come up to me and say, “I had a lot of fun today!” I want to tell them, “But I’m very nervous!”
Q: Can you share with us your experiences in working with the dancers these past few days?
A: The dancers are simply wonderful. They are very open to new stuff, and I feel extremely lucky to be working with them. I think that for dancers and choreographers alike, when you enter the studio for the first time, you of course have a mix of expectation and trepidation; but they manage to shrug of their nervousness very quickly, and are very open to speaking directly from their hearts, whether through words or through movements in improvisation. My group is a very culturally diverse one, and every one contributes distinctive elements into the piece. I’ve felt very comfortable in this atmosphere, and I’m trying to find ways to let them speak out in the piece, since I think it would be a shame to silence their voices in favor of the work itself. This is not all that easy, and there is quite a lot of pushing and pulling in the process: we just had a 30-minute improv session, and frankly I found it unbelievable that I’m still doing this at this stage! I think it’s hard to strike a balance between finding a good rehearsal strategy, and just lying back and enjoying the process.
Q: I’m extremely curious how your piece will turn out in the end! It seems that for you, the process takes precedent over the finished product.
A: I feel exactly the same; I’ve been telling myself to think in this way. Of course, you still have the pressure of being one among so many works, but I feel that we’re taking this opportunity to produce something that will be the focus of discussion. I think the colloquium is a great idea, lending much support to the creative process: when such a discussion takes the lead role, you feel a sense of security when creating your work. In each studio we go into, we talk about this sense rather than whether a piece is good or not.
Q: I hope you and your dancers will continue to have fun in the following weeks.
A: I hope so too. My dancers are all having just a wonderful time!
(transcribed by Kevin Wang.)