Residency Sergiu Matis at MDT Stockholm

Residency Sergiu Matis at MDT Stockholm

In the frame of the Creative Crossroad activity, Sergiu Matis was selected by NDA Slovenis to receive a 2 years structural support by the LLB network to work on several projects. He is receiving a residency at MDT Stockholm, a residency at ICI-CCN de Montpellier and a teaching experience and research opportunity at Workshop Foundation in Budapest.

"I often think of my practice in relation to technology. “Body as archive” is one of the central concepts of my work. This archive contains different dance techniques – from ballet to Cunningham, from folk dance to modern and contemporary dance techniques. During the course of my practice I developed tools to navigate this archive, to revisit it, and to rethink ways to perform it. The tools can, for example, explode the archive, and then restructure it from the multitude of fragments that collide and overlap, in a virtuosic dance.

The practice combines sets of tasks, creates systems to check or indicate the multitude of options in motion, and generates algorithms for movement. The analogy would be a computer that runs several programs at the same time and is also able to navigate huge amounts of data simultaneously. This computer-like mind is a necessary imaginative exercise during the practice. How would Artificial Intelligence control the human body in motion? That fresh look on movement offered by a computer-like mind, generates a thinking in the practice that reorganises motion from awkward mechanics to virtuosic algorithms and hyper-organic simulations. I strongly believe in the idea of a virtuosic dancer. The dancer as a cyborg (as in Donna Haraway’s sense of the term) made of flesh and technology with a fluid identity.

This shuffling manifests in performances as a multitude of aesthetic propositions, strategies and means that aim to orchestrate a very precise randomness, and to create noise – structured chaos. This chaos becomes an intense experience both for the spectator and the performers.

I call the practice the Visible Thinking Body (VTB) – a performative process of thinking the body in motion.

In my most recent project, Hopeless. (premiere: 8.2.2019), I turned the practice towards the periphery of thinking, and I was looking for ways to un-think the Visible Thinking Body. This periphery of thinking includes the so-called “3i” technology: impulses, intuition and instinct. These, together with the rational decision-making of VTB create some sort of dialectical thinking in movement. Thus, there are more ways of accessing different layers of the archive, layers that could be hidden, suppressed, unknown or elusive.

In UNRUHE,  the project planned for the second half of 2020, I plan to develop my practice further, focusing especially on the intersection between movement (choreography) and voice (text). The choreography is envisioned as a complex ecosystem, a network of relations that is articulated through a dialectic between VTB and unthinking-VTB.

I often use sci-fi or dystopian scenarios as a starting point to think of extreme bodies, and exaggerated physicalities and performativities in dance. With the real menace of climate change as well as the new political climate, the dystopian scenarios become utterly real nowadays. UNRUHE will be an attempt to mirror the pre-traumatic society of the present, in reflections distorted by all possible dystopian scenarios. The feeling of powerlessness and the fear of uncertain futures, translates into restlessness. The restless bodies in UNRUHE are in survival mode and their actions are powered by the need for radical actions."

Residency at MDT Stockholm

Sergiu Matis visited MDT and Stockholm for a couple of weeks in August-September of 2021 to work with the new project DRANG. Part of period he was working together with collaborator Orlando Rodriguez.

DRANG is part of a series of performances that explores the relation between nature and society, and particularly the artistic and performative responses to climate emergency. Moving on from mourning the losses of the natural world in Hopeless. and Extinction Room, and from attempting to rebuild society and identities in the post-apocalypse in UNRUHE, DRANG will continue the series. In DRANG, the performers will search for the new drive to dance, the drive towards imaginative invention, the search for magic, enchanted forests and the new sacred, the urge to exit the blogosphere and be in awe for real life experiences. DRANG is the impulse towards new intensities, new hope for a new renaissance, the search for a way out of the new dark ages.

At the end of the residency, on September 10th, Sergiu and Orlando had a showing for MDT staff to open up their working process. It became an interesting and fruitful meeting and conversation about the themes in their work.

MDT offered a residency within a period of two weeks, as well as a smaller co-production fee to help finance the project further.

It was great to get to know these artists that we didn’t know before and to provide space for the beginnings of a new process.

The project works with the realization that ever “I” is also “WE”.

Residency Sergiu Matis at ICI – CCN de Montpellier – Blazing Worlds

15.09.22 - 25.09.22

ICI - CCN de Montpellier


Teaching Residency Sergiu Matis at Workshop Foundation Budapest

04.05.22 - 18.05.22

Workshop Foundation Budapest


Performance presentation Sergiu Matis - Drang

17.02.22 - 20.02.22

Tanzfabrik Berlin


Residency Sergiu Matis at MDT Stockholm

30.08.21 - 11.09.21

MDT Stockholm


Residency Sergiu Matis in Berlin and Ljubljana

15.12.20 - 30.05.21

Berlin (DE) & Ljubljana (SI)


Performance presentation Sergiu Maris - UNRUHE

30.05.21 - 30.05.21

Katedrala Hall, Kino Šiška, Ljubljana (SI)

supported/organized by MDT