workshop and residency for Gilles Polet at Uferstudios Berlin
After an open call by the partner workspacebrussels the Belgian artist Gilles Polet came for a residency to Uferstudios.
Involved Artists and cultural workers:
Gilles Polet, the Wild Card invited artist, is a Belgian performer and dance maker.
Halla Ólafsdóttir, workshop leader, is an Icelandic artist, dancer and choreographer.
John Moström, workshop leader, is a performer/choreographer and architect from Sweden.
Barbara Friedrich, organiser of the workshop, general manager Uferstudios
Inge Koks, artistic outside eye and dramaturgue, is a Dutch curator and creative producer.
The residency of Gilles Polet consisted of a participation in the workshop by Halla Ólafsdóttir, visiting performances in the international festival Tanz im August, getting to know the Berlin dance scene and part time rehearsals for creating his own dance material in the Uferstudios.
The workshop "GISELLE - A spiritual cyberpunk ballet workshop" was a collective individual process generating a new version of Giselle every day with a showing on the 10th day. Each workshop day lasted four hours each day, starting with a cyberpunk warm up. The last part of the workshop was the creation of a new Giselle. The participants of the workshop had to follow the Giselle film registration, but could do whatever they want as long as they also followed the other dancers' movements and decisions. Since they did this every afternoon, it challenged the performers to engage over and over again with the material and try out new things: either in their use of movement material, choreographic principles or interplay with the other dancers. After each performance the whole team talked about what they just created together, what happened and how it worked. At the end of the two-week period they did a presentation in the festival Ausufern, that was happening in the Uferstudios on August 31, 2013
The initial idea for the workshop sprung from of a love-hate relationship towards classical ballet with all it's hierarchies between prima ballerinas and the corps de ballet, it's technical virtuosity and pantomime, the division of gender roles. The workshop leaders wanted to research this with a big and diverse bunch of dancers from all backgrounds. For Gilles, this investigation was very interesting since he was busy with limitations on performativity in his own work. He was practicing dancing on pointes to understand the ramifications this has on his body and performance skills. For him the approach of Halla Ólafsdóttir and John Moström was therefore very fitting. He experienced the workshop as interesting and inspiring and was actually quite good for him. He could use his extensive experiences as a performer for other choreographers (a.o. Jan Fabre) and implement choreographic ideas.
Besides the workshop Gilles had an extensive tour through the program of the international dance festival Tanz im August and got to know Berlin based artists and other dance professionals, as in producers and presenters. He fully enjoyed the busy Berlin cultural scene. He had talks with the Uferstudios team (Barbara Friedrich and Inge Koks) about cultural production and how to start his choreographic carreer.
After the workshops in the afternoon, Gilles worked for a few hours each day on his own project "Jack in the Box". This is a project in which he researches limitations. In Uferstudios he worked on the use of pointes and how these ballet shoes set restrictions for non-users and what it does with the body when you start working on them. It was a rough job, since the first phase of pointes is quite hard on the feet and the body. In the two weeks he worked, he created a small film, which he can use to show to possible interested producers. Gilles continued working on the project in Brussels and went to Tehran, Iran shortly after to experience these countries restrictions on dancing in public/for a public and how this is influencing people's relation to dance.
18.08.13 - 31.08.13
Berlin / Germany