For the last three or four years I’ve been working with choreographer-dancers Igor Urzelai and Moreno Solinas (igorandmoreno.com). My official role seems to be “Artistic Associate” and it’s fair to say what I do is rather nebulous – dramaturge, support, outside-eye, provocateur – although the bottom line is that I try and do whatever might be required to help Igor and Moreno make the work that they want to make as strong as possible.
I am currently helping them on a new work called A Room For All Our Tomorrows. The process has been demanding (for a number of reasons) and at its last showing at Chelsea Theatre at the end of April it had become a little settled, as if the team had decided that this is what the work was going to be. Igor and Moreno had a couple of weeks away touring Idiot-Syncrasy and then last Monday they were back in the studio for ARFAOT before a première of sorts at Cambridge Junction on Saturday 23 May 2015. In other words, they had about four days of rehearsal to tighten things up and do the gig in Cambridge.
We talked briefly on their first day back in the studio and I challenged them to make a different work that might enable them to find a whole different set of answers from what they got or received through the showing at Chelsea Theatre.
Now, this blog post is not about that provocation, or about me, it’s simply too easy to make such suggestions without having to be responsible for acting on them. Rather, this post is about just how far Igor and Moreno were prepared to go in three and a half days in questioning their own decisions, in finding alternative solutions, in making bold and quite risky propositions and then acting on them, in throwing out their darlings, and in making no assumptions about what the work should be and what it should contain. They reminded me that it is never too late to make the kinds of changes to a work that make critical differences. They reminded me that processes are by nature in flux, and that if choreographers are seduced by the vision of an outcome then they cease paying attention to what is happening in the room as it is being made.
The difference in the two performances was remarkable. It was as if Igor and Moreno’s boldness and commitment enabled them to start to understand what the work could really be, and how it could function as art.
By the way, Igor and Moreno, if you are reading this, there’s still a long way to go.