On Saturday, 23 November 2013 (7:00 pm) Edyta Kozak will premiere her performanceMy own interview®Fanny Panda.RE//MIX Jérôme Bel as part of the RE//MIX Finale held at komuna/warszawa(ul. Lubelska 30/32).
Next presentation: 24 November.
French choreographer Jerôme Bel, also known as a philosopher of dance, was for the fourth time a guest of the festival brought to life and now led by artistic director Edyta Kozak. He treats theatre as a social phenomenon. Working out a perfect movement is not of interest to him. For him, the body is a field where social, political and aesthetic forces clash.
My own interview®Fanny Panda
E.K. Why have you chosen to re//mixJérôme Bel?
F.P. I’m becoming more and more interested in the man, the artist – and less so in his work. For me Bel is uncomfortable, exciting, controllably unpredictable; each of his works makes me go “You… bastard” – he sets snares in places where, it seems, nothing more can be caught … I want to fantasize with somebody about somebody who’s kept me in suspense for so many years.
E.K. What’s so interesting in Bel’s works?
F.P. I’m especially interested in how his narrations come to life. Although he wants to avoid telling a story, he creates it anyway, and, although he consciously renounces it – the story blows up his performances from within. Art is very much compressed now: music, movement, light, technology, philosophy, psychology have become one. Bel is a master of this compression. In the world of dance story telling is considered something worse, but I think it has an incredible force and a great power to influence the audience. Bel’s tragicomedies need a scapegoat and he makes it his audience. He catches them in a trap, strips of negative thoughts, stupidity, and strives to shake them out of their comfortable emotional indifference…
E.K. Do you two have anything in common?
F.P.Not much, but there’s a thing or two. We both want to be rich and famous – and he already is. Neither of us creates new choreographies, only contexts for them; we don’t use the so-called new technologies because we hate them; we both have been to the mystical birthplace of the art of dance,Chidambaram in India; political and social entanglements are, at first glance, alien to us – they are temporary, bound to a given time in life – we’re primarily interested in the person; the experience of parenthood – both of us have daughters; the starting point for dance explorations: we gave up our previous profession almost at the same time… originally we used to be dancers.
E.K. And what makes you different?
F.P. Sizes of our budgets; geographical and cultural conditions – he comes from rational France, I come from a nation driven by emotions, complexes and ambition; and the starting point for dance explorations – he was a poor dancer, I was a talented soloist – I’d like to know what made each of us give up what we’d been doing in the first place … in my case being a ballerina, in his – being member of the corps de ballet.E.K. Who’s Fanny Panda featured in your work?F.P. The pieceJérôme Belmade Bel famous – why? Not because the dancer urinated on stage but because the title bears his name and everybody remembered him. He has mastered PR to perfection. It’s really a chance to look at yourself as Fanny Panda, which came to life in a particular time for my intuition and development. I want to go back to that time, but not by returning to the past, but by opening internally to the intuition and creativity which I remember from that period.
E.K. What is your re//mix about?
F.P. For me, it’s Fanny Panda’s meeting with Jérôme Bel.
I am jealous of everything Bel has done; I love him and hate him at the same time, for his talent, arrogance, certainty about his choices. I think that if I had been born in France, I would’ve been his rival.
Edyta Kozakis a dancer, choreographer, curator and organiser of a number of contemporary dance events. Currently, she holds the position of director of the International Contemporary Dance Festival Body/Mind, and is the founder of the Body/Mind Foundation. She graduated from the Ballet School and the Musical Academy (now the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music) in Warsaw. She used to be a soloist of the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw and the Stadttheater in Bern under François Klaus. She is one of the most spectacular instances of classical dancers breaking with ballet and turning to contemporary dance, and even becoming fascinated by its experimental forms and conceptual non-dance in the end. The artist has won many awards and scholarships, including an individual award granted by Poland’s minister of culture (1996) and an award for propagating the art of dance (2003).
Jérôme Bel lives in Paris and works worldwide. He is one of the most significant contemporary dance artists, who never ceases to test boundaries and ponder the essence of theatrical performance. His first piece, nom donné par l’auteur(1994) is a choreography of objects. The next one,Jérôme Bel(1995) is based on the total nudity of the performers.Shirtology(1997) presents an actor wearing many T-shirts.The show must go on(2001) brings together twenty performers, nineteen pop songs and one DJ.In 2004 Bel was invited to produce a piece for the ballet of the Paris Opera, Véronique Doisneau. In 2008 Jérôme Bel and Pichet Klunchun received the Routes Princess Margriet Award for Cultural Diversity (an award of the European Cultural Foundation). His latest production, Disabled Theater(2012) is a collaboration with Theater Hora, Switzerland’s best known theatre company consisting of professional actors with learning disabilities.