Premiere: Christine Bonansea – the choreographer of OH2

Translated from lithuanian by AURA team
Choreographer Christine Bonansea: „We can no longer control what we created“

Only a year ago the audience of New York and Berlin applauded for the performance „OH“, created by french choreographer Christine Bonansea. Now the artist continues the cycle of this perfomance creation by presenting „OH-2“ premiere together with international AURA Dance troupe during the international dance festival AURA 29 on the October 3rd. Chirstine Bonansea is talking about „OH-2“ with Edita Grudzinskaitė.

The name of performance „OH-2“ reminds of a chemical formula. What were you analyzing at the laboratory of the dance floor?

The meaning of the name is „Only Human“. I am particularly interested in relation between human and space: both internal and surrounding.

What do you mean by „internal space of a human“?

We are constantly trying to to realize within oneself – „me“, „mine“ yet at the same time, in relation with the space, we are breaking into many pieces as if we were multiplying by responding to different circumstances, situations, people, adapting and rejecting ourselves.

We are gifted with the six senses and we still invest so much in the surrounding space that we forget ourselves. The bond with our six senses is breaking.

We do not breathe as we were born and destined to breathe. What do we eat?Do we even taste, enjoy? Perhaps we smoke or drink? What are consuming through our sight and our hearing?

Our habits have changed together with the pace of civilization. We are losing the connection to ourselves.

You have mentioned that the inspiration came from F.Nietzsche and his piece „Human, All Too Human“. His philosophy touches a lot of topics. What exactly got your interest?

F.Nietzsche has questioned human and his relation to God, our humanly structure and system quite a lot. He was great in sensing and realising the influence and power of civilisation. Egzistencialists like Jean-Paul Sartre and L.Foucault were , explored the structures, the schemes formed in society, how do we interact with each other.

We are „erasing“ humans. What or who is a human? Nothing. No one. Next. Next. Next…

Panic becomes the topic of nowadays as the clock is ticking few times faster than before. We are trapped as a part of the system. We can no longer control even what we have personaly created. 

Let us get back to the name of the performance. „Only Human“. Please comment further.

I am one. The only one. The irreplaceable. There is a part of truth in that. We see it distorted. I am the only one like this, the best, the perfect, almost like a God, God. Human ego vs „others“.

We wish to be so much more than we are: I want to be the best, the coolest, have more, much more, the most, i want a „high quality“ body. Who are why becoming into? Clowns, robots, dolls – we try to get into foreign bodies, surrounded by the material things, technology, devices.

There is another side of the truth. Am I one? „The lonely one?“ Only a tiny insignificant human?

Once I had a conversation with a astrophysicist who said „ No one cares about you, human being. The humanity is nothing. Look at the universe and its infinity. We are nothing, do you get that?“ The truth is that while we are the center of everything we are truly just the dust of the stars.

Self-centration leads civilisation into madness. However you are positioning yourself you are just a human on this planet. 

Will the dance floor become a mini universe where the ego fights the „others“?

Yes, even the audience is that space. One and one makes two. When where are two or more the connection, the relationship, the tension arises.

We take more and more space until we no longer fit in it ourselves. It is the contradiction of our behavior. We are expanding into surroundings and the internal space is shrinking.

You are you though at the same time you can be replaced or pushed away at any time.  We live in the „no one’s irreplaceable“ time.

How much influence do the dancers have to the final result of the piece?

The dancers of „Aura“ are very open-minded and technical. Although the performance is not so much about the form itself for me as about what is happening around me and inside of me. The energy that the dancer translates is what important.

Some of parts in the piece have very strict choreography though there are some parts where the dancers are free to be here and now, to react. The movement comes from the contact and the senses which are born from touching the other, the contact with the space. 

One of the striking components of the performance is the video projections. Are the dancers interacting with it?

No. They are framed by it. Completely integrated. Projections are abstract. A lot of symmetry, clear lines, edges, waves, mathematics.

The space of the piece is created trough lights, projections and sound. Spektaklyje kuriama erdvė pasitelkiant šviesas, projekcijas, garsą. In that space I place the human.

Video projections are like a formula, a system. I do not want to be very precise in explaining the meaning, I avoid the demonstration, I do not want to say „Look, this means this and that“ with my creation. 

The dancers wear white costumes. Is „white“ like a symbol or a technical solution to further emphasize that integrity?

Yes, in this case the white color serves to me as a canvas on which you can maximally play with lights. Sometimes even concert lights are being used. White color gives the opportunity to integrate into the space while absorbing everything.

What’s more in the performance – directions, questions or answers?

I do not think that I am capable of giving any answers. This is an artistic work which purpose is to raise the awareness of one question or the other to the audience. You create emotion. It is an emotional charging which makes them look at the question more sensitively or from a different angle.

After all the purpose of the art is to say „Wake up, human“.

You will be waking the audience up by noise?

To be fair, the soundtrack is very physical: electronic, like a charged battery which makes noises, not melodies. The extreme tension is being created at the dance floor.

One body, many bodies, many relationships, contradiction, isolation, situations which create certain types of emotions.

Usually it is easier to touch the audience with beauty – melodic music, beautiful costumes. The first part of the piece was presented in New York and Berlin. What was the audience reaction?

Before the performance in Berlin the audience was invited to a noise concert. One of the viewers came to me after the performance saying „I will be honest, at the start I thought, what am I doing here? Noise. I do not want that. It is going to be another experiment. I wanted to leave but I am so glad that i stayed for the performance. I was very moved by the piece“.  This is only one of the sharings, but in fact there was a really strong emotional connection created with the audience, the viewers were touched. I hope this will be the case this time.

What is your relation to the topic in your personal life?

I was always worried about the future. I remember clearly the events of Chernobyl, the stories of my grandmother who outlived the two wars. These are very traumatising experiences. We grew up on the ashes of many wars. Why do we keep doing this to each other, where does the inspiration of killing each other in so many ways come from?

If we will not do anything about it, we will consume ourselves. There are many opportunities to create our own projections in the virtual world nowadays. Dabar daug galimybių kurti savo projekciją virtualiame pasaulyje. How virtual can we get? Until we go extinct? „Avatar“ – that is our future. Transformations of the body, comunicating with „profiles“, not the people. Reality vs virtual world. Which will win? 

I meet a lot of people who say „I don’t care what happens after me“. I cannot accept that, I cannot stand still, I worry about what I as a person can do. I want to fight. Sometimes I even wonder if i should quit arts and find another more active way to fight for the future. 

Premiere OH2

KAUNAS – October 3rd 7PM @ BLC Business Leaders Center (Putvinskio str. 53)

VILNIUS – October 18th 7PM @ Art Printing House (Šiltadaržio street 6)

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