FEDERICA PORELLO: ORGANIC CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN BODY AND THING

10/11/2016 | Cesc Martínez | Linkhttp://ifbarcelona.cat/en/federica-porello-converses-organiques-cos-cosa/ |

 

Federica Porello: We Wood

Federica Porello (dancer and choreographer), Xavi Moreno (actor, and dancer) and Marine Broise (dancer and circus performer) have been developing since long ago the idea of finding dialogue matches between bodies and objects. Over the last three years, they have focused on physical elements that could give a shape, in a specify way, to previous research. Therefore, they have developed a code of movement signs that can be applied to both the physical dimension of the dancers and the actions performed with objects. During IF Barcelona 2016 symposium at the Institut del Teatre (Theatre Institute), they have showed it was possible to do research with objects theatre starting from opposite assumptions from those of the majority of the participant companies: to start from zero meaning, from the absence of traces of the past things, to stage an organic and material relationship, and between individuals and objects, at the same time.

IF: How did the idea of WeWood, the installation you are developing at Arts Santa Monica, come up?

Federica Porello: In fact, it’s a process that has started some years ago. What we want to do at IF Barcelona 2016 is to share the language we have created, experiment it with the public, so that we can continue developing it.

IF: What does that language consist of?

Federica Porello: At the beginning, it was all about transferring movement improvisation tools to the game with objects. From that starting point, we elaborated a “basic vocabulary”, a series of movements that would allow us to make the objects dance in an abstract way. Then we had two selection processes: one to choose the physical tools of the body and another one to determine the objects we wanted to take to the show. As for the physical tools, we were interested in focusing on the basic elements of dance, like the muscular tone, the articulations, the dynamics of the members and the speed, among others. And regarding the object, we wanted to work with something that would represent nothing, that would not deviate the attention towards something it is, but that, at first look, would become evident again for its physical properties: colour, texture, geometry… This is how we articulated a grammar between gesture and object.

Xavier Moreno: To begin with, we eliminated the objects that want to say things. The puppet has a characterization, a human form that suggests things… Instead, we use pieces of wood that can be interpreted as animated shapes or scenery or simply as the object itself, with its shape and its length. All of those helped us to put them more easily in relationship with the dance tools, which are ours. We haven’t put pressure to make the object explain things away, but for us, the only fact that this object is in a certain context and with a certain position already tells things.

IF: The objects theatre very often depart from meanings that drag each thing. Which are your referents?

Federica Porello: An inspiration for us was reading Le vouloir dire de Francis Ponge, by Henri Maldiney. This book explains Ponge’s poetics and what he does is to build a relationship between the worlds of words and objects. He places himself in the space between them. We also wanted to create a new language to talk about the objects by detaching the object from the attributes we usually associate to them in order to actually arrive at its essence. It seemed interesting for us to steal some of its phrases and substitute words by gestures.

IF: The meaning is produced by the combination of objects.

Xavier Moreno: Yes. We play with objects that can become other things when combined. The possibilities of combination of the objects from this dialectic are multiple: the composition gives shape like those of a table, a boat or a frame, and although we try to take advantage of some figurative forms, what is important for us is their ability to transform.

Frederica Porello: They are individual objects that can be joined and become bigger bodies. We are very interested in the frames because they create an open space, a place where the body can enter and that can change the shape of the body.

Watch the video of the interview.

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