The first two weeks of our summer intensives are complete. Our dance students worked in their first two weeks in an intensive called C.O.R.E (Creating Opportunities for Research and Exploration). They worked with dancers, Helena Fernandino and Wagner Moreira. As these two artists are also parents, they switched off teaching time to take care of their family. In the first week we talked with Helena about her experience starting the intensive and in week two Wagner told us about continuing Helena’s work and bringing the intensive to a culminating close.
Helena Fernandino holds a masters degree in cognitive linguistics. She started her dance training in her home country of Brazil and continued her education in Belo Horizonte and throughout Europe, including Germany, Belgium and Austria. She has been based in Germany since 2003 working as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. As a dancer and choreographer her work includes video dance, site-specific performance and interventions in public spaces. In 2013 she was awarded the graduate scholarship from the State of Saxony for the Artistic Masterclass at Palucca University for Dance Dresden, researching the interface between dance and cognitive linguistics, with a focus on contemporary dance for children and adolescents. In 2014 she began her training as a Somatic Movement Educator – Body Mind Centering – © BMC.
Wagner Moreira was born in Brazil and has been living in Germany since 2003. As a teacher, freelance performer and choreographer, he has worked in various theatres, universities and international projects. In 2011, he was awarded a scholarship for the “International Choreographers Residency” at American Dance Festival at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina-USA. In 2012 he received the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) award in professional choreography for his outstanding social and intercultural commitment. In 2012 he received a Master of Arts in Choreography. For the last six years, Wagner has extended his C.O.R.E project to several mixed-able-bodied projects in Europe.
What is C.O.R.E?
WAGNER: CORE is always changing and transforming. Now, what it actually means is Creating Opportunities of Research and Explorations, and it gives a frame for us to work in different ways. Anything from teaching, researching, and exploring to making productions in groups or alone. Just to create a space that could be a physical space or in a metaphorical way as well creating spaces and opportunities to get in touch with art and with people. It starts as a simple way to research and to explore the literal core of the body like the pelvis or where you move from. Then in terms of concepts, like what is the core of a concept you are working on. It could be about abilities or disabilities or it’s about time or space or communication or whatever the concept or format of a project. What is the core of the project?
What is the most important thing about the work you do as an artist?
HELENA: For me the most important thing is to communicate something, and not only to give but to receive something from people you are sharing with.
What about dance or movement do you find interesting to use as a tool of communication?
HELENA: I see the body as an instrument that everybody has, because of that I see it as a very accessible way to communicate. It’s an instrument to use in communication because everybody has a body and everybody has body experiences. For sure we are different because of our education, backgrounds, etc, but that is something that everybody has, the body and the movement that we share as human beings. I think because of that, body and movement are for me very rich and very large interesting ways to communicate something.
Is there a focal point of your intensive or a main concept that you hope the students take away?
HELENA: I hope they take away a consciousness about themselves and their body and their mind together. First of all that. Body and mind are always working together they are not separate they are working in spirals and sometimes one comes more into focus. Another thing I hope they take away is to be conscious of the body and they ways it can move and the qualities it has and the many possibilities it has to move. Through that I hope they find they’re own ways of moving their bodies.
WAGNER: We were working a lot with the very tiny space between being yourself and being a performer. The very sensitive space to know who you are and accept who you are and play with that.
Last summer you and Helena were here at the same time. How has this summer been different teaching separately? How did you communicate with each other about the students and the work from week 1 to week 2?
HELENA: It changes a lot because last year I was doing warming up and explorations in the morning and Wagner was coming in the afternoon with much more technique and then we would work together later in the day in creation. This year I was doing everything, not alone because I’m always in dialogue with Wagner, but it changes the amount concentration and strength to work the long day alone. It’s also really nice because I realized things develop in a way that you cannot plan. I come to the class with an idea on the first day and the group responds a certain way and I can really see their response and development of everything by being alone with the students. For the creation part, I create and exchange with them and then we don’t really know what will happen because next week Wagner will come and I will write to him what is happening in class, but we can’t know what it will be because there will be a different relationship with him.
WAGNER: It’s really interesting to see how things work when you are sharing the same space at the same time or sharing the space at different times. We kept on sharing and we had a concept and we knew what we were working on, talking every night and sending messages. What’s also interesting is coming as the second person. Helena said she felt like she was preparing for me, but of course because it’s the first week she feels like she’s preparing them.
You can also see how the dancers follow the energy in the room and they make connections and how interesting it is when the teacher guiding them changes how certain people change the way they approach things. Some people who talk more in the first week may change and keep more quiet. It could have to do with identities or genders or with whatever but there’s something there that gives the students the choice to work differently within the same process and that’s important with the topic of making art. Everyone has their way of doing things. Even in a company the way that people approach the process of making art is just different. Yes it is the same language and the same aesthetic, but it’s a different person. We decided we wanted to give them the feeling of sharing the space. Without losing ourselves.
Was there something that you were looking forward too in returning to the ADA this summer?
WAGNER: Yes. We can not do things without making connections. We feel a great sense of collaboration with the ADA and so we thought about what can we bring this summer. Sometimes it’s hard to start something brand new, and it’s only two weeks, so we think of a concept we’v worked with before to build from. This summer we decided to work with “talk to me” the concept of communication between people and people, people and objects, performers with audience, performers with choreographers, choreographers with audience through the dancers as objects. This is a topic we’ve worked with before in my masters and in a production, and so we thought okay we can re-shape this and see it from another point of view. Communication is changing all the time and updating. This has become a kind of issue now, how to communicate. We are dancers and working and performing in our field, so we are always communicating.
Next summer we would hope to work with the theme of space and home, and how much space do I need to live or survive, and how much space can I take, and how much space belongs to me without taking space from others. We are interested to keep going in this collaboration and we would be very happy to come back again. We are interested in taking the students into the town and performing and researching not just here at the villa but into a new public space. To go from research and exploring then to making decisions and putting things in time and space as a product even though it’s still research.