Interview with Colette Sadler: Part 2

Interview with Colette Sadler: Part 2

Part 2 of the Interview. During her week-long residency at iC4C we spoke to choreographer Colette Sadler as she and her team were preparing for the premier of 'Learning from the future' at Sophiensaele, Berlin.

What kind of choreographic process do you go through?

"Movement is fundamental, I love deeply movement research and I am very invested in movement research and dance."

Originally before any dance and coming back to the idea of set, this conversation with Bronislava Nijinska had been a starting point, so I had created a rough gravestone, I had a big cardboard sign and it said Colette Sadler, 1974 to 2016. It was a way for me to say, to talk to this women, I am no longer a body, I am just a marker in time and space. From there we started to think about the idea of something that’s constant and fixed in time and space, that brings in the business of object, body, or text, body, performance, visual arts or anything that has different notions of time. So we started to think up ideas for this object, at the start it was a lot about text because it was about this conversation, how could we then use this object as a textual presence.

In terms of the process, I started out working on my own. The starting point was looking at the relationship between bodies and information, so the idea of Body A, it comes from the idea of, a, body. There’s the Body, and A is like the information or you might say the outside, it’s a way to also say that Body A is not a dramatic expressive body; she’s not expressing emotion. It’s not that she doesn’t have any intention, she’s just not a puppet, but it was a way to get out of that representation of emotion or certain kinds of drama or dynamics. So then the A is the space, or the rules, or the information that produces what she is, so Body A is empty, like a shell, then the A, you could say its some sort of idea of animation or character.

A lot of the movement is constructed around ideas of time, of flow, of pulsation, of acceleration, of deceleration, or different ideas of gravity. There’s a certain kind of lightness to Body A from the idea she’s on the edge of disappearing, she’s no longer in a certain relationship to gravity and to animalistic ideas of the body, she’s moving away from that. We worked with the idea of her as having a more primitive core, which is to do with the lower half of the body, certain kinds of energetic or powerful movements that you can see in this inner core but it doesn’t appear that often. A lot of the time she’s involved in a scanning, reading, perceiving, sensing, calibrating, she’s like a highly sophisticated sensory machine. There’s a whole lot of gestural vocabulary around Body A as a machine like being but she’s not representing a machine. The other part of her is a more visceral, powerful core, with movements, which are more about power, force and weight. It is about how those appear and disappear in the show, over the course of the solo, the more animalistic things are disappearing, or appearing, or at the end they come back, as she’s on the edge of disappearance. 

The movement was the core activity up until now, now I am sitting in front of different things trying to put it together, but for a long time it was really about developing a movement dramaturgy. We are using dance all the time and its quite classical what she’s doing, its almost balletic, but its not ballet, you know. Its using high virtuosic body, because it’s a technical body, its not like an organic, rolling on the floor, release technique body, it’s a highly technical looking coded body which is closer to an idea of a balletic body than a more new age body, whatever you want to call that. So yes it’s all about the movement. Now the piece has gone on to being more about this constellation of collaborators.

What do you hope to learn from the future, considering the title of the work?

Don’t waste time Colette. I suppose if I talk about the work Learning From The Future I want to learn how to work... I mean I have made a lot of works but for many years I’ve worked from a certain thematic which was more about strangeness, monstrosity, deformation, and in the last couple of years I have started to work with more pure movement and I had to learn how to do that. I knew how to do it but I had to get better at it, so learning from the future is about me getting better at working with movement and producing more complex, bigger movement works. Basically just getting better at what I am doing, not wasting time, to learn more about my work. 

There’s times, there’s pieces that are about going somewhere, and there’s pieces that mark a change, that happens over years of practice, different works that marks different phases, and I have been going through this phase for a couple of years but this is more articulated here. 

Can you describe what the audience might expect to see?

An amazing performance (laughter), I mean, I think expect to go on, that’s a bit corny, but a journey.

They’re going to be in, I think you get transported into another realm by this piece which is a lot to do with the whole universe, its like no time and place, so it really transports you to another place which is quite beautiful but maybe slightly, not disturbing, but somewhere what lies familiar with you. There are a lot of strong images, I find them very evocative, I mean its difficult for me to say exactly what the audience will get out of it because at the moment I am the viewer and I am very close to it, so I am not so objective. I think it’s very evocative on many different levels... maybe we can ask the audience when they see it?

Learning from the Future will be at Nottingham Contemporary on Friday 29th September 7.30PM.

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