salva sanchis

For Edward Krasinski

Marc Vanrunxt

2010

For Edward Krasinski is a split screen imagination of Triadic memories by Morton Feldman. While Yutaka Oya plays the slow meandering composition on the centrally positioned piano Marc Vanrunxt and Salva Sanchis give two choreographic interpretations of the piece. Both create a solo, completely separately and autonomously. Both solo’s are only in a late phase of the creation juxtaposed on the stage with the intention to perform them at the same time. Two danced readings of a piece of music that is played and gives a third musical interpretation. All this is mirrored in a scenographic interference by Koenraad Dedobbeleer. For Marc Vanrunxt For Edward Krasinski is a next step in his dialogue with the oeuvre of Morton Feldman. The open and unemphatic character of the music can merge with the environment, it is based on complexity and requires precision in its execution. This also goes for the set up and intention of this performance in which both solo’s look for a balance between the precision of the choreography and the openness of the execution ànd between the different ways of relating to the music. Moreover, the solo’s remain very vulnerable because of the proximity of the other, ‘alien’ choreography. The work of Vanrunxt is like a texture of motives and collaborations with others who surface back and again and are developped over time. Every performance is a an autonomous point, a actual state of the art that poses new questions, new challenges that will be dealt with in the future, in ever changing constellatiMarc Vanrunxt generously gave half of his performance to Salva Sanchis, which was a big leap in the unknown because he clearly wanted to abstain from intervening in the work of the other.  Dancers Etienne Guilloteau and Georgia Vardarou each occupy half of the stage and find themselves a way through the music. Both solo’s inevitably interact with each other, they reinforce each other as well as the experience of the music. More than searching for the ‘essence’ of Feldman’s composition, Vanrunxt wants to show the multiple approaches to the work and invite the audience to add their own approach. The choreographer doesn’t disappear as author but becomes a central node in a network of authors, performers and viewers.

Think, hope, guide and let go

(Marc Vanrunxt on For Edward Krasinski, 8.7.10) The title of Marc Vanrunxt’s new project is For Edward Krasinski. Lars Kwakkenbos asked him where this title originated. The conversation that followed offers an insight into the way Marc Vanrunxt currently thinks and works. To explain the title, it’s best for me to start with the music for the piece. It is by Morton Feldman, a composer whom I admire immensely and whose music I have often used before. Triadic Memories, which Feldman wrote in 1981, will be performed live on stage by Champ d’Action. The working title for the new production was Triadic, but eventually I wanted to distance it from the piece of music. I felt like attaching the name of a person to it. Morton Feldman wrote a lot of works which, as the titles suggest, were intended for particular people, or were an ode to them: For Samuel Beckett, For John Cage, For Philip Guston, For Bunita Marcus. I think that sort of title is a very fine gesture. Some of the people Feldman wrote these works for were artist friends, like Guston, and others were musicians, like Marcus. For John Cage is a sort of ode to his teacher, and writing For Samuel Beckett was the result of their collaboration on the opera Neither, which they made together in 1977 and which music I used in Unspeakable, a solo for Kitty Kortes Lynch, in 2003. For a short while I played with the idea of using only the word for as the title of my new project, but in the end I thought it made it too difficult. Without the context I have just given you, no one would really know what it meant. But I did want to do a ‘for’ for someone I didn’t know. Not, for example, For Ellsworth Kelly, because everyone who knows a little about my work is aware of my fascination for him. Or For Gerhard Bohner, which would also be too simple. If you do a movement like this (sticks his hand up and turns it crossways, LK), everyone immediately says it’s a tribute. Koenraad Dedobbeleer (an artist with whom Marc Vanrunxt has often collaborated, and who will also devise the stage design for the new project, LK) suggested Edward Krasinski, a Polish artist who died five years ago and whom he very much admires, as I now do too. This tip from Koenraad, and that is the most important thing, reveals a sort of sensitivity of his that I share. Let’s call it a heightened attention to the tactility of things. I wanted the name to catapult the piece away from me, and it had to be an interesting name too. Or, as I said to someone last week: our aim is no more or less than the revival of Edward Krasinski. (Laughs) On the other hand, it is clear that, just as Feldman’s For Samuel Beckett was not about Samuel Beckett, and For John Cage was not about his music, life or work, this piece will not be about Krasinski either. There will be two pieces of choreography in For Edward Krasinski. One by you and one by Salva Sanchis. How will they be related? I suggested to Salva Sanchis that we create two pieces of choreography in the framework of a single stage space and setting, conceived independently of each other but performed at the same time. Salva thought it was a great idea and immediately asked if two separate lighting plans could be run at the same time. When he asked that I knew immediately that he had perfectly understood the purpose of the piece, perhaps even better than me, but at the same time he also made me aware of what a big challenge  it will be. When I put forward the idea of two parallel but independent pieces of choreography, I had no idea of all the consequences. In fact I still don’t, and in a certain sense I don’t actually want to. When we start work in the studios, we shall each create our dance based on Feldman’s Triadic Memories. And we shall each do it with our own dancer. In my case it will be Etienne Guilloteau, and for Salva Georgia Vardarou. It is only during the final days of the creative process, when the piece is actually put together, that the two dances will meet, or be confronted with each other. I see it more as an encounter than a clash. I’m certainly not aiming for a conflict, in fact the opposite: it is possible that the two dances fit together in perfect harmony. The intention should be mutual intensification. That would be marvellous. To explore the music in even greater depth by seeing and experiencing  two visions at the same time, enabling you to understand or grasp it better. In the first instance there might be some visual confusion, but Triadic Memories is fortunately a long piece (depending on the version, it lasts between seventy and ninety minutes, which is therefore the length of the dance too, LK) and is essentially without conflict. There is no drama in it. Time and space are constantly redefined, and the physical presence of the performers intensifies that even more. No one who conceives a dance ever knows unfailingly how it will turn out. You can only think, hope, guide and let go. And in this case I let go in an extreme way. The main starting point of For Edward Krasinski is a gigantic question mark, and I hope to be able to exploit that question mark as long as possible. At present I find it quite exciting to remain ignorant as long as possible of what the other person is doing in the studio, and to bring things together only a few days before the premiere. I don’t think it would be right to have a weekly check on what the other was doing. I think it’s important that each works on their own, and is not affected or influenced by the other. After all, once you have seen what the other is doing, you start thinking. For now I cannot yet grasp all the consequences of the idea, so nor do I know yet how to handle them or put them into words properly. But it would certainly not be right to say it is a production by Salva and me. In this piece, the dance is like the stage design in Raum. For Raum there were two stage designers (Koenraad Dedobbeleer and Kristof Van Gestel, LK), and now there are two choreographers. For Edward Krasinski is a production by Marc Vanrunxt. However, what is ultimately seen on stage will be something from everyone who has collaborated and in that sense I hope they will consider it their own work. When For Edward Krasinski is actually on stage, it will be just as much a production by Salva, Koenraad, Etienne, Georgia, the pianist Yutaka Oya and Morton Feldman. Another name Koenraad suggested for the title was Mangelos (pseudonym of Dimitrije Bašičević, 1921-1987, LK), who has some fine short manifestos on his site. One of them starts with a very striking statement: ‘memory is older than thinking’.’ Would you like to use it? Yes. As a quote, I mean. No more or less than that. A quote that could just as well have been in one of your other pieces? Yes, absolutely. I don’t change the themes from one production to the next. Not anymore. I did that in the eighties. Each production has its own accents, of course, but it frees you from the sort of thinking that dictates that you have to tell a new story every time. Each piece of choreography is a provisional definition of the things you are involved with. I would also very much like to try something with mirrors and reflection. For many years I wanted to reproduce our solar system in mirror balls as a way of the lighting a production. On the right scale, with a huge sun and the rest much smaller. I no longer have the desire to make a sort of planetarium like that, but mirror balls still fascinate me. In 2002 I made Most Recent, in which Maria De Corte, Charlotte Vanden Eynde, Salva Sanchis and myself danced. The audience sat in a single row in a square all around the dance, and silver plastic balls rolled back and forth over the silver dance floor. It was Koenraad who designed it. Above the dance floor hung five mirror balls, all turning, so that in the end the audience were a little dizzy. I found it marvellous, that disorientation. It was no longer about the mirror balls themselves, but about the space, which was moving. Do you feel like saying anything more about For Edward Krasinski? No. (Silence) Wait. (Silence) I haven’t talked about the dance yet. In my work the dance always comes last. The dancing only starts once we get into the studio.

Credits

concept  Marc Vanrunxt

choreography Salva Sanchis and Marc Vanrunxt

dance  Etienne Guilloteau and Georgia Vardarou

piano  Yutaka Oya

music Triadic Memories van Morton Feldman

scenography  Koenraad Dedobbeleer

light & technics Stefan Alleweireldt

costumes a selection from the collections of Jan-Jan Van Essche, Maison Martin Margiela and Rick Owens

mask Inge Grognard

advice  Marie-Anne Schotte

production Kunst/Werk

coproduction Champ d'Action

in collaboration with Monty en Vooruit

with the support of  The Flemish Community

Performances

  • 14/10/10 Monty, Antwerp
  • 15/10/10 MOnty, Antwerp
  • 16/10/10 Monty, Antwerp
  • 16/11/10 Kaaitheater, Brussels
  • 17/11/10 Kaaitheater, Brussels
  • 30/11/10 Stuk, Louvain
  • 27/01/11 Concertgebouw Bruges
  • 25/10/11 Minardschouwburg, Vooruit, Ghent