«Give body and voice to moments and sensations we often do not dwell upon». Conversation with Igor Urzelai & Moreno Solinas
How did your performance A room for all our tomorrows come to life and what is it about?
A Room For All Our Tomorrow is the result of a troubled creative process. The starting point is far from the point we arrived to. At first the show was called Spot The Difference, and it was a research on the similarities and differences between two people. A few residences later, and having lost a collaborator along the way, we ended up with a performance which takes to the scene the everyday life of two people living together, their intedependence and the emotional load carried by a simple moment such as sitting and having a coffee together. A Room For All Our Tomorrows has become a reflection on (our?) intimacy and an attempt to give body and voice to moments and sensations we often do not dwell upon.
The scene contains only a table, two chairs and some coffee cups. Why this basic, yet very ordinary choice?
The set and the costumes of A Room For All Our Tomorrows are definitely more theatrical and “descriptive” than the rest of our works, which tend to remain somewhat more abstract. In one of our residences (at CSC in Bassano del Grappa) we had a “relax area” next to the room, which became part of the show just because it was there. Using such ordinary scene elements was totally unusual for us and we just accepted that as a challenge, or a creative problem to be solved. Despite this choice to approach the “theatrical”, we decided to search for an essential quality nevertheless; which seems to be a general tendency of our work, and which is linked to the desire to be as direct as possible in the communication with the audience.
You are the authors and the performers of the show: yours is a co-creation work in all respects. How do you work?
All our creative processes are long, not straightforward and mysterious. We like alternating the circulation of exixsting works with research and the creation of new performances; rather than concentrating all our energies on one single creation, we usually have two or three works in progress, and we complete them gradually, over two, three or four years. Creative processes are made of many experiments, long conversations, and then the approach of a deadline which forces us to draw conclusions and “crystallise” the work. Of course each of us has different abilities and tendencies, and thus we end up focusing on different aspects of a creation. We are also fortunate enough to have been working with the same group of collaborators for a number of years already, and we are growing with them project after project.
In your performance you read a text. What is it about and how was it to work also on the use of the voice?
In the trailer of A Room For All Our Tomorrows we use a song (with the text) composed during the creative process. On stage we decided not to use words, so as to leave to the body and to unarticulate voice (screaming and singing in particular) the space to express, but above all to stir up emotions in the audience.
You were trained in London, which is the city you chose to live and work in. What sort of idea have you got of Italian dance, from the outside?
We’ve been based in London for the last eleven years, but in the current political climate (we are talking about Brexit, of course) it is hard to tell what is going to happen. Over the past few years we have come to approach the Italian dance scene, thanks to a fruitful collaboration with TIR Danza, which supports out work in Italy, and other institutions such as CSC in Bassano; the circulation with Anticorpi XL, the participation to Premio Equilibrio and projects we are part of such as ResiDance; moreover, we have s strong desire to keep on building solid foundations in Sardinia. In Italy there is certainly less funding for those who do our job and more bureaucracy compared to the UK, but there is an adventurous artistic community, which inspires us and of which we feel part nonethless.
How did the collaboration with TIR Danza, which supported and presented this work, come about?
The collaboration with TIR Danza came from a coincidential affinity of our job with the taste and the principles of Fabio Acca, Massimo Carosi and Piero Mazzotta, directors of TIR. And probably also from the desire on their side to support an emerging Sardinian choreographer, because there’s not many of us. For us, TIR came at a moment when our desire to reconnect with Italy had taken shape. We are building an excellent path and we hope it can develop further over the years.
What do you expect from this edition of NID Platform?
We have participated several times to platforms such as NID and we know that there are many challenges, both for artists and for theatre professionals. We expect to see many known faces and have a chance to reconnect with those people. We also hope to see many new faces, and create connections which, either in the short or in the long run, can help us show our work to a wider audience, in new nations, in new continents. Finally, we hope to get a chance to see the performances of the other artists, enter their world and be inspired.
Igor & Moreno
Igor Urzelai and Moreno Solinas are two London-based dance artists. They started creating stage works collaboratively in 2007, co-founding ‘BLOOM! dance collective’ in 2009 and ‘Igor and Moreno’ in 2012. They make work about people and what makes us such special animals; they also want to reclaim the role of the theatre as a place for assembly whilst exploring the cathartic properties of live performance. Igor and Moreno have presented their works extensively in Europe, USA, Chile, Japan and Korea with recognition from both audiences and professionals: Rudolf Laban Award (winners in 2010, nominated in 2011); special mention at Prix Jardin d’Europe 2010; finalists at Premio Equilibrio 2014; nominated for National Dance Awards and Total Theatre Awards 2015; selected for Aerowaves in 2011, 2013 e 2015, Anticorpi XL 2014, British Council Showcase 2015, NID Platform 2015 and 2017 and British Dance Ed. 2016. Igor and Moreno are associate artists of The Place (London) and their work is supported by TIR Danza from 2016.
Interview by Lisa Cadamuro, NID Platform staff
Translation by Chiara Andreola, NID Platform staff