What does contemporary dance mean to you?
So for me it’s not about labeling it contemporary dance, dance theater or modern dance but it’s more about dance and dancing. It fascinates me to express with the ultimate instrument - the body. And dance is also how I engage and empower people to tell their stories through movement.
In the beginning of my career as a choreographer/dancer I wanted to know everything about the art form so I spread my wings wide and learned a variety of dance styles. Today dancing and the creation of dance are like meditation to me. In meditation, one comes not upon a “knowing” but upon a “not knowing” – an insight into the mystery of existence which is experienced rather than learned. When I create, I let my body explore the mystery of being. I open myself to dance a dream and I strive to give form to what my spirit evokes in its meditation of movement.
Throughout my life I have been building bridges between different worlds of East and West, Tradition and Modernity, Old world and New World fusing it into a world of my own. In my art, I also try to find bridges between worlds of style and esthetic. I like to focus on similarities instead of differences. But everything nowadays is labeled and boxed because we think it will help us to understand it. Many people believe that labels help but do they really? I feel in many ways that they limit our understanding of the art form. Labels and boxes don’t give us space to breath. For me, labels create boundaries and limitations and sometimes suffocate the art form.
Many Zen masters for example, insist on keeping what they call a “don’t know” mind, a mind which is open instead of a mind which wants to categorize and label things. Categorize and label by all means if you wish, they will tell you, but you will end up knowing only your categories and labels, and not the thing that are categorized and labeled. Once we think we “know”, we close our minds to further possibilities, instead of waiting to see what experience brings. Dance for me is about possibilities!