21 June 2018
Author: The Place and Francesca Lista

Meet The Dancer: Francesca Lista

We spoke to EDGE dancer Francesca Lista

Francesca grew up in the north of Italy and started taking dance classes at the age of six at a local dance school. 

You are touring the UK and internationally with 19 dates in 6 countries, what are you most looking forward to about this?

Now that the time for creation is over, the tour is extremely exiting. We have the wonderful opportunity to share this amazing journey and visit new countries, which is always exiting. Touring brings a lot of responsibilities but will be a lot of fun. Performing on stage in six different countries and meeting other young artists will be inspiring and exiting.

How do the different cultures in the company (Costa Rica, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, USA and the UK) come together? In which ways do you inspire each other?

The fact that we all have different cultural and educational backgrounds is fascinating and inspiring; we all have a lot to share and to learn from one another. Getting to know different cultures and languages is very interesting and extremely funny, we always joke and make fun about bad translations and strong accents in the studio as well as outside and we have a really strong relationship which has made this process a pleasure so far.

You are working with four contrasting choreographers, what are the different ways of working and how do you adapt to each?

Three of the of the choreographers came in with an idea for the piece that they wanted to develop with us. One of them decided to talk with us about what we wanted for the piece and started developing the piece from our ideas and wishes. The jump from one choreographer to another was extremely refreshing and the processes have all been completely unique.The atmosphere we created in the studio made it easy for me to adapt to each approach and process, being open-minded and not having expectations right from the very first day. Starting from a blank page was really helpful for me to enjoy each process.

What can audiences expect from the mixed bill?

Every piece is very different, the program shifts from an underground society to direct improvisation, there will be singing, speaking and acting. We all put a bit of ourselves in all the pieces so hopefully the audience will be able to get to know each one of us throughout the show.

What do you hope to learn and achieve throughout the tour?

Throughout the tour I hope to come into contact with different cultures and approaches to dance, to grow and develop as an artist and to be ready to face the professional world once the tour ends. I hope to make connections I will keep after this experience and discover new aspects of myself as an artist and as a person.

What has the process taught you about yourself so far?

One of the choreographers said to us ‘everything is allowed’, that there is no right or wrong in expressing yourself the way you choose to do it and everything is not black and white - we should find the in between ‘grey’ we belong to. Not coming form an exclusively contemporary dance training, the process with EDGE has been a challenging experience that taught me a lot about myself, especially regarding my creative side. I discovered how to link all the different aspects of my training together and, most importantly, not be too self critical and not to fear being wrong or not enough.

You will finish your tour with a residency in Portugal, teaching and developing new works with 150 young people aged 3 - 25 years, from the region. In which ways do you hope do develop from this collaborative experience?

I don’t really have much teaching experience but whenever I have the chance to do it, teaching makes me really excited and seeing the results of the workshops with young dancers from a different country is what I most look forward to from this experience.

One of your performances in Portugal is dedicated to works created by yourselves, how does this add to your experience?

Working and performing with my classmates in these works is interesting and challenging as it will be something new and different. It will be fun learning from one another and sharing ideas - I can’t wait to see the results. We always support each other and this is a great opportunity to show what we have to offer.

How do you feel being a member of EDGE has helped to prepare you for professional life?

Being part of EDGE has made me grow a lot as an artist, creatively and as a performer. Being a member of this company and working with international choreographers has reminded me how much I can learn every day and the importance of commitment and hard work. Going into the professional world for me means taking responsibilities and becoming a reliable, respectful, humble and hungry dancer, taking care of others as much as I take care of myself and fully committing to this career I’ve chosen. 

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