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We spoke to Igor Urzelai and Moreno Solinas to find out more about what makes them tick as dance artists and the process of creating their new work Idiot-Syncrasy. 

  • Why have you chosen the title "Idiot-syncrasy"?

MORENO: We wanted to use unison as a way of highlighting a sense of unity as well as our similarities, but at the same time – and using repetition – let our different personalities and idiosyncrasies emerge.

IGOR: We also want to generate a feeling of empowerment and optimism in the audience, even though sometimes we all feel like idiots when trying to change the world. That’s how the title was born: Idiot-Syncrasy.

  • What are you jumping for?

IGOR: We jump for change; we jump for commitment. We found jumping to be the best way to gather more energy to go on. Jumping is also a movement that everyone is familiar with and therefore recognises the physical sensation enabling us to create an kinaesthetic connection with the viewer.

MORENO: We jump to encourage people and to remind the viewer of the value of sticking to one thing. This piece was born in times of financial crisis. We thought it was important to encourage people not to let the world bring them down and remind them of the value of simple things.

  • You mention that your show is about hope and youth – can you tell me a little bit more about those ideas?

MORENO: This show is definitely about hope, the hope that if we stick to what we believe in and if we stick together anything is possible. The jumping is a metaphor for being active, for being alive.

IGOR: I agree. Hope is very much present in this performance: but hope as the drive that enables us to pursue what we want, and to make the changes needed for better.

  • Who has created the music for the piece? What does the music feel like to move to?

MORENO: The show features both live singing and pre-composed soundscapes. The songs are a collection of Sardinian, Basque, Italian and Spanish songs, which connect us with our origins.

IGOR: The recorded soundscapes were composed by Alberto Ruiz Soler-with whom we share strong interests when it comes to making work and have collaborated for a few years now. Alberto worked with simple sonic elements focusing on creating an experience and awakening physical responses on the viewer/listener. It was important for us that the sound would work similarly to the movement, this is: helping the viewer share the performers’ experience on stage.

How did you meet and why did you decide to start working together?

IGOR: We first met in an audition in Brussels and then ended up meeting again at London Contemporary Dance School, where we studied and graduated together. Already during our studies we started creating some work together and it was about three months after graduation that we co-founded BLOOM! dance collective with other colleagues we had met during our studies and embarked in our first full-length creation.

MORENO: We decided to keep working together because it seems we make a good team. We have very different skills when it comes to creative processes, we share the same ethos when making work, we are open to different kinds of aesthetic and we have worked hard on improving our communication. Our artistic partnerships gives us a safe base but at the same time a lot of freedom.

  • How do you take the idea or inspiration and transform it into a piece of choreography?

IGOR: Ideas come from our observation of the world around us. We always collect images, songs and scenarios that we encounter, not only from dance and other art forms, but sometimes in random contexts. Creative processes are generally lengthy, as we like to allow ideas to develop, layer and mature. We also keep asking ourselves “why is this important?”; we hope our performances to be able to provoke thought that can ripple beyond the theatre experience alongside it being a good journey for the viewer.

MORENO: We usually start with playing around in the studio, trying out lots of different things, which might involve improvising, or creating very specific images and movements, or simply building physical knowledge. The second phase is working towards clarifying the concept, and finding coherence in how movement, sound, design, lighting, etc. refer to the central idea behind the work. The third phase is the creation, which involves usually generating a large amount of material, which is then heavily selected and shaped to compose the final piece. During the creation we create opportunities for fresh eyes to see the work-in-progress and offer their feedback. ​

  • Do you use memory only to recall your dance pieces or is there a form of notation or instructions you use?

MORENO: We take lots of notes on our notebooks, which are useful to remember where an idea came from, or the instructions we used for a specific kind of improvisation. We also film a lot of the rehearsals, particularly when we are both also performing inside the work. It’s very useful sometimes to look back at a video after weeks, and realise that we are on the right track or something precious was lost on the way.

IGOR: I like keeping record of the rehearsals and materials that we come across during the process and inspire us such pieces of writing, images, or films in a sort of notebook. We also draw a lot in our notebooks.

  • How does it feel to perform your work at the BAD Festival in Bilbao, Spain particularly given the economic and social challenges being based by most of Europe at the moment?

MORENO: We have been lucky to be invited at the BAD festival, which seems to still be able to afford inviting international companies and supporting emerging artists. Bilbao – also thanks to The Guggenheim Museum – is an artistically very active place within Spain and where art is regarded as essential to the identity and even economy of the city.

IGOR: Bilbao is growing artistically, and it seems to be taking more risks with their programming, which is attracting younger creatives into the city. The situation is far from idilic, but there you can see that things are moving and people are working hard to make things happen. For me it was the first time I was invited to perform my work back home, so it was also the first time for many friends and family to see my work. It was very exciting! And it also opened up some doors to start working in Spain. I’m really glad for BAD Festival’s support.

  • How would you say that being a Work Place Artist has helped support your work and progression as artists?

MORENO: Being Work Place artists has been essential to our development as dance makers both artistically but also when it comes to make the work happen; it is also being crucial when it comes to getting support from other places. For the past three years we have been able to be busy full-time with choreography, which is a quite extraordinary goal to have achieved at this early stage of our career.

IGOR: At a more personal level, it also gives us a sense of belonging, and this is quite something, as sometimes the opposite feeling can really discourage you from pursuing your ideas. We meet as a group regularly, allowing us to share experiences and learn from each other.

  • What is your favourite kind of biscuit?

MORENO: Walnuts & Oats…homemade by our Czech friend’s grandma.

IGOR: a wafer-thin-like almond biscuits called Tejas from the Basque Country.

  • What was the last piece of music you downloaded?

IGOR: An album titled Chiaroscuro by Paolo Fresu, a great Jazz trumpet player.

  • Are you left or right handed?

IGOR: Right handed.

MORENO: Right. 

  • Are you a cat or dog person (or neither)?

IGOR: Never really know what to answer to that... maybe I should open-up and find another animal to describe myself?

MORENO: CAT!! 

  • Are you a Tea or coffee drinker?

IGOR: coffee mostly.

MORENO: 60% Coffee, 40% Tea

Igor and Moreno are both Work Place artists and you can watch them perform as part of Spring Loaded at The Place on Thu 15 and Fri 16 May. More information and to book tickets.
 

 

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