What happens if you stick to something?

| by Catherine Love

Igor and Moreno talk about their show Idiot-Syncrasy, the experience of being part of the showcase, and changing the world through art.

 

Moreno: We made this show in a moment in which we were thinking first of all about the importance of making art and how that sits within the wider context; how our art making can encourage change in people who watch it. The departure point was the idea that all you need to be happy is people, so we wanted to work with very minimal means and really focus on the body. Everything in the performance comes from the body and the voice and the performance. Also in terms of what our research focused on, we decided to focus on one simple element, which ended up being jumping, and then explore how much this action can contain in itself, how much it can transform, how many connotations it can end up having. What happens if you stick to something?

Igor: After working for a few years in the collective [BLOOM!], Moreno and I decided to make a work just the two of us, and it was at the peak of the recession. There was this sense of a lot being taken away or a lot being not possible anymore in material terms. So we were doing totally different research, and then we decided to stop doing that because it felt frivolous in the context we found ourselves in. We started exploring and developing what our bodies could do. I think that’s also why we found the singing. I had never sung before, but part of the point of the singing was the fact that just within our body, with our own means, there’s a lot that we can do. That’s why the set and everything is pretty minimal. 

Moreno: The departure point is the body and it’s physically very demanding. The way that we compose the work is very choreographic, but if you’re looking for flowing dance phrases or wacky movements you won’t find them in this work. So aesthetically we worked with a very restricted movement vocabulary and really tried to find depth in that and find variety within a quite reduced spectrum. In that sense it’s not traditional dance.

Igor: It has worked pretty well across Europe. In the last year we’ve been travelling a fair bit around Europe and it seems to work in very different cultures. We didn’t know if that was just because there’s some sort of European aesthetic to it. But this week in the Showcase people from as far away as China or the States are also very curious and interested in the work, and I think that is a good sign, it means it reaches further than any specific cultural boundaries.

Moreno: Before coming here to Edinburgh, we performed the show in Greece, in Kalamata, and in Greece they are going through a very particular political time. It was really interesting, because when we made the work we were working with the idea of perseverance: of people coming together, taking ownership of their land, taking ownership of the place where they are, and really sticking to something. In Greece we had about 20 people stand up and start jumping with us, which had never happened before. It was really interesting to see how somehow, depending on what context you live in, totally different aspects of the work speak to you. In that case it felt like there was something that people really got about this idea of let’s keep going, let’s do it together. 

Igor: The Showcase has created a lot of exposure for the work. In one way being selected for the Showcase also makes other people curious. It’s like a stamp of approval; people who don’t know the work trust the British Council’s recommendation and come and see it. We’ve also met programmers and other artists outside our normal circles and I think that’s really fascinating.

Moreno: Particularly people from outside of Europe, because we’ve been touring this work a fair amount in Europe, but up to now we haven’t really had the experience of sharing the work with people from Asia, from South America. That’s really exciting.

 

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