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Dito e Feito #10 Transcription – Florentina Holzinger – A New Kind of Freedom

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This is Dito e Feito, a Teatro do Bairro Alto podcast where talking is a way of doing and vice-versa. My name is Laura Lopes. I curate performing arts at TBA. The podcast is not published on a regular basis and has different formats. It sometimes closely follows the programme; at times not so much; and at other times not at all.

In this episode, artist Xana Novais, from Porto, talks to Austrian choreographer Florentina Holzinger, the author of the piece Apollon, which will be presented at TBA on December 19 and 20. Xana is one of the seven performers in the cast of Apollon. Together they discuss this work. The talk will be held in English.

 

00:00:54

Xana Novais So, Flo, I have questions that I really wanna ask you. I think it’s really important for people to know you better and to understand how was the input and how it made you do Apollon in this trilogy. Because Recovery, Apollon and Tanz are a trilogy, right?

Florentina Holzinger Yeah. A trilogy.

XN Do you want to talk a little bit about that just so people know?

FH I mean, I call it a trilogy now, after having done these works, because looking back at it from now I see, of course, that I was busy with similar topics, and also one piece led to the next one, which led to the next one somehow. Also because Recovery was the first show where I really did make a conscious decision to work with an all-female cast (that’s something I didn’t drop ever since, actually), and also with a larger group of people and with performers that not only come from the dance field, but really also from other disciplines. In Recovery, they come from martial arts and from boxing. Then Apollon, referencing the all-American sideshow. We have a performer from there. Tanz is different, but yeah.

XN Like doing this mix with your choreography and ballet studies—and how strong the ballet studies are. In Apollon is like interdisciplinary. So much stuff and so many forces. If I ask you to give five words to Apollon, which words will you use to describe it? Like in just five words.

FH Five words?!

XN Five words.

FH Okay. I think I would really say “funny”, “disgusting”, “dangerous”, “sideshow”, “ballet”.

XN Yeah, totally agree. [laughter] I agree, and one of the things that I usually think about Apollon is how our feminine public and our masculine public see this show. How do you feel about it? Do you have some kind of thoughts on whether the feminine mind sees Apollon in a way and the masculine mind in another way?

FH I don’t really know. I don’t really know what’s the masculine mind [laughter] and the feminine mind. Definitely no. The starting point of Apollon was that I ended up at the Dutch National Opera House, watching the Dutch National Ballet doing Apollon Musagète from Balanchine, this super epic new classical work of ballet made in… I don’t know, I forgot it. That really depicts the story of Apollon.

XN The masculine. Apollon is masculine.

FH Yeah. I mean, he’s always depicted like that. He’s a male god, and he is danced by Semyon [Chudin] in principal dancer…

XN And the muses are just like…

FH And the muses, yes. In that case it’s three muses, I think. Yes. And he would pick out of them his favourite muse. We see how he goes down from Mount Olympus, and encounters his muses, and then chooses his favourite one. The most advanced.

XN [laughter].

FH [laughter] It’s a little bit like when we watch now old movies or something, which for sure are really well done and very important for that time, and also historically very important, but of course they show us a lot about society, how it was at the moment they were created. If we look at this Apollon Musagète, it just depicts really old school gender roles, of course, and that triggered me immediately. It’s a very contemporary debate around what we do now with this old phenomenon of the artist and his muse, and the dynamic between them. In relation to gender, of course. That’s why this was very interesting material for me to work with. Also with different kinds of bodies and to question this male archetype of Apollon, I would say.

XN Yeah. Totally.

FH The god of art somehow. Me as a female choreographer of course also somehow assuming a little bit this role when I make shows, no? I’m gathering my performers around me like Apollon gathers his muses around him. And that’s the kind of relationship I also do have with my dancers, I guess.

 

00:06:24

XN I always feel like a muse for you. It’s me at the same time, you know?

FH Yeah.

XN When we’re working together, when we do these repositions and in the process, I always feel like I’m giving kind of a part of me to you—a really important part of me—and you can make whatever you want with this part.

FH Ah! The perfect muse. Well, the happy muse. So willing. I remember you were pretty much offering yourself to the process, which I think is super important. It’s such a privilege to have as a choreographer. For Apollon, I still had the idea that castings and auditions are really not a cool thing, and I really discovered you here in Lisbon.

XN That’s true.

FH Yeah. I saw you and I guess that I was like, “Yeah, she’s a muse”.

XN Oh.

FH “She can do something very special that other people cannot do.” And I was super impressed, of course, by your sense of discipline. That’s something that triggers me a lot in people, if I see a very special sense of discipline and of sculpting your body into something that can do something extraordinary. So, you were the perfect muse.

XN We are all super, super… Like, the perfect muse. I feel that when are in group, you know? Maybe you can talk a little bit about each of us, like how you discovered us. People know already that you discovered me ♪here♪ in Lisbon, but how you discovered or if you knew already our sisters.

FH Let’s start with our older sister, Renée [Copraij].

XN Renée.

FH Actually with her I had the first kind of work in progress showing, I would say, from what would later become Apollon, which was then called Muse, no? It was called Muse, and we did it here. Because there was no electricity in the studio, we could not really work, so we were actually just spending time having coffees and just elaborating on this subject, because Renée had really done the quite traditional role of the muse in relation to Jan Fabre and his work.

XN His ballet is super intense.

FH Yes. More like, I would say, modern dance or dance theatre. She really was this muse for more than twenty years of her life for a male choreographer. So we just talked about this a lot and about what’s the difference now with me assuming the role. Our relationship in terms of power and so on is already much more ambiguous, because she was also my teacher in school. So actually she was always the person I looked up to and I got instructions from, let’s say. To turn that around and inviting her into a process to become the muse it was a weird flip of hierarchies. Also it’s still that she’s an authority for me, and I will always feel like her student. Also inside of Apollon. I mean we are all a bit her students.

 

00:09:47

XN We are all. She’s our mother, of course. [laughter]

FH [laughter] That’s true. Even if she’s the Darth Vader in the show. She’s the mother. The supreme mother.

XN The supreme mother. Actually, in the rehearsal I felt that she always taught me a lot, you know?

FH Yes.

XN It was really nice, because I felt she is really a teacher, you know? That figure. “You should do it like this.” And this is great. It’s amazing. And she is so good at explaining things. I have the same feeling.

FH I remember she was training with you to become the dog.

XN The dog. [laughter] And the position…

FH Exactly.

XN … and the lines, and the way that you put your arms… I felt that I learned so much in that thing, because I never thought about that in my body, I think. I’m always like super “Argh, don’t care, we are super free”, and she was really great.

FH Yeah. I think I also learned from her to focus on something, because as an artist, when you are young, you wanna do a lot of things or you get over excited, you wanna do a little bit of everything, and she is somebody that can bring you back to just focussing on one thing.

XN Yeah.

FH She has an immense yoga practice, obviously, also. So we get a little bit of that. Chanting in the process.

XN ♪Chanting♪.

FH No, but really, she reminds you to be simple and good at that somehow. Basically we did a show here in Lisbon where we were just eating lobster around the table and talking about her relationship to Jan Fabre and her being a muse, and what it would mean if she would be my muse. If that would mean, for example, that we would have to have sexual intercourse, because…

XN Oh. Yeah.

FH … that’s a kind of little bit the deal: when you are an artist’s muse that there is some kind of sexual exchange or at least an erotic fantasy or something. So that was kind of a funny dialogue we had, and I guess that was kind of the beginning of Apollon Musagète also. The other ones…

XN Annina [Lara]!

FH Annina. I don’t know. “I found her on the street. She was in the gutter.” No. Annina is an amazing actress from Switzerland, and I have already collaborated with her before. She’s a crazy bitch. She’s the type of woman that will scare any man out of bed. [laughter]

XN That’s so true. That’s so true actually.

FH I was very impressed by her. I mean, she is really the muse…

XN Totally. The power muse. The bloody muse. [laughter]

FH … personification, because she is a terrible woman. And also she is very funny, I mean, she is our comedian. Also in Tanz, actually—her job is to be a stand-up comedian. [laughter]

XN And she did very well, actually.

FH Yeah. And, I mean, she has an amazing role in Apollon, no? She is Calamity Jane, but also cowboy. Sometimes we don’t like somebody in the audience, and then…

XN We have Annina to protect us.

FH … Annina protects us. Annina can establish communication between us and the audience that we are a bit sceptical of. I’m just saying this, because we do have a bit perverted audience from time to time.

XN Yeah.

FH She protects us, and also she is very funny. She can do very cruel things in a very nice way. So, that’s Annina. [Maria] Netti [Nüganen], she was my own student, so it was like this relationship teacher-student. It was cool for me to have my own teacher in the show, but it was also cool for me to have my own student in the show. I would say she is a little bit my double, because we are working out a lot in the show, and I needed a dream body. I needed a bar brother, and that’s Netti.

XN Yeah, totally. You look like you’re in symbioses in the show. Like twins without being Siamese, you know?

FH Yes.

XN And you train a lot, like, in the process.

FH We started training a lot together, so I guess that even made us look similar, because of a similar type of training and also…

XN [laughter] Exactly.

FH … we bulked up together for Apollon. We are a little bit like the strong women, I would say. In a sideshow, you have these different characters that appear, and I would say Netti and me are the strong women, and Annina is the bearded woman, actually.

XN Yeah. And Renée a little bit too. [laughter]

FH Renée is also a bit of a bearded woman. [laughter] I don’t know what you are. For sure a bit of a snake woman.

XN I’m the snake one, I think.

FH Yeah. I think you define a whole new… thing.

 

00:15:07

XN And now our last sister, Evelyn [Frantti].

FH Yeah. Evelyn. She’s the real sideshow performer. Actually she was casted. I take back what I said before, that I don’t do castings and auditions. I was really looking for someone who can do things extraordinary things with her body. I went to Coney Island. I saw sideshows. I loved them. I really like the things you see there at Coney Island called entertainment. Well, we would call them performance art if we would see it in a gallery or in a white box. So I was very intrigued by that, and I really wanted to have Evelyn, because when I met her the first time, I asked her, “What can you do?”, and then… I don’t know, I shouldn’t give it away now.

XN No, no, no. [laughter]

FH She did crazy things that I had never seen before…

XN Exactly.

FH … and I didn’t think were possible with the human body. She showed me that anatomy is a wonderful thing…

XN True.

FH … and that there are a lot of surprises hidden in your own body.

XN True. And I think… I don’t know. When I see her acts, I feel that we can do whatever we want, because we are young and free. It’s really like this, you know? Like the song. You feel that? [laughter] Yes, it’s true. When this is something so extraordinary… Sometimes you don’t believe that it’s actually happening, and it’s like, “Oh my God, my body is not just for clapping, or is not just for dancing, is not just for these social things that we are inspired to be when we are young, but we can pass the line”. I remember the first time I saw Evelyn doing one act and I was like, “Oh my God. Why is this happening in my life just when I am twenty-one?”.

FH [laughter]

XN I was really impressed, you know? So I can imagine how you were impressed the first time that you saw her.

FH Yeah. Of course we also see there somebody that has trained her body really well to do certain things, but it’s also a lot similar to your act… Growing up—and what society teaches us—we think that there are a lot of limits that we actually have not really tested ourselves. People tell us you’re not supposed to do this or you’re not supposed to do that while it’s actually really possible, and I think it’s always important to define yourself what’s comfortable for you physically…

XN Of course.

FH … and what’s not. And there’s a lot of room for play…

XN Yeah. True.

FH … besides things that you’re supposed to do or not. I mean, Evelyn is a perfect example for being really this wizard with her own body. She just tested things and found new possibilities.

XN Yeah. Do you feel that sometimes, I don’t know, you have a limit?

FH Of course.

XN You have a limit.

FH Of course. I mean, just over breakfast Annina was like, “Flo, now you got so fearful, now that you’re in your thirties”. Because we went to the amusement park, and I didn’t want to go for the crazy rides. I have this fantasy now that the rollercoaster is gonna just fall out of its rail or something like that.

XN Final Destination. Did you see the movies?

FH No.

XN Final Destination is a series of films,

FH No, I didn’t see.

XN You are in kind of places. Someone has a vision, falls asleep, and when he wakes up, the vision starts to happen. One of the movies[#3] is on a rollercoaster. He falls asleep and in the dream the rollercoaster starts to bruh, bruh, bruh everywhere. And when he wakes up everything starts to be as he dreamt, and everyone dies except him, because he had the vision. It’s not the best movie. Actually it’s not a good movie, but has this kind of idea. What did you feel?

 

00:19:31

FH I guess that I’m now more physically fearful a little bit. I mean, this with the rollercoaster, it’s supposed that you chicken out from it, and that’s the excitement somehow. I was shooting a movie together with Annina and there I had to do like a body burn, just partially. I already did a full body burn like a year ago, and I was super happy to do that, because it was for me overcoming something, challenging yourself with this element of fire. But this time I just didn’t feel comfortable with fire anymore. Maybe it has to do with [the fact that] I did experience some shitty stuff also…

XN Of course.

FH … but still I think this really changes with your willingness to take risks or something. You know it, I never wanna take risks, and especially not with Apollon or also with Tanz, where we do seemingly crazy stuff, but it’s really in a super controlled environment. That’s important.

XN In a super disciplined way, actually.

FH Yes.

XN I think that in Tanz or Apollon maybe people think that we are crazy or something. We have already so many radical feelings about the piece, but we are always super disciplined.

FH Yes.

XN I think this is one of the big words of your work, no?

FH Yes. And really taking care of each other also. The first shows I did in my life, they were fucking crazy shows, because I didn’t know what I was doing.

XN Yeah.

FH But Apollon… That’s why I call it actually my most conventional show, because I really know at any given second what’s supposed to happen.

XN What’s supposed to happen.

FH And if we go away from that, then I get nervous. You remember when we had the guy in Frankfurt who was spazzing out in the audience?

XN Yes. Actually, I had this question for you. [laughter] What was the most radical reaction that you saw in our public? I remember that guy, actually.

FH That’s a funny expression, “radical reaction”.

XN Radical reaction.

FH I think what was quite radical, people fainting. I mean, with Tanz that kind of became a normal… So by now we know that it is usually not a heart attack or something like this. But with Apollon, when that happened, we were not sure, no? We didn’t’ know.

XN We didn’t know.

FH We thought he had a cardiac arrest or something.

XN It was something on the heart, because I remember that the guy opened the lights and we stopped. I remember I stopped as a dog. I stopped with Renée, we stopped like this. You and Netti stopped dancing. You were like this. And I remember that the lights were open like five minutes or something, and the guy was really like not moving.

FH Yeah.

XN He was standing like this, and they took him off, and after this you said something like, “Okay, we can continue the show”. [laughter]

FH Well, I was checking in with people. I was like, “Is everybody else feeling alright?”.

XN Yeah. I remember.

FH And then I asked people, “Should we continue?”, because I think we were all not sure about what had just happened.

XN No. We were all like, “Okay, let’s be nice and be waiting for…”.

FH Yeah. Then everybody gave us his thumbs up, so we were like, “Okay, we gonna continue”.

XN We gonna continue.

FH Anyway, it turned out he just had a bit of… How do you say? He just collapsed a little bit. They put him out of the room and everything was fine. But I remember that I was kind of shocked.

XN Me too.

FH I was like, “Oh my God, we killed somebody with our show. The person was too shocked”. [laughter]

XN Maybe he’s dead already. I cannot say this. [laughter]

FH It was an old guy, and, I mean, usually we always say, “Don’t give us so many old people, because they are gonna collapse in their seats”.

XN Yeah. And sometimes people think they are prepared, because they are just in an illusion. They didn’t see what the theatre writes. Like, “We have eschatological scenes”, or whatever, and smoking cigarettes, and blah blah blah, but they don’t really know that it’s not just words.

FH Yeah, but also how it really feels if you see somebody doing certain things.

XN Yeah, totally.

FH I mean, I guess I also wouldn’t know how I would react if I would see it. [laughter]

XN I know now. I know now.

FH Ah, you know now!

 

00:24:05

XN I know now, because when I saw Tanz for the first time now, in Vienna in the premiere, I was sweating so much, because I didn’t know anything, and my mouth had like… How do you call this?

FH Saliva.

XN Saliva. All the time. And I had to have a t-shirt to do… because I had so much. I was so nervous. I never saw Apollon, but I saw Tanz, and I had I think the best experience. Emotional and laughing and funny and I don’t know. So many things at the same time. This year was so intense for me, because I felt for the first time what maybe people feel when they see Apollon of Tanz, your creations, for the first time. It was just so… I felt that my heart stopped for two hours [laughter], and it came back when I hugged you again after the show. So I could imagine. I was already prepared, because I work with you, but if I had already this sensation without being in the piece and not knowing what was going to happen, I can only imagine how people see for the first time—and they don’t work with you. I can believe that. It’s totally like mixed feelings, and I think for me as a creator too it’s hard. It’s hard. When you feel things, when you really have a lot of feelings inside you, when you’re seeing something, and it’s not just “Oh, yeah, she’s a good dancer” or “She’s a great actress. Oh it’s a piece on love”… That is important too, but for me personally, when I see something that makes me have so many feelings at the same time, I can sleep really better that day, and I can say like, “Yeah, this is a contribution for the world”. Especially for women. That’s why I’m asking what you think about female and male public, because me as a woman, when I saw Tanz (and when I do Apollon), I felt really like I had a social education to be a woman, and when I grew up I started to have my own work, and I wanted to stop that creation about women, about what I should do, what I should wear… This is more than that, you know? Me, as a woman, seeing so many women do such extraordinary acts, I really can imagine that I can do whatever I want. I think I have this kind of connection with your work, and I’m sure that all the ones who went to see your works feel this. “Oh my God, I can do everything that men do too.” I don’t know. This feeling is so great. [laughter] I was thinking, do you have some show that you really remember? Like, the space, and the country or the city. Do you have some show that you remember in specific?

FH Of Apollon?

XN Of Apollon.

FH Oh my God. I mean, if I start thinking about it I have multiple ones.

XN They’re so many.

FH The one that we said with the guy collapsing, for sure. That’s something that I remember. What was for me a really, really special one was the one in Vienna when we came back there at the Volkstheater.

XN Yeah, it was mine too. [laughter]

FH Yeah?

XN Yes. [laughter]

FH Because there I felt like we made that show for… Just to give a little insight, the Volkstheater is not the Buch-Theater, so it’s not the biggest one, but it is a pretty big, like from super Renaissance time, theatre. I guess 800 people fit inside. Usually it really holds like quite traditional Sprech-Theater, like spoken theatre. That space has never seen a show like that, and it really felt like an exorcism that we did on that space.

XN Totally. I don’t know Volks[theatre], but I’m sure that the programme of the theatre is not like what we did. It’s so special.

FH No. Also the audience is usually like what we call the silver lake, the old people with the white hair that come there to watch something nice or to watch good actors. What you just said.

XN Good actors, yeah.

FH But of course location-wise it was perfect for us, because, I mean, there are these angel statues on the walls, and the baroque scenography, and the iron curtain, and the red velvet seats…

XN Yeah, totally.

FH … and the balcony. It just felt super important to do there.

XN I remember we went like three of four times—no, four times—in the clapping time. How do you call it in English? In the last part, and you did like a…

FH A split.

XN A split. [laughter]

FH Because we were so excited in the applause. Yeah, we did some extra splits. [laughter]

XN [laughter] I remember, and I saw your face. You were so happy. Like, ah! Super smile face to face. It was so good. So good. I totally remember. And I remember another show in Ghent when that girl starts to see the show, and she faints, and she goes out, and she comes again, and she faints again, and she goes out…

FH Yeah. That was a field hospital.

 

00:30:12

XN I think this is a thing of this show. Sometimes people… It’s not because they are not liking the show, it’s because they cannot handle [what they’re watching], and this was one of the examples.

FH Yes.

XN Sometimes I wanna see. My body cannot handle [what I’m watching], but I wanna see. “I want to see this.”

FH Yeah. Also never give up, because some people cannot handle the blood, but there are a lot of other scenes that don’t have blood, so some people come back to see some different stuff.

XN Yeah, totally. Totally. Baby!

FH And, I mean, come on… Now Apollon is gonna get real fun.

XN Yeah.

FH Now we are starting to go overseas to New York. That’s also gonna be really special.

XN ♪And Kyoto!♪

FH And Kyoto. All these places. Now it gets fun, because then we go to these places where usually people don’t see much of that, and that’s really fucking cool.

XN It’s going to be like a super new experience, I think.

FH Yeah.

XN Usually, we are doing all this in Europe, you know? We have a kind of… Not the same education in all countries…

FH But a kind of network, an established network.

XN Yeah. And now we’re going to another line.

FH Yes.

XN We’re going to have totally new sensations, I think, of this piece.

FH Yeah. I guess Apollon somehow was the work for me where career-wise suddenly the theatre world was like, “Ah, dance can also be interesting”, you know? Like the more conventional theatre places also. Suddenly they are writing me. What did I wanna say with that? That it was a very important work for me, because it manages to bring something quite new and make it accessible for a lot of people actually.

XN Yeah.

FH And also work on the bigger scale of course. I also wanna say of course we love to perform in the crappiest experimental spaces with this, because those are the people who really dig it. [laughter]

XN [laughter] Yeah, it’s true. True. When you say that, in a way you like to enter in the mind of the people that see your shows and try to deconstruct something social? It’s important for you that? As the way that you deconstruct the idea of a woman. Do you feel that you do that in your performance—deconstruct the total idea of a normal woman?

FH I guess so, but I mean, I can just agree with what you said before, that for me making art what’s interesting about it is the whole question of freedom. Starting from what I’m expected to do, going to what I want to do, what I’m allowed to do, what I can do, and to bring all of this together in a way where suddenly you can surprise yourself even, or in a group, like the Apollon group, to surprise each other and to teach each other then.

XN And to teach each other.

FH That’s for me really the coolest thing in creating something. That’s really the biggest fun. So I guess it has a lot to do with just really being very curious to go to these places. I’m not so busy with shattering existing perceptions or something. They get shattered along the way when you really try to do what you want to do or where your curiosity brings you.

XN Yeah, true. Sometimes I feel that—not in the same way—in my personal work. I feel that sometimes I need to put not just me on proof on the stage, but to put people that see me too. To see how I can expand the boundaries of freedom, I think. And I think in your shows you do that specifically. Freedom is another place, is not just freedom, is not just that, is passing the line of freedom. I think so. I really would love to ask you, because we…

 

00:35:01

FH Yeah. I know, I mean, that’s why for me, really, that’s the best thing if you say you see it and you are like “Ah”. That’s a little bit what people say, “Ah, they can do anything”, you know? But it’s a little bit… Anybody can do anything. Why would you not also do it? [laughter]

XN [laughter] Exactly!

FH Why would you not also do it?

XN Let’s do an Apollon workshop. Come, come, come.

FH Should I tell you that I really just did a workshop in Switzerland?

XN What? Tell me.

FH And all the twenty students, lesson number one: nail in the face. They all wanted to do it. They asked me. Twenty people.

XN Oh my God.

FH They just learned it after ten minutes. No, that’s…

XN I didn’t know. You have to tell me more about that.

FH Just to say that everything can be learned if it’s taught. [laughter]

XN We should imagine a thing like…

FH Apollon workshop.

XN Apollon workshop.

FH I’m sure you have a lot to teach, Xana.

XN I have. [laughter]

FH They would love to learn that in Switzerland, you know? They need a little bit of excitement.

XN Excitement.

FH Too much neutrality.

XN Totally. Sometimes I’m thinking like, “I’m Portuguese, I’m from this country”. When I met you in my life, it was like, “Oh my God! This really…”. You know? It was crazy for me I have to say. You know that.

FH ‘Cause you were so fucking young also.

XN Yeah, I was really young. Less three years?

FH Almost three.

XN I was twenty-one, twenty-two.

FH Yeah.

XN I’m going to be twenty-five.

FH Wow.

XN Wow. [laughter]

FH Xana is our youngest one. No? You’re even younger than Netti.

XN No, it’s Netti. Netti is the youngest.

FH Ah, okay. You’re the babies.

XN We’re like six months’ difference. Yeah, it’s really funny. For me it was really like, “Oh my God”. Day 19 and 20 of December, what do you expect from our public in Lisbon? Do you have any expectations doing this show for the first time in Portugal?

FH No. Of course the financial situation for artists here is even more challenging than anywhere else. Of course we are in a place where you are not so overexposed with crazy stuff also.

XN Yeah. True.

FH So I guess that makes it always more special and a real cool reason to be here also. And then of course I know that you know a lot of people here, so it’s also a bit of homecoming for you.

XN True. Totally true. Sometimes I feel this is really important, to have your work here in this country, you know? Because—we talked already about this—these boundaries of freedom here are really castrated by the big institutions and stuff like that. I felt that always in my work, I have to say. It’s true. And when we have someone like you here presenting and showing… I’m sure a lot of people coming maybe don’t know what they’re going to see. This is so important, because you can give to us, artists too, a door. “Okay, this is qualified, this is really taking everything that you have as a human.” Because I think Apollon is a super human piece. It’s super human. We all, as normal people, think that to be human is doing the normal life. “Yeah, I’m here just being, living my life, going to work, coming from work.” And it’s not just that. It’s giving, like, wings to something, and that is really, really, really nice.

FH Of course, because if you don’t have support, then it’s even much harder to really stand behind experiments that are a bit out of the ordinary, and how you argue for them and everything. So I think that’s cool. In Apollon we had a very good production support. If we didn’t, it would not have been possible.

XN CAMPO is great.

 

00:39:58

FH Of course it’s a privilege to also be able to be in that position where you say, “I can do everything that I want to do”. Or at least try. I mean, God knows it’s not that easy [laughter], but you need to have some sort of support. Otherwise you’re really swimming by yourself in the ocean.

XN Yeah. Did you feel that—what you said now—before?

FH I don’t know. When I was younger… I don’t know. I wouldn’t say that this really restricted me.

XN Okay.

FH I think the super early things I did were probably the most radical things I ever did, because also it’s a little bit you don’t care, you know? There is no expectation also to fulfil. And with Apollon there was already some sort of expectation. Also a little bit this, “Let’s not waste the money”, and stuff like this. But you can only think about these things that much, because otherwise it blocks you also. Also there it helps to have a really good network of people around you with whom you work, because that’s then already enough reason to spend time together. And it’s not then about how you’re gonna waste the money at the end of the day, or if there’s gonna be anything there at the end. You don’t care about that, because it’s time well spent in a way.

XN Yeah. Do you consider yourself a workaholic person? Are you a workaholic?

FH Actually no. I would think I do know how to be lazy. Come on, look at me. That’s why I need muses.

XN Oh.

FH To do the work for me. [laughter]. It’s true.

XN [laughter]. Oh my God, I can’t believe! But you are our muse too. I don’t know if you know.

FH Yeah. I hope so…

XN You are.

FH … because, I mean, that’s the whole bottom line of Apollon: that anybody can be Apollon and the muse ♪at the same time. Mixing.♪

XN ♪At the same time.♪

FH I hope so. That’s all we can give to each other and stuff, and then it’s easy to make it work.

XN I think the process was just so great. Our workshops.

FH Yeah. I learned choreography with weapons.

XN Yeah. Like the weapons.

FH I always hate people when they say, “The process was so amazing, was so great”, but Apollon was really… Tanz, that I did after, was a much tougher process. Apollon was really perfect.

XN It was fun actually.

FH I don’t know how it happened, but it was fun, and it didn’t seem like a lot of work to me honestly. Like it was just there. That means you’re lucky once, and then you need to work for it again, which is fine [laughter], but Apollon was special in that way, yes.

XN Yeah, totally. We were not spoilers, I think [laughter], which is good.

FH Yeah, it’s good. No, we did not talk about anything specifically.

XN No. We cannot do that. You have to see the show. [laughter]

FH [laughter] Exactly.

XN Maybe New York or Kyoto. Or… Portugal. [laughter]

FH Exactly.

XN Thank you, sister. It was so good.

FH You’re welcome.

XN It was really good to talk with you again.

FH Again. [laughter]

XN Again. I want to talk more. [laughter]

FH Oh my God, we still have the rest of our lives to talk.

XN Yeah.

 

00:43:30

Dito e Feito is a Teatro do Bairro Alto podcast. Fisga Studio did the recording and Pedro Gancho the editing. The music is by Raw Forest. Follow TBA on social media and at teatrodobairroalto.pt.

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