Choreographer Rafaële Giovanola on what it means to create movement

The CocoonDance from Switzerland is in the city as part of the Attakalari Interim Festival 2019. They are here to present their work “Momentum”, which the choreographer Rafaële Giovanola says, “unites the movements of three dancers in a structural dimension, purely through rhythm and speed”.

Rafaële founded the CocoonDance in 2000 and has ever since conducted over 50 performances a year at the free theatre section of the ballroom in Bonn.

While here, she is conducting a workshop with dancers from Bengaluru before her team performs. During the break, Rafaële takes time to speak with Metroplus about Momentum and her style of work.

According to her, Momentum “is a product of a three-year residency programme in Switzerland.

We had a dancer , who is into Parkour and we were interested in his style of movement and incorporated that in Momentum. This piece was created using the tasks given to this particular dancer and hence we ended up with a very different style, which is improvised upon all the time.”

The dance, she adds, is also about “the search of exhaustion, especially when it comes to fight clubs, where people go to the extreme to find something. That idea is also used in our dance and by the time the dancers are done with the first 10 minutes, they are actually exhausted on stage.”

About tasks and improvisations

Barely here for a couple of days, she has “hardly had the time to interact with dancers here.”

Ask her if Indian contemporary dance is rooted in our classical dances and she replies, “It is nice to have a strong classical foundation and also be open enough to explore newer forms and bring in the new into a dance using the contemporary language. I am also an example of this as I started off as a ballet dancer.”

Rafaële juggles between the roles of a choreographer and dancer and says she finds choreography more of a challenge “as you have more responsibility and in the end you are signing a work with your name saying it is a result of a collaboration. That is a big challenge as dancers are the main menu in the work, but in the end it is a result of what the dancer and I create as movement on the stage together.”

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