Dancer Corina Kinnear leads a project at Tanzfabrik studios in Berlin Kreuzberg
I entered Studio 3 at Tanzfabrik on a Sunday evening not knowing what to expect. I had never been to those huge and airy studios before, and immediately felt inspired by the wide open space. Invited guests sat on benches and cushions in the front of the studio. We were friends of the performers, and friends of friends.
I first met the American dancer Corina Kinnear in Lyon during an audition tour in 2011. We connected over career-path similarities, and spent a wonderful afternoon together high up on a hill overlooking the city. When I learned that Corina had moved to Berlin, I was excited for the chance to see what she was working on.
Each of the six dancers had an opportunity to show what I considered their “safe” movement within the boundaries of the piece. Interestingly, the safe zones were all different because the movement of each dancer was so different. One person’s safe zone could have been another person’s nightmare.
Sound nerve wracking? It was, sometimes, but also thrilling to be included in the game. We witnessed people taking risks and exposing themselves as artists. There was something for us to love, and something to make our skin crawl. Even the music, wide ranged offerings provided by the dancers, produced contrasting reactions. Each time a dancer was pushed to an emotional extreme, I asked myself, “do I like this? Am I comfortable? And why do I care?” For every strong reaction, positive or negative, I think that Corina succeeded in her task. Using "intuition and insisting," a phrase used by one dancer, Corina created a space for dancers to learn something new about themselves. And the more they knew, the more we could find out.
I don’t know, either. But I’m delighted that we’re trying to find out. I think that dance becomes interesting when it successfully communicates emotion (of any kind) to an audience in a unique way. This particular experiment gave a wide range of dancers the chance to raise questions. Thanks to this type of work, we might just find our own answer.