Berlin & Ballet, We are Calling it The People's Movement
In the back of a small, dark, smokey, Neukölln bar lies a beautifully simple performance studio with peeling gray painted floors, yellow walls, and a torn red curtain running across what might be identified as the front of a small stage. The red curtains and the old wooden floor tell the story of a group who simply wants to create work and communicate, regardless of circumstances. The space is run by an organization called Ida Nowhere. On the second Friday of every month this intimate space is home to Performative Fridays, a series of short performances, no longer than 10 minutes each, where the space is used in every way possible to connect performer and audience, allowing performers to express themselves in a communal environment. One of this evenings performers is a dancer by the name of Kyra Jacues.
Kyra, a contemporary dancer moved to Berlin from Vancouver, Canada in August. This is her city debut. She began dancing at the age of 4 asking her mother, who previously was a professional ballerina, if she could take dance classes. Her mother approved and off Kyra went, studying dance and refining her skills for the past 19 years. Kyra followed in her mothers footsteps beginning with ballet, and even inspired her sister to start dancing. Her sister now dances in Denmark as a ballerina.
Kyra's piece stands out for a few reasons; Unlike the other performances, there was almost no separation between her and the audience. One can't help but think back to the origins of the theatre, before the stage lights, giant sets and astronomical budgets.
When humans first gathered around a story teller to share an idea. In this performance we were people in a room, sitting around a moving body with the simple desire to see something new happen. Kyra's dance was completely improvised. She worked with musician, Olivia Berning, who was placed somewhere out of the audience's eye with a clarinet.
Apart from the song titles Kyra had no idea what Olivia was going to play. Kyra also had no pre-structured choreography for herself. “The piece allows me to move in the moment, going off what impulses are in the room. If an audience member crosses their arms or moves a leg, I take that into my body and use it.”
Berlin is one of the worlds Meccas for contemporary dance. It seems every week, if a wanderer looks, they will be able to witness a dance performance happening in the vibrant city. Contemporary dancers are some of the most disciplined, ego-less artists one can meet. Most of them train for a good portion of their lives simply for the love of movement, understanding that their skills will at most, get them a full time contract at a company, or a job at a university or private studio. There is a true sense of following ones ambition when it comes to contemporary dance.
If you are interested in learning about per-formative Fridays, check out Ida nowheres official fan page here. And don't forget to like Berlinlogs on Facebook!
By Glenn Crossley