4 QUESTIONS TO: Verena Billinger & Sebastian Schultz

(c) Florian Krauß_romantic afternoon

4 QUESTIONS TO:

VERENA BILLINGER & SEBASTIAN SCHULZ: ROMANTIC AFTERNOON *

What were you particularly interested in when creating ”Romantic Afternoon *”?

We developed the piece in the frame of a festival that dealt with the topic „public/public space“. When we thought about what we would like to work on, we came up with the idea of choreographing a kissing performance. Kisses are considered something very intimate and private but are as well a kind of physical interaction we regularly see in public. People show that they are intimate with each other by kissing, but at the same time as an on-looker you would rather not watch a couple kissing in the street or public space in a very direct or voyeuristic way. This tension and the affective impact it has for the performers as well as for the audience interested us.

What was the main challenge?

In the beginning, it was of course a bit awkward to engage people that don’t have preestablished feelings and to ask them to kiss each other, change partners etc. To keep the kind of fine field of tension that is immediately created by the task, even when things become more familiar, was surely something that we worked on during the whole process.

What experience would you like to create for the audience with this piece? 

There is nothing in particular we want the audience to experience. But we want the audience to experience something and are confident that the performance usually provokes some kind of reaction – probably not the same for everybody though.

What makes you work in the field of dance and performance?

Choreography, for us, is about bodies interacting with structures that produce and frame them, make them appear or disappear in time and space and produce them as subjects – which basically establishes how human beings are in the world. People are being choreographed by many systems all the time and have to structure their movement even in daily life. This is something we think about a lot and look at. We are interested in dealing with the body or let’s say in putting a focus on the body. This is something that has, for several reasons, been avoided for a long time in dance history where it was more important to „show“ the soul or the expression of an assumed feeling of the dancer rather than to put his or her body in the centre or at stake.