NOthingFORever is a research that begins from my personal need to face grief, to find meaning again when everything appears senseless, to access mourning. During the first COVID lockdown I lost a friend, and the social distancing rules made it impossible to coming together and sustain each other. Moreover in November 2021 I ended a 8 years romantic relationship and from April to September 2022 I had to deal with important injuries that forced me to stopp dancing. Experiences of death are not necessarily linked to a physical person, but address a much broader emotional level.
During this past year I practiced writing one poem a day. The poems recorded my travelling through places of emotions that I felt visiting over and over again.
I looked through literature and ethnographic research on the Italian traditional practice of the Prefiche, women who, as professional mourners, were in charge of sustaining the collective experience of mourning through chanting and lamenting the dead. I especially found interesting the work of De Martino and researched into the footage he produced in his ethnographic work. De Martino describes carefully all the movements involved in the ritual and their significance, all the gestures and all the dances.
In July I took the workshop “Grief is Part of the Dance” with Makisig Akin at Tanzfabrik in Berlin. They shared practices of supporting each other and care, creating a safe space that could hold the group of participants in their experience.
In August I had a residency in FREIRAUM in Düsseldorf where I invited the dancer Waithera Schreyeck to join me in the studio.
The Physical Research:
Inspired by the mourning ritual of the Prefiche we researched in contact with the composer Alvaro N. Carbullanca, to find a technique to create rhythm not through sound and body percussion but through movement, a visual pulsation that could be felt by a possible observer and create a sense of being together.The “tool” we created with Alvaro is made of three pulsating sounds for dancer A, dancer B and silences. The sounds would play with different tempi and lengths, intertwining the movement of the dancers through synchronicity and interlocks. The research brought us to optimize the audio instruction of the pulsating soundtrack, so that we could follow it immediately without knowing it before.
I developed the improvisatory score “not being there in relation”, which is a combination of physical and performative factors including becoming part of the same kinesphere, sensing each other without looking directly, being in the memory of someone we lost and becoming at the same time the person the other lost.
Our Grateful Dead - stories of those left behind, Vinciane Despret. University of Minnesota Press, 2021.
Grief Works - Stories of Life, Death and Surviving, Julia Samuel. Penguin Life, 2017.
The Hour of the Star, Clarice Lispector. New Directions Paper Book, 1992.
Trauma Tragedy, Patrick Duggan. Manchester University Press, 2012.
Performing Mourning - Laments in Contemporary Art, Guy Cools. Valiz Amsterdam, 2021.
Time is a Mother, Ocean Vuong. Penguin Press, 2022.
Bluets, Meggie Nelson. Jonathan Cape, 2017.
Mourning Diaries, Roland Barthes. HILL & WANG, 2012.
Morte e Pianto Rituale, Ernesto De Martino. Einaudi, 2021.
Research supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste within the framework of NEUSTART KULTUR, Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien.
#TakeHeart Residency _ Fonds Darstellende Künste in partnership with tanzhaus NRW
Residency in FREIRAUM Düsseldorf
Work in Progress Showing at ZufunftTanzt Festival Frankfurt September 2022