Heidelberg, 27.Oktober 2013
As artist and artistic director of my dance company I try to understand the world around me. I started at a very young age with discovering who we are and why we are here on this planet through movement. Everything in life has to move, to evolve into something new, to grow. Anything or anyone which or whom is not growing or evolving, is in a process of dying. And since I know I will only die at the age of 113, I know I have to keep moving and treasure my body.
My body, my spirit, my passion, my soul: they all need nurturing and nourishment.
But nurturing and nourishment is not about getting something.
Life is about what you give.
If people ask me what I do or in which business or industry I work, my answer is: I work in the business of energy.
I believe I have gotten a gift to heal, to change, to inspire and to create through my abundance of energy.
My energy is fuelled by my passion and gratitude. I am aware of how short live is for some people, and how painful it is for others. When I was 8, after playing with a metronome, I realized long a minute was and how much I could do in a minute.
Think about it what you can do in a minute! You can start a war and bomb a city in one minute, you can ask somebody to marry you in a minute, you can make a baby in a minute, you can make somebody’s day in ONE minute with a compliment.
I realized how important it was to maximize any minute, to do good, to make something better, to create something for someone to lighten up their day.
And I found a way to put my energy and creativity together and discovered I could give a gift to people. A gift, which is connecting them with their own energy, passion and body.
And so I started creating little dance performances for my parents and grandparents. The applause leaded to the feeling of being useful, and as Pavlov showed us in his experiments with dogs, I was hooked for life;-)
When I was 16, I discovered that people everywhere on the planet were seeking energy. Bodies filled with energy is the essence of live, a body without energy and electricity will die, with too little we would not survive as species.
I discovered the necessity to move the body to recharge it’s energy. To feel emotions I needed to move. We know that motion creates emotion. Each emotion has its own energy and electricity levels in the body. And as an artist I
made it the most important thing in my life and my work: to life and create from my inner source of passion and energy.
When I was 20, I discovered body language and the importance of it. I had made a production with the title ‘Cardiac Motion’ and researched the heart and its functions in the body. I discovered that when two people with different heart rates would hold their bodies extremely close to each other, their hearts would synchronize, beating in the same rhythm. This fascinated me and I wondered if I could slow down and speed up the heartbeat of my audiences. We conducted an experiment. During one of our performances we invited a test audience to have their heartbeat monitored while watching our dancers dance; hearing them breath and hearing the heartbeat through the sound score. We discovered that we could sync different peoples heartbeats into one rhythm for the whole theater.
When I was 27 I invited a group of neuroscientists, because I wanted to know what is first: the spoken word or movement. For many years, body language, movement and dance felt so primal for me, I could not express myself more honestly or better than with my body. Researchers confirmed that if you film people talking, in any culture, and you play then extremely slow motion, you will see that the information is first communicated with a movements, a gesture, before he or she says words.
This knowledge gave me the insight and strength to believe that I could communicate with every one on the planet, not just the usual theater lovers, the intellectuals or upper class society. It gave me selfconfidence as an artist. And even more so, selfconfidence as a woman, a leader.
Dance is for me the most basic form of expression, it’s next to singing more primal then any other form of art and communication. Its not translated to a film screen, a book, a painting. Its energy, electricity, passion and an idea wrapped in an audio, visual and kinesthetic form, going from skin to skin, from me to my dancers, from my dancers to my audience, to you.
So as an artist working with bodies, people think I work with bodies on stage. Yes I do. BUT, actually, I work with your body when you visit one of my performances. I charge your bodies with energy, with electricity, with motion and emotions. I make you feel you for 1,5 hours.
And although I channel my energy through a layer of music and visual images, the main essence of my work is transported through your kinesthetic senses. Most of the time, when I ask people years later what they remember from seeing my performances, they remember it on a kinesthetic level, the feeling of watching my work. And not what they have actually seen of heard.
When we speak about energy, the next thing which comes in mind, is how we present and perceive this energy in society. I see male and female energy. Every person on the planet has male and female energy in oneself, and it’s a
matter of genes, upbringing and culture which of the two is more developed in a person.
In the western part of the world, women have developed their male energy to cope with society more then their feminitiny. Female leadership is still under developed until this day and, and you see clearly when women get to high positions in politics or big companies, they lead their companies with male energy. They play ‘one of the guys’.
Five years ago I decided to lead my teams via an extreme physical approach, knowing that bodies communicate sometimes better without saying anything. One example is that next to the usual training for my dancers and me, is that we all train once a week together, and with all I mean everybody who works in the office as well. This is elevating the team spirit and kicks up energy levels for everybody.
Art, creativity and energy will continue to shape our societies. And I strongly believe the next century is about female leadership, not to just copy what men have done as leaders for centuries. I believe that we need more female artists around us to show us that life is not so straight-forward or square as we think. Living is about feeling and feelings, and sharing them.
In an century where we don’t find each other anymore with weapons and our own muscles, we need new ways to get what we want, to develop our futures. I believe we can only move into the next century with more creativity. Let artists, designers and scientists design a future for us, let them take over politics. Let them inspire us to find our future and let them embrace the body in its full potential. Did you know the unconscious mind is 30.000 time stronger than the conscious mind?
Thank you for listening.