Alexandre Roccoli interviews himself as Trajal Harrel
TH :Alex to begin i would like to know how and why you choose a context as New york and would like that you describe your new project "unbecoming solo".
AR: I wanted to come in New York to observe how a generation of artists related to performing arts "a certain dance community" is dealing with their conditions of production nowadays in such a context where the politics generates more and more private strategies to be produced. I wanted to observe how this economy of production functions and what does it generates in term of "creation", "forms". New York was in the 60s and 70 s a very strong context which developed new forms and modes of perfomativity, via the Robert Dunn studio of compositions, and the Judson Church, or later the Grand union but also in the 30s in the black mountain college. The energy of these research had then strongly influenced European forms if i related to the 90s in Europe and in France, with the "deconstruction" and desires to questions modes of perceptions 10 years after the institutionalisation of dances via the Jack Lang's Politic in the tradition of André Malraux. I needed to know what was going on now in a town that was qualified as the centre of the world and how after September 11 moving and being moved in New York could give me a new drive.. I applied then to the FUSED French United state exchange in dance for a grant that i obtained.
TH: So how did you work here? what was you map? Did you arrived with some specifics statements? What did you want to verify? observe ? political links between a new French government and an American way to deal with Democracy?
AR: The shift of the government in France induced in a way this desire to understand what the new context could generate in the future in France. But my first desire was to go there to search upon histories in dance the actual one and the past. I began then to set interviews with specifics artists that i recorded and film. I was always very attracted by process of minimalism in art , less is more . but also mainly how specifics modes of considering the repetitions can generates"transformations"...or " meta-morphosis". In term of venues Dia beacon was proposing a exhibition upon Soll Le Witt and others visuals artists working in minimalism. I went then also to Lincoln centre to observe some archives from Lucinda Childs, La Monte Young their dream house..the accumulations from Trisha Brown... Meanwhile Julie Perrin received a full bright to study in the Tish School with André Lepecky. We met at Paris 8 where she is teaching now. I wanted to continue my research and intertwining with her research a concrete possibilty to build a piece. To set, to write together.
TH: But then how did you managed to arrive to this "form"? "unbecoming solo" was presented in September in the frame of crossing the lines that the French Institute curates. The solo shift with differents modes of perfomativities that i can identify, and understand and that you embrace in a particular ways. The movements patterns are re-occurring from several styles, how did you build these bridges, links, meta-morphosis. Could you now shift your way of answering and then be more detail in the mode of writing.
AR: Ok Julie and i began to observe how we could related specifics corpus. - watermotor - trio A - Accumulation 1 - a voguing contest that we saw - a Sri Lankan dance that I learned from Colombo How then we had the possibility to observe the patterns in theses dances and how the fact of writing, composing can build bridges in the histories so called spectres, ghosts, in the memories and my own memory as a catalyst of these echoes.
TH: Hum... yes i see. humm..i mean i saw. The sound track is also very important in the process of watching, looking at the dances. It is mainly interviews that you did with specifics artists. In a certain moment theses voices become more and more abstracts and the sense of understanding becomes as noises...a white noise. Can you precise then how the sound track should proceed? Is this is a choice to treat the voices ass a material or a difficulty to select which samples from these interviews was important.???
AR: Hum yes.. I see I mean I see that you heard. I wanted to share these informations, these meetings that I filmed and recorded. I wanted to work on a chorus, I mean different voices which tell their conditions of productions. And mainly i choose the part where these artists speak about their displacements. How the "globalisation" the "networking" generates new forms of nomadism. These ways of entering displacements link to my own way to be displaced on stage then were brought in the same space which interferes and which sometimes creates frictions of tensions of "understanding".
TH: Do you to say that you work in the sense of cage and Cunningham, you bring a score an audio score in parallel to a visual one. and the connections is made by the viewer, the listener.??
AR: yes and no .
TH: ??? you mean that it is not total random and then it is sometimes random
AR: Basically I know which moment of the dance score is adjusted to the voices,but the dance functions sometimes as his own tempo to find the quality... I learned this a lot with the choreographer Frédéric Gies, he is an amazing dancer who really s got a conscience of timing in the "present time". I try then to not lie and the modes of shifting is related to own timings...is that to abstract?
TH: hum...no that sounds as if you improvise and then you know in the internal structure where you need to go. So "unbecoming solo" is also in this case a mode of composition which invests echoes, a palette of echoes as Daria Fain said; an archeology of bridges in styles via histories, stories telling, building space, outside, inside and intertwining this relation.
AR: Daria fain is a great teacher, I learned a lot on Chi Kong with her. It is may be from her specific point of view that she sees.
TH: Where will you show then the project now?
AR: I will try to investigate with Julie Perrin differents spaces as the university but also theater contexts.
TH: And what would you do with the archives that you are building. I think that these interviews could be presented by their own as one project too.
AR: Yes it is a good advice, i actually would like to continue to map our displacements in others géo-politics contexts. How specifics works in Bucharest for exemple from specifics choregraphers as Ion Dumitrescu, Eduard Gabia, Vava Stephanescu are related from their own research to questions that Miguel Guitterez, DD Dorviller, Ryan Kelly are investigating in New York.