Interview with Jonathan Bonnici, Marie-Louise Stentebjerg and Ida-Elisabeth Larsen about TRANS

By Ditte Lunde

 

What’s the idea behind the performance?

The idea started as an investigation into violence and in particular its systemic form (as distinct from its more obvious physical form). We posed the question how can I revolt against something, which constantly finds ways to categorize me and in doing so incorporates me into a predefined system even when I’m at my most antisocial? Our proposal in this performance is to create a space that is in constant motion in the search for the uncategorized. A process of becoming, but never quite reaching something that is static enough to be defined.

 

When definition cease to exist what have we then to describe with?

Maybe nothing. Maybe we will be in a constant state of activation where definitions and descriptions would be redundant. Maybe this would be a different way of relating to the world, a way without hierarchy…
In Trans- we are not necessarily abandoning definitions, but through the constant flow of observation we seek to eliminate the concluding impulse in language that closes down potentials in the observed while also bringing the space and people into its own constantly fluctuating presence

 

How do you work with and rehearse the audience involvement in the performance when the audience isn’t present till the performance itself?

We have been working with a ‘describing’ practice that is not dependent on new people to describe. It has a focus on being in a state of totally outward observation, where any changes are noticed. The idea is that no-one is ever doing nothing, so there is always something to react upon. Practically we have been using each other, both performers, choreographers, set designer and sound artist, in the development of the verbal practice over 6 weeks. And we have had test audiences – but that said we are very excited, and curious, about the performance as we have never worked with that big an amount. So it feels a bit like a leap in the dark.

 

What do you hope that the audience take away from the performance?

Their own experience, one that has an echo beyond the literal. Resonances that potentially touch a deep and personal space.

 

How did the premiere go? Do you think the idea worked according to your intention?

TRANS- is a work that relies on its audience’s presence and until last night we had not yet experienced its full development with a full audience. Therefore we were super curious on what the number of people and different energies in the space would do to the performers and thus the work. It is difficult to judge the work based on the experience of the premiere yesterday because the premiere itself was an important step in the understanding of the work and its full potential. That said, we are all pleased with the liberating feeling that it was to have the premiere and meet the audience.