Interactive and thought-provoking, Austrian choreographer Helene Weinzierl’s productions arrive in Kolkata
Austrian choreographer Helene Weinzierl draws attention to socio-political issues with her interactive choreography
FOR CHOREOGRAPHER HELENE Weinzierl, dance is a joy of life. The Austria-based performing artiste is the artistic director of performance at Tanzimpulse Salzburg, the body that organises dance festivals. She is also the founder of CieLaroque, the South-Central European State’s most popular touring dance ensembles that is visiting the city now. Hosted by Pickle Factory, the dance group that marks its silver jubilee this year was in Santiniketan last week and will be conducting workshops and performing at different venues here. Not new to India or Kolkata, Weinzierl, who has more than 40 productions to her credit and who draws attention to socio-political realities of the world, reflects on her journey with CeiLaroque, her definition of dance and more. Excerpts:
How have you evolved with CieLaroque since 1995?
As an artiste, working on a production excites me more than choreography. I have enjoyed being on stage but the process in the rehearsal room is a greater challenge for me. Even before the foundation of CieLaroque, I had worked with other dancers in a collective and the creative process was always very important to me. The separation from the collective and the foundation of CieLaroque took place in 1995 when I realised that I had to decide to go my own way; to realise my ideas in the form that seemed important to me.
Why did you choose As Far as We Can and It’s All About for the Kolkata tour?
To be honest, one of the reasons is that these two productions are up to date in the repertoire. Second, I have a strong affinity towards these two projects as they are interactive and the interactions are received and reflected differently in different cultures and countries, making it exciting and challenging.
What is dance for you?
For me, dance is everything that moves. It’s the joy of life, an inspiration and a philosophical discussion. I started dancing when I was 14 and as a child gymnast, I dreamt of becoming a ballet dancer. I was always interested in movements and dance was a way to express myself, to reflect my environment and to raise questions.
Out of the many productions which is closer to your heart and why?
There are many older productions that I love like Democrazy, Dua Para Ella, and The Damage Done, among others, apart from some new ones, owing to their interactive aspects.
What is your next project?
The rehearsals for the new project start in midApril. It is an outdoor production and explores the paradoxical combinations of voyeurism and participation of intimacy and strangeness. A total of nine performers create an interactive, participatory puzzle landscape and the public space becomes a 10th performer here. CieLaroque will be performing today and tomorrow at Kolkata Centre for Creativity.