A Piece of Liberated Time
A performance is a piece of liberated time, that's allowed to unfold differently than
in everyday life, which is often formed by stress, disquiet and activism. It's a lingering
in the moment, a concentration in silence, actions that come from silence.
In the moment when a performance starts the performer becomes one with time. Time ceases to
exist and the performer moves through open space. She becomes a piece of art. She defines
everything that happens. This process of happening and letting it happen is the actual
There are performers who work rather conceptually, where the course of action is defined
in a detailed way beforehand. They work with a kind of metaphorical language that the
audience shall decode. Performers that come from this tradition of the visual arts define
improvisation as theater. For me, thinking in the old segregation is not possible any more.
Since a long time we are part of an evolution that combines instead of divides, that
cooperates between the disciplines instead of working solely for itself. In the area of art,
too, categories melt together and form new genres. To me theater is the explicit will to be
something and to act as something, to bring the person's personality into action. There is a
rehearsal time and definite succession course of action.
Characteristic features when working with improvisation:
If you work with improvisation like I do, you would have some topics and ideas that would
be a rough orientation. Everything else evolves freely in the moment and is adjusted to the
local situation and special conditions of each act. That is the reason why a time
specification can't easily be made when it comes to improvisation. Improvisation originates
from the will to create something new, from the delight of spontaneity, from the joy of the
unforeseen, from the readiness to fail, and the enthusiasm for the beauty of what's never
been before, is not known in the moment and won't come back in the same way. To me as a
performer to fail means to loose the connection between the single parts of the
improvisation, the own concentration and the attention of the audience. In the audience's
point of view the performance fails if the artist doesn't know what he or she does and why
he or she does it. The consequence is boredom and questioning the meaning of it all.
To me, on the other hand, the most enthralling situations arise if the movement of the
performer is free of every intention. During the act the audience and the performer share
the nescience and through combined concentration they watch collectively what is developing.
That is the ideal description of very free work. That is really a form of spiritual acting -
the performer steps out of identification and watches what happens. Hence to me the
following assumptions result:
1. The performers' person is not the subject. It's not about her showing her ideas of what
she thinks to be or imagines she must act out. In fact it's about being close to herself and
at the same time put back the ego (you could say the intention, the will) to give space to
events of which the performer is allowed to be an active part.
2. It's not about having to do something or thinking about it. It's about discovering the
newly evolved situation and to follow intuition of what's necessary at the moment. If
something is missing you add it. If something is too much, you balance it. If you realize
you are the "too much" within a group, you would go aside. Mentally you stay a part of the
events so you can be active again in the right moment.
To me it is the most interesting thing when a performance reaches profound depth. That
doesn't mean to strip on stage, but to discover the mysteries of the artistic process. For
this purpose you need adequate parameter, certain expectations of the audience to be part of
such a thing, and a high concentration on both sides. It's the accomplishment of the
performer to hold that tension in every moment, to lead the process and at the same time
surrender fully. In my opinion that is the art, that the performer should fulfill. Complete
surrender and at the same time total concentration and control. The performer is creator and
creature at the same time, passive and active. The performer unites these polarities in
herself and through this annihilates them. That is a huge challenge.
Another fascinating aspect for the audience lies in the authenticity, which has been very
important to me from the beginning on, actually one of the most important aspects. Our
society is organized to stay superficial, to produce low-budget-goods, and to support
hyperactivity and fast satisfaction. This doesn't only affect the entertainment branch and
certain media, but even cultural productions. That means, on the other hand, if something
profound and authentic happens, a moment of fascination, disgust and confusion, depending on
what's shown. What's normally unknown or cushioned becomes now visible. It's the inherent
that evokes those reactions, the performer takes on the part of showing something, which
has not had space before, because it seemed too threatening. That might be the reason why
the profession is neither accredited nor adequately paid or paid at all, depending on which
level you are performing. At the same time it forms a great subversive appeal and a
challenge to our habitual perception.