MÖBIUS DANCE & JAMAAL BURKMAR
‘Behind the scenes’
By Anna Cabré-Verdiell Bosch
The last couple of weeks I’ve been witnessing the creative process between Möbius Dance and choreographer Jamaal Burkmar. I’ve been in this sort of limbo where you are not in, but you aren’t out either; at times actively involved in the creation, being in the dancers shoes, and stepping out at other times, being two big black observant eyes. This is therefore an attempt to blend the ‘in’ and ‘out’ experiences and share the overall outcome of my bipolar role.
The regulars in the studio are the four company dancers, two interns, one apprentice, the choreographer, the artistic director and myself. Jamaal skips presentations and goes straight into the work. He knows what he wants as soon as he sees it, almost like if his gut feeling was whispering in his ear which threads to follow and which ones to dismiss. He often talks to himself in a permanent inner dialogue to either reassure or correct his decisions.
The choreography gets built as a hybrid creature resulting from the combination between movement offered by the dancers and from Jamaal himself. He mix and matches, copies and pastes, deletes or loops moves responding to rhythmic or compositional demands of the section that is being worked on.
As the days goes by, dancers and choreographer get to know each other’s ways which results in a quick and smooth working dynamic. A joke softens the environment here and there, however the dancers are thoroughly focused; they must be, as the material is detailed and extremely fast paced. Dancers, choreographer, artistic director and even sporadic visitors find themselves reciting counts out loudly as the piece is absolutely time codified.
At the edges of the room, the artistic director works behind the shadow of his laptop. His head sticks in and out of the screen in an almost ritualistic way which unfolds the multitasking nature of his job. The guest photographers hide in the corners looking to capture moments for posterity.
The last day of the process is upon us before we know it. A frenetic two weeks are gone leaving behind a brand new piece ironically called Time moves slow; a hymn of praise to the unstoppable, relentless passing of time.
Artistic Director: Gianluca Vincentini
Dancers: Robert Anderson, Ana Fernández Melero, Stefania Pinato and Iolanda Portogallo
Apprentice: Charlie Hogan
Interns: Giulia Quacqueri and Benedetta Leso
Photographers: Elly Welford and Guy Kavanagh