Friday, 26 June 2015

Keeping Dramaturgy in the Air: Gandini Juggling @ Edfringe 2015

The Fringe What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?
Sean Gandini: I have been fascinated by ballet for years and had it at the back of my mind that it would be interesting to do something that included it. An accidental meeting at the Royal Opera House got the ball rolling. We went in with about twelve ideas and ended up needing only about four of them. I feel like it is a fertile ground.

Why bring your work to Edinburgh?
Sean Gandini: I love the Edinburgh Festival, we have been lucky it has always been good to us. We brought our first piece there more than twenty years ago and although the piece was a difficult piece it was greatly received.

What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?

I guess people see things in different ways so it is difficult to generalise, but I would hope they would share our sense of structural wonder and enjoy the playful questioning! I hope some of the ballet people will discover juggling and some of the circus people discover ballet. Indubitably there will be a few well versed in both art forms as well as some new to both!

The Dramaturgy Questions 

How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?

We worked without an outside dramaturgy on this one. I would say the dramaturgy like many of the elements in the show is a trace, a hint. I like the idea that meaning is alluded to instead of clearly delineated. The piece has a sense of self-referentiality and this was pre-scripted. There is a questioning of classicism and notions of beauty that was also pre-scripted but I don’t think these themes are necessarily at the foreground of the piece.

What particular traditions and influences would you acknowledge on your work - have any particular artists, or genres inspired you and do you see yourself within their tradition? We have always had big dance influences, Merce Cunningham’s

work is an almost daily pleasure. But I think the influences on this piece are more in the classical world. I am always greatly inspired by William Forsythe’s work and I have been watching lots of Balanchine particularly the more “abstract work”

Sakari Mannisto who is one of the jugglers in the piece also fed in a very particular juggling vocabulary which has epaulements and things like this which has permeated the piece.

Do you have a particular process of making that you could describe - where it begins, how you develop it, and whether there is any collaboration in the process?

On this piece we worked a lot on structures and systems, I had about twelve ideas when we started and we ended up using only about 4, we were lucky almost everything we started looking at gave us interesting results.

There was some good feeding backwards and forwards between myself and Ludovic Ondiviela, the choreographer. And some of the little sidetracks turned into some of the more interesting parts of the piece.

We are intrinsically collaborative, I am always bouncing ideas off the artists around me and I am lucky to be surrounded by people I trust!

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work?
The audience sets the piece. I feel like the piece takes on a different life once it’s been in front of an audience. As a director this is quite terrifying since you have spent a few months making your own ideas of the piece.

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