We finished presenting “What we see Why we see” on January 8th at Dance Place, Washington, DC. This collaboration was one of the most adventurous and meaningful one for me in many ways. My collaborator, Tzveta Kassabova, and I come from a very different background. I’m from dance, theatre, literature and linguistics. She is from dance, gymnastics, and astrology. Since our common interest lied in sculpting the space, we started with a specific type of material to shape the space: plastic. For 7 days in June, we played with all kinds of plastic to see what intrigued us. In August, we met for 10 days to work with what we came up in June and generated some material. We documented everything we had in 45-minutes footage. Then I left for Japan.
Our real work started when I got back from Japan in December. We only had one month before the show opened. We viewed the footage and threw away 75% of the materials we came up with. We built the scenes. When we started deciding the details, we started clashing. Because we were both directors, choreographers, and performers of the piece, we made all the decisions together from large ones to the small ones. We not only came from different disciplines but also had different approaches in building work. So decision making sometimes took a long time.
In the end, I was glad that this collaboration happened. It was a kind of a relief that I was not alone in the decision making process. I still felt that it was my piece as much as it was hers. I faced my insecurities, relearned my weaknesses, and discovered my strengths. Tzveta and I were not playing in either of our backyards, but were taken into the third place borne out of all the clashes and harmonies between us.
The piece is not complete but is on its way and I hope we’ll have another opportunity to work on it sometime soon.