I have the great opportunity to speak with each of this years TANZFAKTOR participants at the Theater ROXY Birsfelden/Basel (16th & 17th of March, 8pm). TANZFAKTOR makes it possible for dance producers and young professionals to present their current work in different places, beyond their usual scope and to a wider public. The gala character of TANZFAKTOR offers the opportunity to get an overall view of Swiss contemporary dance culture by means of concise and concentrated presentations. The inter-regional cast of the expert judges is meant to question local assessment patterns, confront different viewpoints and break mechanisms that are too insider- or scene-associated. New contacts to the dance scene outside of their own region will emerge for the organizers. They can profit from the inter-regional exchange that opens up space for new inspirations, projects and commitments.
Ioannis Mandafounis, received the title « Outstanding Male Dancer 2015 », Swiss Dance Awards / Schweizer Tanzpreis: www.tanzpreise.ch/en/
What does it mean to you to be participating at TANZFAKTOR?
To bring art to so many places is a great way to unify our country – we participate together in the dance scene and help it grow. It is a great tool for communication of our art towards our audiences and unites artists too.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your training.
After completing my classical ballet training in Paris, I worked for various companies where I learned different styles of dance. I became a choreographer when I discovered that I wanted more out of my dancing – I wanted not just to perform but to take more responsibility for developing an idea from conception to final production on stage. The traditional Japanese martial art of Budo has also been a great influence on my work.
Do you have a mentor? Someone who advises you on your work?
My audience is a kind of mentor. When you tour a lot like I do, you can feel lonely sometimes. You have to use what is there. To be confronted by many different audiences all year long, for so many years, teaches you how to take advantage of their reactions. That does not mean that I am influenced by all their responses or feel compelled to follow their instruction but by inviting them into my creative world I invite their input in some way.
A source of inspiration for you? For your work?
I am a very functional person so I am inspired by our basic makeup and the way the body moves.
Struggles or hard moments during this creation?
« One One One » is something more than a creation; it does not follow the rules of a dance work. It developed through an organic wave of intentions, so choreographic struggles gave rise to great moments. The two are inseparable in this piece.
This is more for the team around us that has to take care sometimes in talking to people to start their performance. Once the piece is going we are totally independent from any kind of support we have direct access and communication with our single audience member at a time.
Something you look forward to learning or discovering in the TANZFAKTOR process?
Yes. With Aoife McAtamney we want to meet again the audiences we already know in this new « One One One » context. We know most of the places we are going, because we have performed there before, but this time it will feel different I am sure.
Will you expand this short piece?
It began as a work in progress and has already been extended beyond it’s initial visualization. It can last up to three hours depending on our connection with the audience.
Do you have a specific dream or goal to achieve?
I am already living my dream and my goal is to continue to grow within this experience.
If you could change one thing for young choreographers growing up in Switzerland, what would it be?
I would give them all classes in German, French and Italian. Language frames our logic inconsistently, so if we were able to understand one another better through a common language this would help choreographers learn from each other and collaborate more effectively.
All Photography by Raymond Gruaz
TANZFAKTOR 2016 — (Basel edition) Theater ROXY — Wed 16 March, 20h — Thur 17 March, 20h.
Programme at the ROXY
Video trailer by Zelda Productions
Supports in Basel: kulturelles.bl Kanton Basel-Landschaft / Präsidialdepartement Basel-Stadt – Abteilung Kultur / Fonds Edith Maryon / Fonds Warteck pp
Supports on national level: Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council, Foundation Ernst Göhner, Migros Culture Percentage
TANZFAKTOR 2016 on tour in Switzerland:
Lucerne: Südpol, 10th March. / Neuchâtel: ADN – Hiver de Danses, 12th & 13th March / Birsfelden/Basel: Theater ROXY 16th & 17th March / Losone/Locarno: Performa Festival Fabbrica di Losone, 2nd April / Steckborn: Phönix Theater, 21st & 22nd April / Lausanne: Théâtre Sévelin 36, 13th & 14th May / Bern: Dampfzentrale, 12th & 13th June / Zurich: Fabriktheater Rote Fabrik 23rd & 24th September / Geneva: Théâtre de l’Usine, 30th September 2016.