'You always depend on your own style'

Swift moves

'You always depend on your own style'

Berlin-based dancer and choreographer, Katerina Valdivia Bruch, loves coming to Bengaluru. And whenever she is here, she catches up with her old friends who have been a constant support for her.

She is in the city for a workshop on dance videos organised by Goethe bangaloREsident@Natya and Dance Kampni. She talks to Nina C George about her journey as a dancer ahead of her performance in the city on December 4.

How has your childhood influenced your career choice?
My mother introduced me to dance. As a child , she would  take me to her ballet lessons. I loved it and wanted to learn it.  

How is it to collaborate with experimental musicians and visual artistes?
Many of my friends are artistes working in different art fields. My collaborations are spontaneous. With visual artistes, I perform for their video pieces. That’s also how I got interested in video dance.

How do you describe your style?
My style is a mix of different modern and contemporary dance techniques. It may have a touch of ballet although it’s been a while since I performed ballet. In general, I love dance that is influenced by other dance forms and movement-related expressions. You always develop your own style depending on what you have learnt and tried out. This is actually quite common in contemporary dance.

Do you believe in improvising?
I work on choreography that is based on improvisation. On stage people may not notice it because they are guided but the whole process of creation has been based on improvised movements.  

Which country would you like to perform in and why?
I can perform anywhere but if I have a choice, then it would be Japan. It's a country that has always fascinated me.

We hear you are working on the history of Freedom Park? Tell us about it?
It was actually a suggestion from a friend who told me about this place. Initially, my idea was to work with her on the topic of freedom and imprisonment and she sent me information about the former Central Jail, which is now Freedom Park.
At the moment, with STEM Dance Kampni, we are exploring different ways to understand the discipline and restrictions of the body.
I took Michel Foucault’s book ‘Discipline and Punish’ as basis for it. The book depicts ways in which institutions discipline our bodies.

Are you also planning to learn kathak?
Learning kathak is not easy because my body is not used to such movement.
But what I like about it is the stillness after the high speed turns, the precision in
movement and the rhythm you create with your body.

Do you adhere to a strict diet?
I mostly stick to vegetables and fish. But I love to try out different types of food and don’t think about gaining weight because I am constantly in motion.

What do you do when you are not dancing?
Probably writing and walking. Those are my favourite ways to explore spaces, meet people and feel the surroundings.

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