Sunday, December 15, 2019

Feedback of Lilach Orenstein (IL) 2019

Residency at L1danceFest 2019 – Feedback
– What was your experience concerning your stay in Budapest. How did it help or not your research/residency?
– Budapest’s great views are a source of ever ending inspiration. Seeing the natural scenery and unique stunning views motivates you as an artist to create breathtaking experiences and moments such as what the city landscape has to offer.
In addition, from my interactions, the local artists: Varga Zsolt, Kovács István, Kovács Emese and Jójárt Barbara, are some of the best I have ever encountered. The open-mindedness and perspective gave me a lot of thought material and enriched my creative process. Being able to hear their views about the topics I am researching was enlightening and refreshing. As I am researching a subject which is common worldwide, the society’s projection of sexuality on the female body, being able to collaborate with local Budapest artists, gave me the opportunity to see how they interact and react with the utmost respect and thoughtfulness I could ever imagine to this delicate subject. They have been one of the most progressive groups I worked with.

photo: Roland Szabo

– Do you have any feedback on the location you could work; partners in work (movers, thinkers, any other participants, me); process of communication with us organizers and/or what did you miss if there was anything?
– When I think back about the residency time, I still recall the sweet memory of coming into the working space. The person at the front desk would greet me welcome with a smile, as he handed in the key, being followed by a question of how I am doing from the associates in the office. Those little precious moments, especially during a creative process, are critical and influential on any artist. The positive attitude given by the staff propagates through their action and enable you to start the day in the best way possible.
I believe in synergy and that collaborative art has an emergent property to it, such that the sum is equal to more than the individual parts. That is why collaborators are such an essential part of my research. The life experiences of the performers set a high level of discussion which affects the process of development of the creation. One particular example I remember is while explaining my ideas to my performers, Emese and Barbara were thrilled and questioned me more into how the current discussion topic came to be, what’s it’s background and history. The genuine interest in how the work materiel came to be, helped me further tune the materials to the performers as their honesty enabled me to adjust it to them.

photo: Márta Ladjánszki

This residency, I was engaging in a particularly complicated project. In fact, it is the most difficult one I have attempted so far. The ability of L1 Association, and Ladjánszki Márta, in particular, to make feel so smooth and fun were phenomenal and exceeded any expectations I had. First her guidance throughout the research process, helping me to figure the best way to choose collaborators from  a distance, going over the open call and materials I submitted, publishing and marketing to the community, helping with finding funds to mitigate the costs of stay and materials, taking care of airport pickup and guiding me through the city, making sure I have everything I needed and personal warmth and attention any artist needs in order to be able to focus on their work are only to name a few of the way she assisted the artists, including me.
Before I moved to NYC I worked in Machol Shalem Dance House in Israel and from time to time I would produce dance events and go to festivals abroad.
I can say that I have never experienced the care and availability I received in this residency anywhere else.
– Do you have any recommendation for us how to work next time in such a case?
– I wish all the artists to have such pleasant support and stay as I had. I hope the L1 association will keep the high level of care they are projecting.
I would especially recommend to keep the thinking partner role for any creative process and residencies that come in.
Working alongside Ladjánszki Márta as my thinking partner helped me to question my core values and explore new ways of looking. I felt that she created a safe place for creativity which allowed me to visit places in myself that I didn’t have the courage and the strength to expose and Now I do!

photo: Roland Szabo
– What about the presentation of yours, (official and unofficial)
– The discussion after the performances are an excellent tool to provide a pathway to understanding about the participants’ experience. The feedback such conversation provides is valuable, as an artist, to test your hypothesis and update and polish the necessary unrefined parts of the performance.
I believe that having the moderator's questions in advanced could be even more valuable. In my case, I was not able to give the full time and focus to think and dive deep into them in the short time we had, and in addition, it takes longer to articulate your thoughts in a language that is not native to you. Being able to have major topics or opening questions to the discussion could both set the minds of all participants to an even more beneficial discussion and give an opportunity to better engage others with your own ideas and thoughts in a simple, clear way.
– Do you have any thoughts about L1danceFest as officially this was also kind of part of your residency?
– To take part in the diverse international festival exposed me to a variety of art-making styles and opened my horizons to different kinds of esthetics. It served as a great platform for meeting people from the world. The experience of being exposed to others’ art throughout the festival pushes your creativity to imagine which ways your own art can grow. It drives you forward to complete and expand on your regular material sources and enables you to open discussion with fellow artists which helps articulate and refine your thoughts, movements and message.
Lilach Orenstein (IL, 2019)