‘Love and the Soul (for that is what Psyche means) had sought and, after sore trials, found each other; and that union could never be broken.’ ‑ Cupid and Psyche
Choreographers Felix Mathias Ott and Bahar Temiz are fascinated by a movement language that shifts between intimacy and sheer violence. How does a performance creates its own stage, its own beginning, its own onlookers on the verge between violence and tenderness?
Felix and Bahar spent some time in Bergen, Norway and premiered their current work M.A.R.S at BIT Teatergarasjen on August 25th. While being there the following interview was conducted.
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Interview/film: Ragnhild Gjefsen. Clip: Eirik Gjære
Earlier this year they presented the outcome of a first new research phase. In the controlled space of a dance studio they created a mythological playground where two bodies were put in an unfurling state. During Performatik 17 they will confronted this material with the social context of a theater foyer.
QUESTIONS FELIX AND BAHAR
a written interview with Felix Ott and Bahar Temiz, by Eva Decaesstecker (Kaaitheater, 2017)
In C&P on Mars, you walk on the edge of violence and tenderness. How did you both meet, violently or lovingly? How did you come up with this subject?
We first met in Zagreb during the Ganz Novi Festival, watching a piece, having a drink with nice people around, talking and going to a party afterwards. We kept bumping into each other in different places like Salzburg, Kortrijk or Berlin. It was always connected to a professional situation in a nice atmosphere. So the vibe was mostly cheerful. The theme of violence came from our common interest in martial arts and the previous project M.O.N.D (Meditation on Non Destruction) which was departing from a Russian martial art technique called “systema” in which body releases the tension by accepting and redirecting the impact.
During this shifting choreohraphy, you create your own stage and audience. How do you do this?
There is the idea of working simultaneously on two parallel representation forms: creating a piece for stage and making interventions for public spaces. Our intervention tonight will start before the show and end after the audience leaves the theatre. We would like to see how we can get affected by this durational situation as well as the absence of the audience. The context of a theatre lobby is intriguing because of the casual daily context, where people gather to see a performance.
During Performatik, you present the next step in your research. The first phase took place in a dance studio, the next will take place in the foyer of the Kaaitheater. In other words, you leave the controlled area and set foot in the public area. How does this change influence the piece?
We will try to anticipate on certain elements for this foyer context, but there will be a big emphasis on the happening format. We would like to see how this specific encounter can resonate with our projections and how it can feed us in our creative process for the stage version.
In the introduction text, it says that you created a mythological playground in the first phase. Could you explain this? And does this still count when you take it to the public space?
Yes, it is the corpus of the work: we are playing with a well known Greek myth, to keep it very contemporary while there is a feeling of timelessness. C&P is the abbreviation of Cupid and Psyche from Metamorphosis. The myth is about the love between the half-god Cupid and the mortal Psyche. We wanted them to come to now with us and even travel together to the future.
This playground is rather dealing with the metaphors than the narration. We would like to keep the spirit of two individuals consenting on certain ways of relating to each other and within that relation, they are reinventing themselves and the myth through new dynamics.
C&P on Mars takes place during the Performatik festival, which has as baseline ‘bodily attempts as social sculpting’. Central is the idea of creating together, here and now. How does your performance fit into this framework?
As we are programed before and after a show, we chose to keep on performing while the audience is in the theater. In that sense, C&P will orbit around during Performatik.
--> The interview was held during Kaaitheater’s Performatik17 festival, under which Felix and Bahar presented an early version of the project. C&P on Mars have since evolved to M.A.R.S
The German Premiere of M.A.R.S will be in November during OPEN SPACES#3 at Tanzfabrik Berlin.
They take off from their gendered bodies and seek for a relation that can go beyond narration and become an abstracted emotional landscape.