This text was written by Igor Dobričić (dramaturgy) at the end of a rehearsal week for the group piece ENSEMBLE (premiere: 18 January 2023) and published as part of the team's internal newsletter (October 2022):
We always arrive to the same dilemma. The longing for togetherness rubs up against the search for a distinction, differentiation, personal freedom, escape from a group. And although those two are seemingly incompatible, it is clear that they can not exist without one another. So when we put our focus on sameness - perfect unison of intention and movement across different bodies - we inevitably arrive to emergence of difference. And when we allow for a personal drift away from the unison to take place, this diversion make sense only to a degree to which it is referring back (by resisting it or moving back toward it) to a sameness from which it deviate.
Repetition require that something is decided and agreed in advance (the choreography, the score, the movement sequence). Fantasy of perfection is grounded in the idea of practice, effort, discipline. Discipline is based on routine. Yet only by acknowledging that perfection is just a phantasm that can not be achieved in any absolute sense, repetition gets different meaning. Paradoxically, it is there to distinguish us rather than equalise us.
So, we spent a week oscillating between exploring strategies of differentiation: relaxed attention and a permission to deviate, alternate, divert; and embracing perverse pleasures of “perfect” repetition. We allowed shared movement sequence to unravel and morph in between bodies doing it, and we cultivated attention toward one another that allowed us to find an unambiguously shared form. At the end we discovered the obvious: once put in motion, mechanics of unity and of differentiation are not in binary opposition with one another. On the contrary, through the sustained act of mutual care it is exactly that which distinguish one from an-other that make them harmonise.
If only this wisdom we are finding among the bodies dancing together, could be translated into a social and political realities, our work would once again make sense.