ALONGSIDE

Cheryl Stone, founding member of Bangarra Dance Theatre and who later became a dearest friend, gave me my first gig in Sydney. For ever grateful. Bangarra is the most accomplished aboriginal dance theatre company in Australia
http://www.bangarra.com.au/

 

 

Sophie Maríñez has written about Marassá y la Nada, my short novel, using two metaphors that connect in a self-explanatory way the mutually informing disciplines that have been the centre of my life: dance and literature.

 

“[. . .] The story revolves around two sisters, Laura, who lives in Paris and commits suicide at the beginning of the novel, and Mara, who lives in Santo Domingo, absorbs this tragedy and is starving herself to death. A third woman, Moira (cousin of the aforementioned) who lives in New York, tells much of the story while traveling to Santo Domingo to save Mara. On the way, she seizes this opportunity to travel to Haiti in search of the remains of Doña Manuela Ricart de Porter, mother of young women [. . .]. The trip to Haiti is presented to the reader with an impressive freshness. There is no attempt here to repeat stereotypes of travel to the heart of darkness of Africa or endless images of hair-raising poverty, no guilt about the past or apologizing for colonial damages—imperialist, massacring, or humanitarian—and other mechanisms for usurping riches, including the air people breathe in Haiti. [. . .] Seen in this context, sisters Laura and Mara emerge as allegorical figures of Haiti and the Dominican Republic”. (Translation by Ivette Romero from Repeating Islands).

My last performance with Ballet Clásico Nacional
Swan Lake, Teatro Nacional, Santo Domingo, 1998
Photo by José Bentancourt
©Art Labour Archives 2012

 

 

Vladimir Dokoudovsky, legendary dancer and teacher who was a soloist with Ballet Russe de Montecarlo (directed by L. Massine), coaching me in a variation of Sleeping Beauty. New York Conservatory of Dance, 1990
http://www.nycod.org/
Photo by Alexandro Dávalos
©Art Labour Archives 2012

 

 

 

Studio shot, Santo Domingo, 1996
Photo by Virginia Álvarez
©Art Labour Archives 2012

 

 

A memento from “Moods” given to me by Pastora Delgado.
The most difficult thing I have ever danced. We rehearsed during six weeks twice a day, four hours each time, in order to build-up the stamina, and then performed at Ritmos Espacio de Danza, with the audience surrounding us. Non stop dancing to the most difficult piano concerto in the entire history of classical music, choreographed by a virtuoso dancer.
Choreography by Juan Fidel Mieses, Music Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3.
Santo Domingo, 24.06.89

 

 

As a Jungfrau dancing the Maipole (Maypole) dance in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Richard Wagner
If someone would have told me then that Germany was going to be my next stop in life, I would have laughed, and very loud…
Sydney Opera House, 1993
©Art Labour Archives 2012

 

 

Videoclip shoot. Sydney, 1992
©Art Labour Archives 2012

 

 

Swirling around in “Mirage”, choreography by Pablo Serna
Grupo Integración de Danza Contemporánea de la Universidad de Guadalajara
Photo by Frero Dyer, one of my many Haitian friends during my years as university student of Communications Science at UAM-Xochimilco
Sala Miguel Covarrubias, UNAM, Mexico D. F.,1986
©Art Labour Archives 2012

 

 

With Raúl Valdéz improvising in front of the Brooklyn Museum
during a Paquito D´ Rivera concert
New York City, 1988
Photo by Virginia Álvarez
©Art Labour Archives 2012

 

 

Performing one of the solos of “Duda Mata”, a cult record launched with an experimental theatre production. Composed by Carlos Sánchez Gutiérrez (Carlos Esegé) and José Fors. Choreography by Dominique Chapuy. Scenography and multimedia art direction by Oscar nominee Guillermo del Toro. Teatro Experimental de Jalisco, Guadalajara, 1987
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPYiqW4dX4k
For the re-staging of this solo, artist Raúl Recio re-interpreted the piece aim of integrating  music, multi-media, performers, scenography and costumes with a leit-motiv. Punto Clave, Santo Domingo, 1988
Twenty five years later, in 2012, Raúl Recio´s drawings on Haiti illustrated my book “Un Haití Dominicano”. Ours has been the longest collaboration I have had with any visual artist, and an extraordinary ride.
alannalockward.wordpress.com/un-haiti-dominicano
Photo by Irka Mateo.
©Art Labour Archives 2012

 

 

In front of the Museo de Arte Moderno improvising to the live music of Dutch artist Piet Jan Blauw. I have performed different roles at the MAM: Director of International Affairs (1987) and (2001, for the IV Caribbean Bienial); selection jury XIX Bienal Nacional de Artes Visuales (1996) and award jury of the 26 Bienal Nacional de Artes Visuales (2011). I have also curated two exhibitions there: Fábulas Abiertas (1996) and Pares & Nones (2002). This is the only time I have been a dancer there, it was extremely fun. Fellow dancer and producer, Mónika Despradel, organized this unexpected gig for me. At that time I was working as arts editor of Listín Diario.
Santo Domingo, 27.06.1998
Art Labour Archives 2012

 

 

“Vidas y Muertes de una Isla” was my first and only experience as performer of Afro-Caribbean dance. Choreography by Marilí Gallardo. Live music by David Almengod, José Duluc and Patricia Pereyra (among others). This piece was dedicated to Haiti. Six years passed before I visited Haiti for the first time and wrote about it on my first article ever published. Also my first novel “Marassá y la Nada” is dedicated to Ayiti Cherie. In retrospect, I started by decolonizing my body, then my mind, and finally my knowledge. For ever grateful to the producer Tati Olmos and the rest of the dancers and musicians who made of this a treasured memory that still informs my creativity. Marilí Gallardo continues her dedication to Afro-Dominican legacies and teaches dance to young children: RESPECT
L/R Edwin Silfa, Mercedes Morales and Alanna Lockward
Soraya Gallardo and Marilí Gallardo at the front
Teatro de Bellas Artes, Santo Domingo, 1987
Photo by Miguel Heded

 

 

The first chance I had to express my admiration publicly and in writing for my beloved teacher and friend, Juan Fidel Mieses Gautreaux, who has always pushed my limits beyond…
This interview is reproduced in my book “Apremio. Apuntes sobre el pensamiento y la creación contemporánea desde el Caribe”, Murcia: Cendeac, 2006.
Teacher: I love you

My extensive interview with Juan Fidel Mieses Gautreaux is available as pdf in Spanish.

Second page of my interview with Juan Fidel Mieses Gautreaux
Listín Diario, Santo Domingo, 12.11.1998

 

 

In conversation with American choreographer, William Forsythe, one of my heroes, who was also trained with the Preobrajenska method taught by V. Dokoudovsky, my teacher in NYC.
Berlin, 2007
©Art Labour Archives 2012

The end of my review of Forsythe´s presentation at the American Academy in Berlin  states:

“Overlooking the magnificent Wannsee, a lake with a beautiful marina, Forsythe focuses once again on the students for a significant amount of time after the meeting. The impossibly gorgeous weather signals the end of summer, as if by postponing an inevitable change of temperature, the enchantments of the world could be magically crystallized in this intimate communion between knowledge and admiration. They are silent butterflies, he is the master, and we all shine.”

With her wide and scrutinizing eyes, Susanne Linke can analyse every fiber of one´s body. The common place of The Police famous song, Every move you make, every step you take… pales in front of her formidable capacity to diagnose the origin and solution of any superficial attempt of executing a movement without first connecting to its essential inner source. I have had the privilege of studying with her in three different and demanding occasions. Coming from a classical ballet frame of mind, with certain intense periods of modern and contemporary training and performance, including some Afro-Dominican dance; improvisation has never been my passion. And with Susanne, the only way to connect to that inner self which is what gives credibility and legitimacy to stage presence, is through the investigation of one own´s hidden rooms. She simply terrifies me. And that is why after finishing each period of training I am on my knees with gratitude. Each and every time somehow she brings out something in me that has never abandoned me afterwards.

My first two weeks workshop with her was at Essen (2001), the hometown of her legendary legacy as top figure of German expressionism in dance, the direct inheritor of Mary Wigman. The second one was in Venice (2002), at the Scola Isola Danza, from the Venice Biennale, directed then by Carolyn Carlson. For this interview, we met at Piazza San Marco, on a glorious morning. The next time I took her life-changing training was at my dearest friend´s studio, Lola Lince, in Guanajuato, Mexico, this time I was the producer of the workshop (2011)  Susanne Linke transformed each participant again in a way that only she can do. Dancers came literally from all walks of life, in different shapes and stages of bodily aptitude. Every one created her/his own personal miracle and we all witnessed it. A video documentation of our improvisations  shows only the final result of this process. But for us, the treasure was to experience each moment of subtle change as in watching the slow but steady and determined breakthrough of a cocoon.  .

You can read my long interview with Susanne Linke as pdf.

Alanna Lockward and Lola Lince unplugged and revisited
Guanajuato, 2011

Nos conocimos en un taller del maestro Ronald Emblem, de la Royal Academy of Dancing, en el Distrito Federal, y con su rigor poético característico, profético, ahora sabemos, me contestó sin el menor titubeo que por supuesto, cuando le pregunté si el origen de su apellido era alemán. Más tarde, el maestro y coreógrafo, Pablo Serna, comentaba nuestra rebeldía en su clase de técnica Limón y Horton de no respetar su obsesión con los innumerables grand-pliés en segunda posición, aludiendo a ese talento de Lola tan particular. Y yo la imitaba, claro está; hacíamos puras mentiras, decía El Gran Maestro Pablini. En las larguísimas conversaciones que teníamos luego de sudar por seis horas, y sin quitarnos la ropa de clase y ensayo, casi siempre invariablemente frente a varias tazas de capuchino y unos pasteles de antología en un café de la ciudad de las jacarandas moradas, Guadalajara, Jalisco, le dedicamos muchísimo tiempo a “De lo espiritual en el arte”, de Kandinksy. Igualmente a los sueños con extraterrestres de Lola, que me provocaban una envidia santa porque a mí jamás se han dignado a enviarme algún mensaje o asustarme con un secuestro maravilloso. Definitivamente vivíamos del aire y en el aire.

Texto completo de la Entrevista Invertida entre Lince y Lockward disponible como pdf. Y finalmente una video documentación de nuestro reencuentro en un mismo estudio tras dos décadas.

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