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).
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.
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.