June 1th to June 4th I traveled alone for the very first time in my life. The trip went to Berlin where I was to attend a summer intensive with the beautiful dancer, choreographer and video artist, Andrea Hackl. I had rented a room through AirBnb in a flat close to vibrant Kreuzberg and was very exited when I stepped out of the air plain.
I didn't quite know where to go, or what to do when I arrived, and the last turist bus had left, so I just looked at the map I had bought and decided for an area. I managed my way on the u-bane, and ended up in beautiful Viktoria Park, which was a very good choice.
After some time in the park, I found an Italian place and ate alone for the first time. It was a surprisingly good feeling to sit there alone and enjoy the surroundings and the atmosphere, and of course a glass of red wine. With a full stomach I took a stroll down the river towards my current home, and got a taste of the vibrant and chill Kreuzberg. Since it was such good weather people had poured out into the street and just sat on the ground drinking beer and enjoying each others company..
Day 2 in Berlin, and the interplay summer intensive was coming up. Lasting from 1100 until 1530 ish, with a 30 minutes break, it really was intensive. The course took place in a beautiful studio/ stage place called Laborgras (<-- check it out) and we were only five people attending the first day, three the second day and two the last day. I was the only one who was there all three days which only made the experience more intensive and valuable to me. This is the first so called intensive i have attended after finishing school, and it felt very good to push, work and concentrate for so long hours again. Andrea Hackl (<-- check her out), who was the teacher, had many interesting tasks to solve while improvising as well as master classes with a main focus on release technique and floor work. It really was a deliverance to get to challenge myself with this kind of work again!
I have to say that the place I stayed at was exceptional, and the two girls who lived there was so lovely. My second evening in Berlin they took me to a culture festival in Kreuzberg, which was awesome, and Mariela, the hostess, even asked me to join her little dinner get together with some of her friends before I left for the airport the last day. I really couldn't have asked for a better place to live in Berlin, pluss; it was only a five minute walk down to studio Laborgras!
After the second day, we got to see Andrea Hackls own solo performance 'Wild horse run' (<-- get a sneak peak here). It was a great performance with a lot of power and movement that was inspired my the words freedom and courage. The performance also had a lot of creative artistic elements which made it an art performance as well as a dance performance. For example were the audience given a piece of paper where they had to answer a couple of questions before it began, which later became a part of the performance. This made the performance feel even more relatable to the audience as well as emotional and real. I think the piece was inspirational and beautiful and it was interesting to be able to connect certain elements and parts of the performance to what we had learned so far during the intensive.
I am so happy that I joined this summer intensive. I really pushed my limits, both by traveling alone and by attending something alone where I didn't know what to expect. This also allowed my body movement to travle new places and open up to new patterns and abilities, which was the main ambition with this trip. We played with giving and receiving weight, leting go and taking control and some very eye opening and interesting tasks. One of these tasks was one we called 'the birth'. Laying on the floor with the back up, everyone attending laying on top of you, pushing you down, you were supposed to try to push your self up end fight free, which was impossible and exhausting. On the teachers signal, everyone on top let go and spread to the sides in the room and you, the person underneath, was free. You were now going to improvise with this sensation in you body, and just do exactly what you felt like doing. And I'll tell ya, for me it was quite a sensation! I got the same feeling you get when someone pushes your armes down, and after a while let go, and it feels like your arms fly by them selves upwards. Except for me, after this, it felt like the whole body wanted to fly upwards, and I don't think my body has ever felt that light and at the same time stable before. It really was a fascinating and fun way to find new ways to move end feel the body. We also did 'the shake' where we shaked or trembled for 20 minutes with eyes closed, only increasing, never decreasing and then stoped. This also created a new sensation in my body. I felt very grounded and attached to the floor, and at the same time my limbs and joints felt loose in a good way and there was a lot of space in my body. All this created a nice flow, and made it feel very good to move afterwards.
I want to send a big thank you to Andrea Hackl for holding the interplay summer intensive, to all the wonderful dancers I got to meet and interact with, and to Studio Laborgras who let me move in such a beautiful space. This experience has expanded my horizon, and is hopefully the first of many more to come.
// Ingrid S. Nyhus