»CRAZE: Questionnaire for new Choreography« showcases emerging choreographers and investigates the artistic practices of contemporary dance. In its eighth episode, tiran talks about the fantasy he wants to create and the urge to totally go off.
I remember it’s something that started out fairly innocently but just got out of hand. There is a spirit inside it. There is conflict and a desire to keep things together when I dance. A driving force that recognises two tendencies and sees them as ways to make things happen. Dance requires no language, only action. For a simple action, one only needs their body. I come from a black working-class South African family with very limited resources. My body was always what I could count on. I remember when I was young I always wanted to play an instrument, but my family had no money to buy or get me one. I just started dancing, because it’s the only thing I didn’t need anything else but myself for.
Dancing to be more, more of who I am, more fem, more black, more imagination. And that’s what I still continue doing.
What is your personal (and maybe daily) practice?
I use contradiction to critique and simultaneously celebrate. I am not working towards being good, I am working towards escaping.
I love constructing things. I see myself as a formalist and conceptualist. It’s pure pleasure putting things together and let them dissolve into something palpable. Then the work starts fucking it all up; and by fucking it all up I refer to something I call a queer feeling inside a perfect picture.
I love reading, writing and thinking. I sit with ideas for years until I morph into one, become it and just spit it out. I don’t really have a choice then. Everything is like an experiment. All measurable values that come back and make you feel in a specific way. Whatever I question today, I am not the first, or only one who has experienced these thoughts and feelings. I am interested in history and the future at the same time. Forever time traveling.
What is an audience for you?
I am as much a spectator of my work as they are. The work is about them as much as it is about me. We feed off one another.
Once I am in front of people, I become completely vulnerable. For me, my performance is often about how to get over that. I’m thinking about: How did the work interact with the audience? What were the questions that came up during the creation and the choices made based on the feedback? The audience keeps my work alive: I create situations where I expect them to participate even while they are just sitting in their seats. What I give to them, they take and translate it into their own words and thoughts. This relation to them, it’s always constructed by me. It’s my task to keep my work alive.
Once you put me on stage, I’ll fucking go for it: my offering to myself, my craft and the audience…
How do you generate material?
I genuinely feel so much… my instinct and emotion just react to what is at play.
Reimagining my childhood, turning it into something that is more fractured, more about fantasy and imagination. Bringing a visceral energy through dance and music, I always pose questions to myself.
And how do you then translate them with your body?
To be honest, I don’t know. It all goes beyond languages. Even I am unfamiliar with what I become.
I repeat dreams and images obsessively until they escape the form of how I remember them. I work on a spectrum between different conceptual frames to see where my body feels most comfortable to uncomfortable. I am a magician. I don’t want real, I want fantasy and magic.
Can you remember the first piece of art that really mattered to you?
There are several physical, nonverbal entities that seem to be important to me.
The first funeral I ever attended at home in South Africa, seeing my mother and grandmother get ready for work everyday, watching Paris is Burning. Such feelings inside me. Off balance from reality. A type of “ooh ah aaah” sensation.
Your personal utopia would look like…?
“I’d have to say April 25th, because it’s not too hot and not too cold. All you need is a light jacket.”
You said: “I don’t want real, I only want fantasy and magic. That’s why I love the theater.” So, you only see yourself in theater?
I see myself as a guest in theatre, museums and music. I am not doing one of these things, I’m doing it all: Sliding in and out of all these different forms in order to survive and keep myself curious and interested. The theatre is a beautiful place, very community-oriented and brings people together. It’s not about one individual but many different people.