Ivana Müller - FORCES OF NATURE (FORCES DE LA NATURE)
concept, text and choreography
in collaboration with the performers
scenography in collaboration with
Suzanne Veiga Gomes
Cornelia Friederike Müller
Gerco de Vroeg,
Suzanne Veiga Gomes)
Schauspiel Leipzig, Residenz, Leipzig (DE)
ménagerie de verre, Paris (FR)
BUDA Kunstencentrum, Kortrijk (BE)
CCN2 - Centre national chorégraphique de Grenoble (FR)
Kaaitheater, Brussels (BE)
Tanzfabrik, Berlin (DE)
Direction régionale des affaires culturelles d'Île-de-France - Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (FR) /
APAP - performing europe 2020 (EU) /
ACT - Art Climate Transition network (EU)
approx. 75 minutes
exists in English and
as from November 2020
links & downloads
> performance sheet (EN)
> dossier de diffusion (FR)
> full video (password)
> HR photos (password)
> technical rider (password)
Forces of Nature questions the idea of group movements in their physical, social and environmental contexts. How and why are they created, what is their potential and what are their effects on the immediate and distant surroundings?
Based on these reflections, Forces of Nature follows a movement of an articulate and complex organism composed of five bodies (persons) with different energies and ideas. Their desires might not be the same, but they have a common goal: the construction of a physical and imaginary space that they share. Their negotiations become their movements; their questions become their score. The piece thus becomes a journey through a landscape in permanent transformation, composed of gestures, words and relationships that question the meaning and potential of what we have “in common”, the notion of interdependence, the sustainability of resources, the importance of care, the idea of the effort, the relevance of the individual and collective choices, and the necessity to act.
In Forces of Nature, one of the first questions we’ll be asking, is: "Which forces are working on us now and where do they make us go?".
In the current global society we all produce a lot of movement. We travel for work or leisure, we commute for our jobs, we change place of living much more often than any generation before, we eat food that grows far away from us, we buy and consume products that have moved a lot before they came to us. All of this produces heat and potentially entropy.
The basic idea of the project is to re-question the idea of ‘movement’, and of group movements in particular, in their physical, social and environmental contexts. How and why are they created, what is their potential and what are their effects on the immediate and distant surroundings?
Taking this reflection as a base, Forces of Nature follows the movement of an articulated and complex organism composed of five bodies (people) with different energies and ideas. Their desires and perspectives may not be the same, but they have a common goal: the construction of a new habitat, a space they occupy and share. Their negotiations become their movements; their questions become their partition. The piece becomes a journey through a landscape composed of gestures, words and relationships that question the meaning and potential of effort, the relevance of individual and collective choices, and the paradoxes of nature that weave the idea of humanity.
The question we asked at the beginning curiously echoed in this new situation of pandemics. So we decided to start working, regardless of the total change of scheme, and to adapt our working methods to the resources and situation we had. This process made us go into some fundamental reflections on the idea of interdependence, intimacy, waiting, longing, rooting, sharing and taking care…the idea of habitat and new social choreographies that have been put into working during the time we were in lockdown… the idea of body and its mediated, social, celestial and « coronal » extensions… the idea of collective and « assemblies ».
FORCES OF NATURE
During the process of creation we will take inspiration from the principles of mechanical forces that are traditionally (in the mechanical world as we knew it since 16th century) known as those that create a movement: inertia, momentum, gravity, resistance, and force of action and reaction. We will use them in both physical and metaphorical sense and see if they still make sense in the way in which our world functions.
To understand movement, it is necessary to get out of the system that creates it. In order to understand that the earth was moving, we had to find reference points outside of the earth, whether it was the moon, the sun or the sky. In order to notice that the train in which we are sitting is riding, we need to see the landscape ‘sliding’ through the window.
The movement is always created by its connection to something or someone. In other words, it never exists alone: it is always put in a context, in a perspective. Even linguistically speaking, we move ‘towards’, ‘away from’, ‘around’, ‘on the spot’. We move ‘slowly’, ‘fast’, or in ‘normal speed’. We rarely ‘just’ move. And even if we do, it comes with a connotation: ‘just’. In a certain way a movement is the consequence of its preceding process, a visible evidence of the forces creating it.
The five mechanical forces I mentioned previously act on each and every single body on earth, live or inanimate: objects, water, minerals, plants, animals - our human bodies included. We need to assimilate them to be able to walk or run, we must master them in order to dance, we need to integrate them in order to be part of our environment. But if we apply the principles of these physical forces to larger social, political, emotional or poetic bodies, and we observe their movements, we can discover the world around us from a new perspective. Let’s say that each body remains in a state of rest or in regular movement until an external or internal force causes the change. The more the body mass is high, the greater the inertia. A big object made out of lead, for example, is solid, but it is very difficult to move, because it has important rest inertia. Following this logic, we could say that a big country, with ‘a big heavy body’ is more inert than a small country with a light and dynamic body.
We can also consider ideas as bodies. For example, certain ideas connected to the concept of “nation”, or the idea of “common” or the ideas of “resource” represent a body with a huge historical and economical weight. In order to move that body, to change it, a very strong force of momentum will have to be created, or the inertia will keep it steady.
Starting from this kind of reflections, Forces of Nature follows the movements of an articulate and complex formation/organism composed of five bodies (persons) with different energies and ideas. Their desires and goals might not be the same, but they have a common goal: the construction of a habitat, a space they need to share. Their negotiations become their movements; their questions become their score.
In the middle of the stage there is a mysterious shape, a “mountain” erected under the dance floor, a slope to climb, an obstacle to overcome. Slipped "under the carpet", deep down, inside of the mountain there are debris, non-recyclable objects, physical and material, impossible to make disappear, to destroy; gathered there by who knows who, as an evidence of a mess produced by who knows when. These objects slowly become materials for the construction of a new habitat.
The piece thus becomes a journey through a landscape in permanent transformation, composed of gestures, words and relationships that question the meaning and potential of a movement, the notion of interdependence, the idea of the effort, the relevance of the individual and collective choices, and the necessity to act.
Ivana Müller, November 2019