Research project: A Dance Allegory

Victorian photography.

In her work, Elisabeth developed an affinity with craftsmanship: a way of being and of making dance that emphasizes the integrity of the body and the material. For this research project she turns to the historical perspective of Romanticism in order to ask a new dramaturgical question: What if I let go of the desire for cohesion and harmony in the score? What if integrity and purity are no longer paramount?

Elisabeth continuously collects influences that permeate her choreography in an embodied mix of dance, romantic poetry, and music. Against her own pursuit of unity, she comes to a danced score that tries to be unfinished, always hungry for external perspectives and stimulus, playing with the tension between the desire for order and the opposing forces of self-conscious irony, the breakthrough and nauseating impurity.

The day before the official studio presentation, Elisabeth Borgermans surprised me during a three-week residency in our studio in Tilburg with the research material for A Dance Allegory. With heart-conquering self-mockery and as effective as poetic, she demonstrated the urge and despair of a young woman in a solo. Zigzagging between the extremes of nonchalant precision and reckless surrender, she made me curious about every next movement, every next look, every next breath. In a conversation we had earlier, Elisabeth and I talked about the necessity of ‘putting yourself at risk’ and what that could be. It was obvious that she had found that.

Heleen Volman, artistic director DansBrabant

For this project Elisabeth had residences and showings at P.A.R.T.S./Rosas Summerstudios (BE), Vormingscentrum Destelheide (BE), Companhia Instável (PT), Teatro Rivoli (PT), DansBrabant and Brusselse Gemeenschapscentra. She collaborated with Thomas Vantuycom (Rosas) as an outside eye and Heleen Volman (DansBrabant) for dramaturgical support. She also worked with eleven local professional dancers in Porto to help her conduct the research.