Cristina Kristal Rizzo
It is a system that organizes time more than space, it is a rhythm that organizes vision, the scanning of transforming body states. I do not consider my work as a ‘choreographic’, I do not organize time and space to produce an image that belongs to me and defines me as an artist, I am interested in alterations, changing temperatures, trips and oscillations, poetry and not Language.
Cristina Kristal Rizzo
We will start HERE and together a journey through references, made possible by friendship. This will be the first article of a HABITAT series focused on the encounter of practice and theory in dancemaking – on how context can develop a new life form.
A HABITAT series consists of the visualization of a concept through its spatialization, on the white light of your screen – this screen – a space where intimacy looks like a chromatic area of possible intra-connections.
[me << — >> you]
In June 2013, in one of my dance journeys, I met CRISTINA RIZZO in her Biennale College workshop, held for the 7th International Festival of Contemporary Dance (directed by Virgilio Sieni) in Venice, Italy.
At that time, Cristina was working on BOLEROEFFECT, a choreographic object based on the structure of Maurice Ravel’s Bolero: a single melody divided into two phrases, repeated nine times. Among a group of twenty other dancers, I found my body (the first phrase) dancing shoulder-to-shoulder with another body (the second phrase) on the steady repetition of the music (the melody). Using peripheral rather than directional vision, trying to follow and to be followed, to imitate and to be imitated, we found ourselves repetitively failing. The whole hierarchy of the educated dancer’s body was erased in the immersive experience of a “post-global dance hall”. There was no place for interpretation or intention, but only for intensity.
My concern with the dialectic of form and content collapsed into an actualized and displaced utterance, created by the entangling of movers, spectators, space and the music played by PALM WINE‘s selections.
But what is BOLEROEFFECT? According to CKR, It’s like a desert island, a place where you can start again, beyond the contents, a soundtrack where you can experience bodily turbulence and body eroticism that break self-control in order to move into other dimensions. For me, it is a place of many different existential sounds.
From 2014 until today, Cristina has continued to let these enigmatic utterances grow into a series of projects titled PRÉLUDE (2015), IKEA (2016), VN SERENADE (2017), and the latest ULTRAS Sleeping dances (2018). In addition to Annamaria Ajmone (her partner in BOLEROEFFECT and IKEA), she also researches with other groups of special dancers. At the beginning of every meeting, she lets the group create a “CRYSTALLINE HABITAT”. Recently “KRISTAL” has also became her middle name, turning her initials into CKR.
A crystal is the result of a transformation from liquid or gas to solid material, whose constituents are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure that extends in all directions. If we might look at Cristina’s work through her autobiographic object, this crystalline lens would figure out the outlines of an image released by the structure of the language she is developing. The alchemy of CKR’s dances causes her language of research to turn into – and to react with – its own formalization in the realm of representation. As viewers and makers, writers and readers, we might experience the appearance of an EFFIGY, the actualization of the dialectic between form and content, practice and theory, in the very moment of its research on stage, or on this screen.
Her latest work, ULTRAS Sleeping dances, debuted on the 26th September 2018, at Contemporanea Festival (directed by Edoardo Donatini) in Prato, where it was performed by Marta Bellu, Jari Boldrini, Barbara Novati, Cristina Kristal Rizzo, Charlie Laban Trier. Lately, CKR wrote about that event in this article for ARTEXT.
CKR’s decision to transcribe all the elements of the piece allows us to read through the logistic of the sequence. The same clarity is suggested by the use of static and all-switched-on lighting at the SpazioK performance venue. The text describes the sequence of the dancers’ actions minute-by-minute. She mentions the music and the props, and also adds some notes about the features of each dance: The Weight Dance, The Arms Dance, The Crying Dance, The Head Dance.
All sleeping dances keep the names of their training practices; they appear on stage in the same way they have been rehearsed, and due to the time they need to be carried out, they have a duration that is not exactly spectacular. Keeping up with the same delayed time, some props, such as wigs, a portable speaker, fake blood, a tear stick, a body cream and coloured slimes, are used during the 53 minutes of the piece. Presented as fictional objects, they appear as real in the time-space of the event, overturning the agency of representation. As the name of each sleeping dance depicts exactly what they are in terms of movements, the danced themes constitute both the choreographic score and the dramaturgical process, without engaging in an overlapping plan of narration. The structure of their language, actualized into the context of the event, re-shapes the encounter between the private and public dimensions of the vision shared by dancers and spectators.
As the word sleeping suggests, the energy of these dances is similar to the one of meditation. They can no longer be mere disciplines for the stage, but rather techniques that imply a different use of the body. This kind of techniques constitutes a whole of “pure immanence, in which it is the intensity of desire that makes forms appear“, where there is no hierarchy between language and its expression, rather the search for their availability.
On the dance floor, aesthetic finally appears into its immanent actualization, where the ability of the KRISTAL alchemy to expand in all directions is entangled with the very context into a CRYSTALLINE EXPANSION. What we think a stage could be collapsed: first into the shape of an expanded context, then in the re-configuration of the all the elements involved in this expansion. This emancipation engages not only the singularity of every mover or the spectators’ eyes, but also the context itself in which this language is shaped.
Like BOLEROEFFECT, what ULTRAS Sleeping dances brings on stage is a surplus of energy. It is a new growing life form made of the intra-actions between time, space, movements and gaze, brought to us in the shape of an ADVENTURE, a series of dances in which theory and practice get rid of their hierarchy and fall into the uncoded but not improvised intensity of their expression.