Posts Tagged ‘experience’

Studio Time – Some thoughts, photos and a poem


My name is Michal. I am a choreographer and a performer and this is the first time I am writing here. Recently I’ve been working mainly on solo performances, and that means that I spend most of my time all alone in the studio. I believe this is the motivation behind my attempt here to invite you to my studio. To visit the studio is to share in a constellation of thinking, moving, questioning, sometimes hating(mostly myself), dreaming and so much more.

Our time in the studio, so essential to our creative process, is often passed over in silence, and it’s no accident. The studio mediates between our daily routine, sometimes banal, sometimes intimate, and the stage. Between our lives on stage and off it. It’s messy, somewhere in between the private, raw experience that seeks its expression, and the processed, sometimes polished, end result.  This is a first attempt to put some of my experience in the studio into words (and pictures):

I’m not sure whether it was always this way or if it’s a recent thing that presents itself as having always-already been there, but in any case it seems I always find my self walking around with this feeling that if I  just make one tiny mistake, one careless movement, the tower of cards I have built will collapse in a heartbeat.

I believe I am not alone with this experience… and the word that comes to mind lately is –


This word in itself seems to me so lonely and fragile but it also has a very strong presence.

Frightening and frustrating as this fragility may be outside the studio, it is precisely what I seek in my studio work and performance.

That fragility of the moment, the image, the body. What keeps me on my toes.

The frequently changing meaning. The movement of meaning.

Enormous tension in every action. Alertness, urgency in every step.

Having something at stake, something to lose. Between risk and opportunity – to succeed or to fail,

to win or to lose.

The studio offers me a secure and intimate environment, that allows me to give myself over to fragility, the condition for the emergence of a rare moment of truth.








*Photos from Chez Bushwick studio, were taken by Michal Samama

Hezi Leskly (1952-1994) was a poet, a critic and also a choreographer.
Here is one of his poems which I am always inspired by (with a translation by Yuval Kremnitzer, who was also very helpful with writing this post)

The Triumph by Hezi Leskly

The struggle between listlessness and labor,
ended with victory on listlessness side.
I wanted to announce the news,
but annunciation is laborious.
I wanted to embrace my friends,
but embracing is too complicated of a pa de deux.

I wanted to drink a glass of water,
But the water was a thousand light years away from the glass.
There will not be another round.
Listlessness has won.

Michal Samama, Movement Research 2011 Artist-in-Residence

PARTS Exchange: chapt 1: european keybords

European keyboards are hard to write on. my fingers are having a hard time erasing their muscle memory and creating new synapses in the brain to allow for quick and easy flow from brain to page. which makes me think of the numerous ideas, patterns, judgements, pre-conceived notions and perhaps fabricated sensations that i have lugged with me across the ocean from the new york dance scene to Brussels/PARTS. Speaking of which, if you see any Qs instead of As thats why. and i cant find the apostrophe button, clearly.

there is something both delightfully charming and harmlessly irritating  about being surrounded by these young dance students again.  I cannot find fault in their sureness in themselves or there slightly pretentious attitudes, because i recognize the universality of the student experience.  I was one of them too, and enjoyed that spoiled existence of structure, opportunities being given rather than struggled to get, classes instead of work…and though it feels slightly indulgent, I have, like the proverbial worn-in sweater slipped back into this world of continuing class and released the learner within me.  I have to say though, that there is a huge difference, and it is this: I am now so aware of the struggle and challenge that life after school is, that there is no possibility of taking this time for granted.  in this month i have the chance to recreate myself into whatever kind of student i wish to be, because no one knows me here-my faults or my strengths .  I cross my synapses and wish to live- This i do solemnly promise: I will do my best  to withhold judgement, soak up what is given, participate to the fullest, be brave but humorous and respond with a critical, yet compassionate mind.

more to come

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