Repositioning Questions of archive:
Interview with Miguel Ballarine, Chloe Chignell and Siobhan Mckenna from the Choreographic Research group.
Interview and Transcript by Maria Popova
Sound recording of interview: https://soundcloud.com/maria-popova-18/choreo-week-interview-with-miguel-ballarine-chloe-chignell-and-siobhan-mckenna/s-7YnDk
19/08/2018: Piazza Guadagnin
In the spirit of earlier session today, instead of asking you: What do you want to be co-responsible for? I’m going to ask: What do you already feel co-responsible for as young choreographers? What are the driving passions that drive this “co-responsibility”?
Miguel Ballarine: If I should answer, what do I feel co-responsible for? I firmly feel, and this feeling is something that I do not get to choose, I feel a great amount of resources have been invested in me in order for me to gain important skills and capabilities. For instance, the very fact that I am here in Bassano, having this conversation with you. All of this together, is a very complex thing that put me in a position in which I don’t feel I am allowed to not be co-responsible for what I can achieve, what I can constructed and what I can build. Even though that might not be my personal choice, but I feel compelled to engage in this responsibility.
Yeah, Absolutely! And do you feel this feed into your choreographic work and what you end up making?
Miguel Ballarine: Luckily yes, because the projection of my own choreographic work, starts from the first realisation of what I am and what I am wanting to say.
Thank you, Chloe any thoughts?
Chloe Chignell: Sure. I think first, I have a bit of difficulty with this term, co-responsibility, Because I feel like the “Co” activates a kind of sense of…erm… I mean, in once sense it is sharing responsibility, but it also talks about a kind of division of responsibility and I don’t think responsibility is finite, like in the same terms as propriety is and authorshipis. I think I feel responsible and I take a full responsibility not a co-responsibility and then I share that full responsibility with others. I Think this “Co” for me is very weird, because it puts it in economic terms. For example, co-owning a house, means you are economically entitled to half of the house, whereas with responsibility, I don’t think we need this “Co”, we should anyway share but we should engage with a full responsibility. In terms of my own responsibility, first and foremost I have a responsibility to women and to women’s voices and their writing. This is something that directly feeds into my choreographic work about the representation about women in public settings. I have a relation to rethinking about how women have been written about historically and to also study and figure out who’s narrative that has been and who’s voice is actually producing this story, and this also features heavily in my choreographic work. And then in terms of, more concretely with the discussion this morning, in terms of race politics: I am a Cis-white woman and I also take responsibility for systemic guilt of that, not necessarily a personal guilt that I’m dealing with on an emotional level, but a systemic guilt that I am participating in a system that privileges me and my identity.
That’s amazingly clear. Thank you very much! Now, Siobhan, Do you have anything else to add to this conversation on responsibility, from the point of view of a young choreographer?
Siobhan Mckenna: I feel quite similarly to Chloe in terms of things she had just said, and then anything to add onto that would be, that as a young artist I feel responsible for…I guess, I have an opportunity coming up that is going to give me a bigger voice and I feel responsible to speak as a young person and as a woman and to use that voice. I wish to show that young people can be in these positions, making work alongside people who have a lot more experience but have equal value.
I think that’s incredibly important, as young artists to say that out loud and own it as well. So thank you!