by Zoe Boden

April 11th 2003. Every January Resolution! hits The Place with a fresh wave of choreographers and sends London into a frenzy. To get just a taste of it I asked four bright young things to give me an insight into their pre and post Resolution! lives

Sayaka Tamagawa is from Tokyo. She spent ten years there working in theatre, before moving to London to train for a degree at Laban. Her company Synapse performed at Resolution! on 3rd February. She is currently studying for a MA.

What do you hope to communicate through your choreography?
My piece is about male / female relationships, but what I’m trying to do with this piece is look at the subject from different aspects. I intentionally put lots of different characters in it [like] animals, or putting on costumes to look female or male, or sometimes robotic, really cold with no human aspects, trying to look at it from [various] different points. I hope to leave the audience open to interpret the one subject.

Who or what are your influences?
At the moment I’m trying to be really open to any kind of style or taste. If I see a performance, if I like somebody’s work and because I have the theatrical aspect to my work, I am still very influenced by theatre, especially when it comes to the way of performing. I’m quite influenced by surrealism, and I was trying to find a way to approach it in a dance form. I am interested by dreams and flashbacks it is a lot to do with human psychology and trying to find a connection with surrealism, and how human beings react to things. I’m trying to approach the mechanism of how people understand stuff through the function of the brain. What I want to do in the future is a wide subject!

Can you describe the Resolution! experience?
I didn’t make this piece just for Resolution! I had made it for the Edinburgh Festival last summer.
I thought this was a good opportunity for me to show my stuff in public in London and this is a great opportunity to show it to other people and get feed back and different reactions. I think it’s a good start.

Can you describe your choreography in five words?
Sensual, theatrical, characteristic it has a lot of characters in it, time-traveling, dreamlike, or surrealistic well surrealism is just an influence, that isn’t what I’m trying to do. (that's 30 words! Ed)

Monica Argenton left Italy to train at London Contemporary Dance School. Since graduating she has become one of the two choreographers who make up Solas Dance Company.

What do you hope to communicate through your choreography?
The piece started from a conversation we had about desire. Desire’s bigger meaning, not just desire for another person. We started talking about what desire means from a personal point, then we got into reading; it’s a theme that has been addressed so often in philosophy. The piece tries to analyse our view on desire, not necessarily giving answers though. Just throwing things at the audience so they can somehow, maybe relate to it, or maybe not.

Can you explain how you came to be at Resolution! this year, and where you hope it will take you?
Lots of us did a lot of choreography at college, collaborations with designers but this is the first thing after college, which is really hard because you don’t have the facilities that college gives you. You have to learn lots of new things. It’s not enough just to be creative now, you have to do everything, you have to learn about marketing and all those things which were out there but they were not part of our lives really. It is the biggest platform in London for new choreographers. You have the opportunity to perform in a theatre and having the opportunity to invite the people you want to see it. It is the first thing I have done, and I’m not sure what will come of it.

Who or what are your influences?
It’s more than one [thing] I guess. Well [there are] two choreographers I do have who just influence me; Pina Bausch [and] DV8. But it is our way, they influence because they deal with the same things we deal with, in a different way, but with human emotion, with life really.

Can you describe the Resolution! experience?
It’s been good, it’s been hard. It’s been hard because we’re First Footing, [the part of Resolution! for brand new choreographers] so we’re kind of beginners. The actual process is difficult because we don’t have anyone else now, but the actual Resolution! The Place people have been so helpful to all concerned, anything to do with it. All the team have been very supportive because you can pop round and ask questions. It’s been a very positive experience.

Can you describe your choreography in five words?
This is really hard! It deals with human emotions, stimulating emotions and thought, it’s not specific, it goes beyond pure contemporary dance I think. It’s more visually stimulating [just] like performance art! (I'm saying nothing! Ed)

Jean Abreau began dancing in his native Brazil with Latin and Ballroom. Wanting to study more deeply he came to London and was given a Laban scholarship. There he met Protein Dance founders Luca Silvestrini and Bettina Strickler, who he has danced with ever since. Jean is now looking to develop his movement language and experience as a choreographer.

What do you hope to communicate through your choreography?
This piece is about the two sides of my dance experience; where I’ve come from, my Latin roots, you can’t deny it’s in everything I do. So this is a study of the hybridity (sic) of those two different influences which have been my life since I came to London. But with a different vision, I think people will be surprised as I don’t think they’ll see as much of the traditional Latin. It’s an investigation of how movement is done, the essence of it [of] how it can be mixed, the hybridity of it. It’s about the diversity of culture English culture and how it has influenced me and the work that I do. It’s a duet it’s all about human interaction.

Who or what are your influences?
I have many different influences! If I was to say a particular influence, in the nature of communication, Protein has obviously has left a mark as I have been working with them for so long. I chose to work with them as there is something there which definitely interests me because it is far reaching. Also, somebody who has been such a success and who I’ve had the opportunity to meet a few times is Akram Khan. Especially because the nature of the work we are trying, although we are not the same cultural background the nature of the hybridity. Trying to explore contemporary dance on that third level. He is somebody who I admire. I like Russell Maliphant, Michael Clarke.

Can you explain how you came to be at Resolution! this year, and where you hope it will take you?
It was one of those things when I left the Laban Centre I concentrated on performing but I always knew I wanted to be making dance. Now I see myself more and more as an artist and changing to be a choreographer. It is a gradual progression. I think the urge this year was just stronger and
I picked up the phone and spoke to John Ashford (The Place director) and he encouraged me to do it. I had performed this piece before with Bush [Hartshorn of Yorkshire Dance] who was very supportive. I’ve spent a year and a half developing this piece and I’ve grown a lot as a choreographer over that time. My vision has changed [and] I’m experimenting with myself, and how people see me.

And where will it take you?
Hopefully very far, Resolution! somehow is the beginning. I was told don’t rush and that was very good advice in a way. This piece is a result of my findings [and] hopefully I will be performing this piece in other venues.

Can you describe the Resolution! experience?
It’s been better than expected! It’s been less frightening than I expected and actually people have been very helpful, patient. I was familiar with the whole set up – but it’s always a worry because now it’s my work. But people have been giving good advice. And I haven’t panicked! It’s been very good, and definitely a learning experience!

Can you describe your choreography in five words?
Accessible, hypnotic, deep, very powerful, calm, sparkling and everywhere. (close but no cigar, Ed)

Camille Litalien is originally from France, but studied at the Graham School in New York. She arrived in London in 1998 and set up her company ‘Aint and Inner’ two years ago. Camille teaches at the Community College and presents The Cactus Land at The Place on 12th February.

What do you hope to communicate through your choreography?
It’s dance theatre and for this specific piece I’ve been working with older actors; over sixty. Working with people who don’t necessarily have dance experience. It is very visual in a sense as there is always a sort of iconic dimensions to it, because I work with an artist who does abstract iconography. We do the research together most of the time. There is a narrative in this, it is quite narrative, quite dramatic, trying to involve as many cinematic elements as possible; projection, live music.

Who or what are your influences?
David Lynch. There are people I greatly admire [William] Forsythe, Maggie Moran, Pina Bausch of course! DV8.

Can you explain how you came to be at Resolution! this year, and where you hope it will take you?
The involvement with the actors was new for this specific project. It was to try to work with actors who could have some input into the development of the narrative and the devising of the piece. Artistically I hope I can just work more with actors in this way, but it means I am going to have to get some money from somewhere! It is the beginning of more collaborative work with actors. Otherwise it’s just hoping as many people as possible can see it. This will be the first time it will be seen by a real dance audience, and I’ve no idea how it’ll fit into The Place.

Can you describe the Resolution! experience?
Very good so far! The process is as easy as it can be, I think, in relation to what it is. The technician has been so helpful within the restrictions he has. They are very helpful, very friendly.

Can you describe your choreography in five words?
What I hope it could be is; emotional, visual, theatrical, personal and generous. (finally, Ed!)

Can you explain that?
I hope I’m not putting up barriers of any sort – I probably do, it’s probably full of them! It’s a performance, so hopefully I can share something.