Margrét Sara co- founded the production house Panic productions in Reykjavík Iceland. A production house active from 2004-2009 which produced and initiated collaborative performance works with foreign invited artist. She has produced and toured internationally with work under her own name since 2010 and currently lives and works in Berlin.
Displaying the politics of intimacy is a core theme within her choreographic work while working with and exploring pathologies of the social political body within our own bodies. Margrét Sara has collaborated with a consistent team of performers over the last years and the soundscapes which accompany the works are exclusively created by and with Peter Rehberg (PITA), electronic composer and director of the record label Editions MEGO in Vienna. In 2015 Margrét Sara became for that year the first artist in residence at the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm. Creating her second commissioned work for the Cullberg Ballet in 2017. In 2017 an on going collaboration bridging academic thought and her artistic works and research commenced with phenominology Professor Susan Kozel at Malmö University in Sweden.
She has been a guest teacher, teaching her practice FULL DROP in the following places; MA program in choreography at the Theater Academy of the Uniarts in Helsinki, BA dance program at DOCH in Stockholm, BA choreography program of the Academy National di Danza in Rome, The Icelandic Dance company, BA dance program of the University of Arts in Iceland. Professional dancers training and workshop program at Dansalliansen and Dance Centrum in Stockholm, Dansehallerne Copenhagen, Zodiak dance centre and theater in Helsinki, Kiezkieken- program workshops for refugee women and children in Berlin.
The FULL DROP -practice
For the last 10 years Margrét Sara has focused her professional research on physical doorways into physiological and emotional sub worlds association with myofascial release and beyond. Developing the sensation and state-oriented practice Full Drop. Through the research put into the practice she began the process of mapping out a new category of performative body language, ways of developing it further, and transferring this knowledge to others. The working methods directly inform the theme of the artistic works, and extend beyond the limits of professionalism and performance making. The first artistic work created from this on going research was in 2013. Followed by an on going research into the method. Launched with the aim of creating working conditions which would make it possible for the group to dedicate a longer period of time to work in-depth on a specific artistic topic and develop the ambitious and detailed physiological language and performance practice necessary to convey it.
ARTISTIC VISION AND APPROACH
The history of the personal and artistic interest in developing the kind of artistic work I have done and in creating through that a new body language for stage which simultaneously gives birth to working conditions that offer a new approach to artistic work as well as work in general, dance, performativity and the people involved.
Since 2010 i´ve been conducting a personal research with in the realm of the mio fascia world of physical sensations. During which i´ve come across numerous other physical entrances into emotional and sensational sub worlds within the body. From this research I´ve started mapping out a new type of a performative body language, and ways of developing it and transferring that knowledge to others. Since 2013 I’ve continued this research with the dancers in my performance works and performances have been born from and along side that work ever since. The working methods I use go hand in hand with the theme of my artistic works and carry on beyond the limits of standard working time and general performance product making or viewing.
The artistic interest, origin, outcome and themes
Considering deconnditioning an utterly political and urgent matter. The artistic performance work is essentially born from and empowered by a rebellious spirit towards the contemporary social and political context of our times. In reality it mirrors the lack it has brought it´s citizens on a fundamental human level. Through the need for healing and rebelling against its norms the work traces the consequences of bodies over loaded with information, obliged to ‘self-design’ and to function within the frame of dysfunctional speed and stress which of the achievement-oriented society of our times has normalized. The work portraits, and reproduces sentiments and physical states of this common body to the point where it(they) transcends itself. Bodies whom are showing symptoms of depression, exhaustion, alienation and isolation. The politics of intimacy on display are a core theme in my artistic works. It attempts to bring out the ‘cracks’ in the ‘ruined’ body and to reveal the invisible and hidden places of this body. Offering both a cruel mirror image as well at times as a positive reinterpretation. Where it might be a spent and numb body but it´s state is celebrated as a denial of the imperative to achieve and contrasts the logic of hyperactivity with another kind of energy and strength. A body that opposes influences and exerts a subversive power on its environment. From the starting point of letting the body fall and surrender completely the body continues it´s emptying and disintegrating to the extreme during the performances. Due to the choreographic durations the body is pushed to the limits of its suppleness and decay and the de bordering of the body is continued inwardly by the audience through a steady, slow and hypnotic transformation taking place in front of their eyes. The works celebrate and highlight the characteristics of the antihero. Exposing vulnerability, lack, passivity, and in capacity and unwillingness to impress and produce. Through slowing down time it offers the audience to tune into to the intensity of details and slight shifts within the body of the other. Through noticing its micro movements. Intensifying the current moment of perception and power of that type of state of being of everyone involved. Attempting to shift the perception of the audience on to an energetic level where their bodies meet the others.
The performances present the viewer with a new unseen physical language. One that offers a surrendering marked by a special form of heaviness as well as extreme sensitivity, one that seems infinitely non-aggressive yet is revealing and provocative at the same time. Transferring itself, as a kind of ‘physical-energetic contagion’ onto the bodies of the audience. It strives to create unification between the performers and the audiences where through watching and being in the presence of the performers during the shows, the states and physical reality lived is a fully shared experience.
Description of the working method and working conditions
Having a strong need to renegotiate the standard working relationship between the maker and the performers and how to “work” and what is called being “professional” within the dance field. While dancer are specifically working with their body which is ultimately the most personal of all, the separation which is required in order to be “professional” is not real to me. What is normally considered “personal” or private and not invited into the working space is here fully embraced due to the working method being partly a healing practice. It automatically requires awareness and interest from the participants in personal transformation on a fundamental level. Personal transformations as a result of a changed mentality and approach towards “work”, “dance”,”performativity” and oneself during the working process and performance experiences. The dark nature and theme of my work experienced by the audience is in full contrast to the healing aspect of the working process and physical pleasure that comes with diving into those physical states and inner listening I train together with the performers.
The proposition I offer the participants in my work is a study and practice in bringing the physiological and psychological states of the body together. It starts with a certain type of mio fascia oriented meditation in order to connect with, sense and diagnose the movements within the fascia system of the body. This meditation is built on visualizations and skeletal work, where the main emphasis and outcome is the letting go of any “holding” inside the body(contracted fascia tissue within the body etc.), the source of which could be of physiological, emotion or psychological nature. This is done in order to give up controlling mannerisms and other previously learned approaches and mechanisms towards the self and the body. The focus is on cultivating, tuning into and using this particular inner flow, as an alternative way of working with and approaching the self/the body and the complex nature of the relationship we have with it. Observation, physical manipulation and control versus experiencing without analytical awareness and giving into utter surrendering of control and any kind of judgment. Eventually letting go of the outside eye of the professional dancer/body. The professional body is a body that has been watched enough in the mirror to be able to know what it looks like from the outside during every second that passes while moving. This type of awareness I call the “out side eye” of the professional dancer. An eye that sustains, identifies, judges and differentiates from formerly known (and trained) habits and patterns of movement deeply stored within the body memory. An eye that is forever observing and separating the dancer from the wholeness of the inner experience of it. Taking in account the rigorous training and performing experience the dancers have had through out their whole life my working methods aim to clean out formerly known patters and ways of moving the body as well as stepping away from approaching their body as a tool to be manipulated. In order to neutralize/re align the emotional and professional body I offer the performers I work with to deal with fundamental emotional, psychological and physiological cramps/tightness they carry in their bodies. We together work on unblocking these parts of the body which is healing and physically transformative, as well as it being an introduction to intensified and new sensorial physical experiences. Later the knowledge on how to access and manipulate those states and sensations at wish is trained and ultimately used on command within a choreographic context.
Following and moving with a certain type of physical inner listening, within rigidly choreographed pathways inside the body as well as outside the body and in the space. Eventually the task of the performers is to “perform”/live a truly lived physical state while at the same time having full awareness of the real performance situation in itself, in order for them to keep timing, spacing and consciously to brake the 4rth wall at wish and be able to manipulate and add to the truly lived physical states, certain gestures or choreographed representational or symbolic elements that would not come naturally through these precise and natural physical states. Thus both focusing on extreme details as well as handing themselves over to the task at hand which involves allowing people to watch them give into and being fully surrendered to the non performative nature of those states and non manipulated movements. What is worth noting is that even though these states are reached through a technique of tuned inner listening mixed with other tasks and are trained rigorously, it´s a fragile zone to connect to when it needs to be reached under pressure and within certain means, and thus it remains a true challenge to pull the “material” off within a theatrical setting both for the dancers as well as the choreographer. And this is of course why I ´m interested in researching this way of working further and combining these conflicting elements in order to create a new type of performance material. My latest performance work Pervasive magnetic Stimuli (2018) worked with entering the subconscious and the archetypes of the common unconscious through the Full Drop practice.
Margrét Sara Guðjónsdóttir