Do you remember me? A few years back, I wrote a short review of your solo BLANKS during Springforward Festival in Sofia. Perhaps it meant more to me than to you, because it was only the third critic I had ever written. And it was definitely the first enthusiastic one: I can still recall how in the vast sea of performances I saw that weekend, yours stood out as refreshingly unpretentious, intelligently crafted and unapologetically tender. My first sentence was "Ingrid Berger Myhre is a magician".
How have you been since that trip to Bulgaria? I sometimes wondered what you were up to, catching glimpses of you on the internet and following from afar. Seeing your work with Lasse Passage last night for the opening of imagetanz made me feel nostalgic and weirdly proud, and mostly happy that you keep making works in which apparent simplicity is backed up by carefully composed scores. I felt relieved that dry humor is still part of your choreographic methods, and delighted that you found a partner in crime.
It was really touching to see you and Lasse's intimate interactions, to witness how you seemed to have reached the kind of comfort that only comes with time, and with copious amounts of obscure inside jokes. I felt that you probably have no problem being completely ridiculous in front of each other. And therefore you seemed comfortable being transparent in front of me too. When you used cheat-sheets, lost your composure, or disclosed the inspiration behind each part, it seemed that you let me in on the joke, and I was grateful not to feel like a third wheel.
I thought about my closest friends and collaborators, and what a joy it is to find people who trust you, who see what you see, who agree with your fundamental heartbreak over breakfast never being an everlasting meal, people who might say "ok I can't believe I'm doing this but if you believe it's great I trust you". I imagine that the first time you saw Lasse complete the "take me home" dance, your heart must have melted a little.
I also imagine that you spent a lot of time practicing the fish&chips song and the flying-off-a-chair trick, and it was a pleasure to observe you both commit so wholeheartedly to doing seemingly pointless things. There is something both sweet and radical about spending an unreasonable amount of time and effort towards achieving absurd things. But like Lasse said, maybe it's much more important to nail silly jokes than to be a reasonable person.
I didn't come and say hi after the show because I felt shy and a bit overwhelmed by the festival opening atmosphere. And maybe because I knew I would be writing you soon, and I think I've come to cherish our epistolary relationship.
I look forward to our next written encounter.
Claire Lefèvre is a French choreographer, performer and writer working in Vienna. She is also the initiator of Letters for Later. www.clairelefevre.com
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