Meet the "Pictures of Things" dancers: Charlotte Heilmann

"It’s hard for anything to compete with the happiness that I felt on that day"

Leading up to the premiere of Pictures of Things the thirteen dancers from all over the world will be introduced to you in a series of blogs through an interview and a self-edited portrait. Today we introduce Charlotte to you!

A colorful collection of thirteen dance enthusiasts from various corners of the world gets together at the Monday Movement Class in Korzo. Working with the various choreographers during the weekly open classes leaves a subtle but lasting trace on their lives. On the participant's own initiative, this inspiration will now be given form by delving into a creative process with one single choreographer. The group chose Amos Ben-Tal, who together with his collective OFFprojects will create the interdisciplinary performance Pictures Of Things with and for them. An ode to all the little decisions and encounters that shape our lives and identities. 

My favourite smell
The smell of newly cut corn in the village where I grew up... I was playing in the field with my friends after school. The smell was most intense in September and it made me feel so close to the nature. And when I encounter this smell in other places, it makes me very homesick; it connects me to my hometown and my childhood.

A hilarious moment
I was travelling from Kiev to Odessa and we were in a train that had a sleeping wagon for 4 people and my husband and I shared it with two other strangers. We took the top bed and when we woke up in the morning we realised that a 5th person had joined the room. That cabin was basically overbooked and the conductor brought in this extra person (an elderly lady) and forced the two other guys who were sleeping in the lower beds to share so the 5th passenger could fit. I mean... I am so lucky that I didn’t choose the lower bed, otherwise I could’ve woken up with a stranger by my side!

The last time I felt very happy
At my wedding day, it’s already a year since then. First, it’s because I married the man I love and second, because all my friends and family were there.  The ceremony took place at the church in my home village, in the middle of Germany. It’s a very nice church, I have a strong connection to it, and since my family lives there, it was easier for them to join the wedding there, rather than travelling somewhere far. The area around the church is beautiful, filled with castles and forests.  After the church ceremony we had a big celebration in the gardens of a castle. We danced a lot and listened to nice Italian music. Of course I have been happy since then, but it’s hard for anything to compete with the happiness that I felt on that day.

What stimulates my creativity
Travelling and seeing new places... and also music; I find it difficult because I don’t consider myself so creative. Lately I read a book by the concert pianist James Rhodes in which he writes that people should not stop themselves by saying: “oh, I always wanted to write a book or paint, but I’m not an artist, so I shouldn’t do it”. What the writer says is that we should actually just do it and not leave art-making to the so-called artists. So you can always start drawing and doing something creative with your thoughts and ideas, and it doesn’t matter what other people think if it’s good or not!

I use my creativity to increase the quality of my life. For example, we went to Copenhagen for a little trip, and I got very inspired and impressed of how beautiful everything is there; from architecture to interior design, everything is so carefully and thoughtfully conceived. It really made me realise that the quality is much more important than the quantity. And I thought that I should approach my life as a designer or architect approaches a street or a house in Copenhagen, with an outmost care for details. And this approach would make me much happier...

One thing I learned from Amos
Not to think of patterns of techniques! And I’ve also learned that moving doesn’t start in the head, but in your body, you have to feel sensations in your body but not anticipate with your mind, at least in improvisation.

When Amos was directing us to move in a certain way, I was associating his advice with a technique that I was familiar with from ballet or modern dance, but after a while I realised that what he wanted from us was something completely different and unique. At the beginning I found it quite difficult and a bit frustrating: I thought I knew what he meant, but then I realised I was completely wrong and that I had to learn this new technique from scratch. But this was a very good challenge to get rid of any patterns that my body might have learned and that process of de-learning was, in the end, very beneficial and rewarding to me.

Pictures of Things plays in Korzo on Tuesday 31th of May and Wednesday the 1st of June. More info & tickets.  

Posted on 31 May 2016 | 0 comments

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