Choreographer Ian Kaler creates for the first time a big stage production for Cullbergbaletten. ON THE CUSP will be a mix of live-practicing and synchronized movements, a spectrum of emotions and projections. It will be a combined live and video work, on a series of different topics. The work presents a collection of portraits, of the individuals, as well as of the group. Every dancer has their own story, and the company connects them. Who are the people in the group, and how do they construct this group? Are they characters or do they want to play a certain role? Shifting from different kind of characters, who are they in private and how does that shape the stage character? The music of electronically synthesized brass sound composed by Planningtorock will create bold, dramatic, playful and deeply moving dance pieces.

The new work is a collection of portraits, one of each dancer, and one of the group. What will you create with the company?
“I want to play with a mix of live-practicing and synchronized movements. It will be a combined live and video work, a series of different topics, in different ways. I am very interested in narrative, how little stories can be told through the body. I want to create portraits, of the individuals, as well as a portrait of the group. Every dancer has their own story, and the company connects them. Who are the people in the group, and how do they construct this group? Are they characters or do they want to play a certain role? Shifting from different kind of characters, who are they in private and how does that shape the stage character? Almost like a fake documentary. I will work with screens, and the bodies as screens and stand-ins of representations and imagination. And I will work with creating intensities, let the dancers play inside the system that the group is and generates. Every dancer will have their own mark in terms of character, movement, presence, clothing.. It might turn out to be funny, sad, and a bit ambivalent – I wanna go through a spectrum of emotions and projections. Originally I come from the abstract, going towards how I can tell stories. I want to explore that further in this process.”

What method do you use?
“The way I work is really a–live. Every person has to make their own decision in each moment, that is the practice. In rehearsal, I will give a structure, guidelines and conditions that the dancers will follow on stage. I want to develop a presence and character for each and every one of them, and at the same time have something that connects them as a group. I want to work with each dancer’s personal movement background. What do they bring, and what do they want to use?”

What is your view on the company?
“I am fascinated by the group. How do you work together in a space, the same people, over the years? The idea of community is relevant for this piece. They are very specific presences – I want the audience to get to know them via the piece, them as Cullbergbaletten dancers and as the humans they are. I am really looking forward to it!”

And the music?
“Planningtorock’s initial compositional concept for the music is a score, a sound track, composed solely for electronic brass instrumentation. Planningtorock has composed music for orchestras and string quartets on previous pieces but has choose to focus on the electronically synthesized brass sound for this piece.”

Ian Kaler
Ian Kaler, originally from Austria, studied Transmedial Art at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and graduated from the BA Pilot program Contemporary Dance, Context, Choreography at the Inter-University Center for Dance, the University of the Arts in Berlin. Since 2010 he has developed his physical and creative practice in choreographic series in exchange with different artists through different (visual) media, among others, dancer and fashion designer Stephane Peeps Moun, musician Jam Rostron/Planningtorock, lighting designer and video artist Imogen Heath, and drummer Joy Leah Joseph. A special format within the o.T. Series is RAW PRACTICE which was presented at LABO Festival in Stockholm in April 2018, curated by Cullbergbaletten. In a structured and improvised jam session Kaler and Planningtorock uncover their shared practice and further develop it in an intimate dialogue that communicates between different media and languages. Most recently Ian Kaler has premiered the piece LIVFE, the first of a new series of works that combine movement with (spoken) language, live music and live video at Akademietheater in the frame of ImPulsTanz Vienna International Dance Festival, in August 2017. Ian Kaler develops workshops as research formats analog to his choreographic series, until now for DOCH, School for Dance and Circus, Stockholm, ImPulsTanz Vienna International Dance Festival, Tanzquartier Vienna as well as for the Escuela Profesional de Danza in Mazatlán and the University of Sonora in Mexico. Besides giving workshops for professional dancers with mixed abilities he has also transmitted his practice in workshops for practitioners from backgrounds other than dance.

ON THE CUSP
Concept and choreographic framing: Ian Kaler
Musical score: Planningtorock
Set design: Stephanie Rauch
Lighting design and video: Imogen Heath
Costume design and movement input/choreographic assistance: Stephane Peeps Moun
With 14 dancers in Cullbergbaletten
World Premiere at Tanzquartier, Vienna, 10 January 2019
Sweden Premiere at Norrlandsoperan, Umeå 30 January 2019

Co-production: Tanzquartier Vienna, Norrlandsoperan Umeå, PACT Zollverein Essen

By: Ian Kaler

Musical score: Jam Rostron / Planningtorock

Set Design: Stephanie Rauch

Lighting design and video: Imogen Heath

Costume design and movement input/choreographic assistance: Stéphane Peeps