“Dance is ephemeral, it is real, and it exists just for one moment for one scene. Dance is an interpretation, it is powerful, a vibration, a rhythm, and a movement, and the body transforms. Dance is unique” An interview with Aldana Juarez. Poland/Argentina.

What are you most excited about when working alongside the IDI team?

The whole project is amazing. I am really glad to be a part of the project and have a place there. I think that it’s important when you are in the project and the director trusts your work and gives you the freedom to express yourself. All the projects are so interesting and we can do so many things. I have some ideas about the installations and about the projector and how we can play with lights and movement and we can record them. I have other ideas about finding a unique way to show IDI to the whole world, to have the concepts mixed and they show extremely who we are. We need to do another step to make it a bigger production in the future and arrange that.  

Tell us about your fondest memory of working with IDI?

When we were on the second stage at Fabra I Coats in October, at the start of the workshop all the dancers were with closed eyes, moving their bodies and I captured the best image in the workshop. The bodies were like flying. I was the only one with my eyes open, and I was shocked by the movement. They were flowing and giving to the music. Then and there I understood the meaning of what they were doing, the essential, and it was very powerful to realise.

How has your journey towards photography in Dance and Performance begun?

I started my career when I was 20, and  I didn’t know as a teenager that photography would be my discipline but it was a sensation and I was studying journalism and realizing it is not my way. So I had a sensation and this is our time to do what we want to do and we decide what we want to do. Maybe you are drawn to another profession.  And this is not an easy career, I know that, and to live from this and to be successful. 

I decided to study cinema, there I understood that the frame is a unique part to understand the total, the whole composition. I had a lot of professors that blew my mind, and they showed me to see different perspectives and to  find your own way to see things, try to find your very own way to say things. I think I am still looking for my way, I have an idea, I know what I like, but it is a process for me. What I did when I was in my 20s was very different to what I do today. But that is fine. It is about communicating how you see the world, with your own frame, with your point of view. And Ideally someone will understand you. 

What fascinates you the most throughout your work?

It really excites me when I meet different people and when we start the fire by brainstorming and thinking of ideas, starting to write and processing the information. When we get what we want, that is amazing. I also take part in the production process, and when we have coffee or a beer while getting drunk and share our original ideas, our partners become like friends to you. When you feel like you can talk in the same language in the arts, when the artistic language matches between two people, they are going to be friends. 

When I first met Harriet, we were in a store and we were both complaining and I helped her communicate with the woman from the store in spanish. I started telling her about my documentary and she became curious about it and she wanted to see my work. I sent her my stuff and she called me and I think it is interesting how we can share artistic languages and connect with people. When you like what you are doing, it is as if you were playing. You will always have problems during a production, but the process and especially the beginning I really like this. 

Why did you choose a documentary format as one of your main outlets?

Yes, I have something with the documentary. I think the reality is more powerful than fiction, and every good fiction you take from reality. For example, the other day I was hiding the camera with my father and recording him. He is a character and there is something that I saw in him, that is the way that I see the world and my father, tells me something about myself. Now with streaming platforms, the documentary is getting a much stronger position in the market because there you see the director’s cut. A documentary is the individual truth of the director. I made a film about a manufacturing fabric and a group of workers. And it’s their reality but it is still through my eyes, I can manipulate it. So therefore it is possible to use it wrong and use a documentary to say something that is not accurate. So we have to be careful and create a good connection with the people you record.  I need to create an atmosphere that is of trust and relaxed as If I was not there. A documentary is a long way to understand and get to the truth.

It is almost fiction when we create a documentary, it is still my own way to see things, it is not completely objective. Also with dance and performance, I can only show what the artist wants to show, it is a fiction surrounding it. 

What role does the movement of the body and dance play for your work, particularly when working with IDI?

I really wanted to dance when I was a child because we are moving all the time and it is interesting to have the possibility with the camera to fly around that movement. So I need to start to play with the body although it is not comfortable for the dancer, but it is a particular situation. You can play with the camera and try to make original work. I want to have a good image and good footage of what happens with the body while dancing. So the camera dances like the body and although it is a difficult process that needs technique, it is beautiful to be part of the body. 

What is your favourite thing about depicting dancers and movement?

Dance is ephemeral, it is real, and it exists just for one moment for one scene. Dance is an interpretation, it is powerful and combines interpretation, vibration, a rhythm, and a movement, and the body transforms into something else. Dance is unique, it’s an expression that can transmit what the dancer wants, is feeling and trying to say. It is an abstract concept but when you see someone moving well you have to look at it. It has a power of attraction.

To what extent did Covid affect your work, particularly within the project with IDI in October and did it make you modify your practice in any way? 

Yes, it forced me to modify it a lot in many ways. We couldn’t meet, we couldn’t do things and cancelled a lot of things. What helped me was the fact I had more time for my own work, I had more time for creation. I love that! I could understand my point of view, so then I can do a mix. So what happened, in the end, was: we couldn’t do new things and had to cancel a lot of things but I also had a lot of footage that I needed to work on. So, I could have the time to work on the edition. 

Aldana Juarez, IDI collaborator, videographer, photographer 2021.


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