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Amsterdam, 3rd December 2007

Here is the report concerning the artistic view for Soul Project, the latest choreography that I conceived and directed last year, with the participation of an international cast of twelve dancers from all around the globe. It premiered at the Brakke Grond, Nes Theaters, Amsterdam, in September 2006. We are still taking Soul Project on the road. And since the premiere, it has been a fantastic voyage, a full adventure from the beginning of the creation period until these days. We, all the participants and myself, have very much learnt from the whole process of making Soul Project from the start until the last performance we did as part of enCru, at the Mercat de les Flors theatre in Barcelona, Spain last November 2007. Every performance of Soul Project has been a learning experience for each one of the participants including myself. From the beginning of the making of Soul Project until these days, my goals have been achieved. I began with the simple idea of making a dance piece composed by solos, and that it could be possible to tour it with a minimum of two people, and a maximum of twelve, while keeping the essence of the work. Wondering how one can move as hot, deep and superficial as the fantastic soul singers do, passing from one state of mind into another in one shot. And at the same time, performing each solo in a spontaneous way. I wanted to make a dance piece where the audience will come in and share the same space of the performers and watch each solo one by one. I wanted the audience to experience the journey of each performer as we, all the performers, did during the creation period. At the beginning of the process I had the idea of guiding the audience into the stage by a lighting plan but then I thought of another way. I took the role of a Master of Ceremony in order to welcome the audience outside of the theatre and verbally explaining how to watch the performance inside the theatre. That was a new way for me and it worked very well. I related the word soul with the sole of our feet. We performed for each other from the start of our first rehearsals keeping the soles of our feet very well planted on the ground. The solo dancer including myself could go or travel with his/her imagination physically manifested through her/his body, as far as it could, but always keeping her/his soles very well connected with the floor. It was another way of exercising polarity. One could go as far and wild as one could without forgetting ones roots. For some reason, besides the phonetic analogy of the words soul and sole, I related the full expression of our souls with a deep connection with the Earth. Then, the unique evocative movement vocabulary that came out from combining five different movement qualities (tension, soft as a feather, physically or mentally out of control, fraction movement, and shaking or vibrating) was also new for all the participants, and it definitively helped us to relate with the way Soul singers sing. As the process went by, I began to experience each spontaneous solo performance as an egocentric dance performance. Not in the negative meaning of the word egocentric. I was rather experiencing a physical manifestation of my relationship with an egocentric society. For example, a society where the individual searches for his/her

independency, the you can make it on your own if you want kind of society. The American dream is very much like it and I very much liked that association. At the same time, I wanted to present each solo performing with a rich vocabulary of spiral movements in one spot. Therefore, the audience could see his/her face and every other part of the body from every point of a circle. I also wanted to have the audience experiencing every little and big initiation of movement from a very close distance. The results of that intense and fructiferous process where fantastic. Each dancer started growing artistically day-by-day, getting to know her/himself more and more as the performances went by. Little by little they become hotter, deeper and richer improvisers. They were and have always been on, like a candle. During the performance the audience was accepting more and more the idea of watching it right next to the performer, sitting or standing closer to each solo as the evenings went by. Each solo became like a super deep and spicy storyteller for children and adults, always accompanied with a recorded live performance of a soul singer. The solos were and have been as deep and spicy as the soul singers sing their songs. It was like I have finally managed to make from each participant an instant movement maker, composing their imagination as they move as a reaction of the environment created by the theatres, public, music, and performers. As a political art statement, I get fascinated with the idea of how to make our bodies to physically express anything that one can imagine, the closest possible way. Before learning how to use the actual technology, how we can make our bodies become that thought? If thought is energy, how can we shape our energy as we dance, performing in front of an audience? During the making and performing of Soul Project, I found myself getting closer to that ideology. I also realized that I had selected a group of performers ranging from a very superficial to a super intensive and deep way of performing. We discussed the concept of dancing with depth. How we can go while we are performing spontaneously in front of a given public? What does it mean, to dance very deep? Another way to question it was, how far we can take the audience with our imagination as we are still on the spot or a body centric place. Another interesting thing that happened while we were performing for each other during the period of the Soul Project creation was a formula that I have put on the table for all of us, which we could constantly use every time we perform. The formula 2h+2w=(hell heaven)+(wise wild). That became our secret code. I found a deep association with the way the soul singers sing and our dancing whenever we use the formula. In summary, I could say that Soul Project was a truly intensive and enriching experience and artistically took all of the participants, including myself, to a higher level of creativity. A process that I have already included in my workshops and therefore it has positively started influencing many dancers from different countries. I am now ready for my next artistic step, my new dance project.

David Zambrano