Artist Q&A with Pauline Berndsen Danse

Montreal’s Pauline Berndsen Danse will be part of In the Park with their piece Hypnos. We asked choreographer Pauline Gervais a few questions about their upcoming performance at the Guelph Dance Festival.

Photo by Mike Pattern

GD: The theme of the 2019 GDF is “What Moves You” can you share with us what moved you when working in  the creation of Hypnos?

PG:During the creation of Hypnos, it was really interesting to dig deep on how I could express my vision of the subconscious through movement. I challenged myself to not overthink my approach to the piece in order to reflect better what hypnosis is. Also, during the process, it moved me to see how all of the artists involved in this piece developed this connection and pleasure to work together. One of the most important aspect of this hypnosis experience that I wanted to express was a shared conscience that also allowed personal freedom. That way, I knew I had to portray different reactions to the hypnotic state that still brought the dancers to that same inner place. Right when the creation started, I could see the authenticity in each artist and it brought strength to Hypnos

GD: What is it that you love the most about performing outdoors?
Photo by Mike Pattern

PG: Hypnos being my first outdoors performance made me realise its many great aspects. However, what I enjoyed the most about it was the close contact with the audience. Seeing very clearly the reactions of the people watching was something that I loved and learned a lot from. It brought a lot of energy to the dancers and transformed the piece into a shared experience not only among the dancers, but with the public too. Without the lights, stage and distance, the piece felt very intimate and giving. That feeling gave me the desire to start creating more outdoors pieces in order to find more ways to connect and touch the audience with my work. 

Photo by Mike Pattern
GD: Is there anything else you would like to share with Guelph audiences before your performance?

PG: I would love to thank Guelph Dance Festival for inviting to present my piece Hypnos. It is such a wonderful opportunity to keep evolving as an artist. I can’t wait to share my work at the In the Park series!

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