© 2017 Ann Sofie Clemmensen

As a choreographer, I am interested in movement and its realization through patterns, both in the visual sense as well as the patterning of knowledge that takes place in the body as it receives and interprets information.

Through my choreographic research, I am examining how new knowledge emerges from the re-working of existing structures of knowledge within the body. The motivation for this inquiry is the desire to understand how the body's existing knowledge, its history of training and patterns of behavior, become the source materials for the development of new movement possibilities. In re-organizing and re-purposing those existing cognitive-corporeal materials, I am looking for the undiscovered potentiality of the body.

My interest in retracing and challenging existing body knowledge grew from my work “Magnetic North” (2013). Here I examined the success of a task-solving strategy as a format for creative process where the objective was to circumvent one’s training history and movement habits, and as a result, open up for unexplored movement pathways. Central to this research was a comparison of the characteristics within a creative process prevalent in Danish performance gymnastics and contemporary dance; two movement cultures that were influential in shaping my artistic viewpoints. With this research, my personal goal was to establish my voice as a contemporary artist by critically re-purposing or dispersing past experiences. The final work clearly stated this development, exhibiting context and expressiveness originated from a vigorous physical examination of spatial dimensions and kinesthetic clarity—a definite aesthetic departure from Danish performance gymnastics.

In terms of influences, my training in gymnastics did play a central role—as did my European upbringing—in the tailoring of my movement vocabulary, which embodies rhythms of fall and recovery with a keen sense of the interplay between weight and weightlessness, along with an embodied curiosity juxtaposing abstract and linear bodylines.

Collaboration is central to my creative process, and overall research, seeing that it provides a site for experimentation at which individual and collective knowledge can be pushed in new directions. In using task-solving as my primary strategy for movement invention, sourcing from the dancer’s training history and movement preference—as well as their readiness to be directed and coached into unknown territories—this collaborative relationship is of paramount importance.

When going into a creative process, I always take in account whose bodies am I creating from and on: students or professionals, mature or beginners, trained or untrained. As an artist, I am interested in creating whatever together with the bodies and personalities that I am collaborating with, not forcing an idea onto the bodies in which I am work with. When dance is honestly embodied through the bodies represented on the stage it has the ability to enhance, challenge, and inform its own art form and beyond.

The notion of not expecting an outcome while at the same time searching for that some thing may seem contradicting, but to me, that is the best way to enter a choreographic process as it promotes my ongoing quest as a choreographer—which is to harness the body's innovative capacities from which to make new dances that in turn will make for new horizons in the field of dance.