Aarhus: A Conversation at the End…

Elsabet Yonas and Maya Dalinsky ask each other a few questions to wrap up their two weeks in Aarhus, Denmark, hosted by Bora Bora.

Maya: What was something unexpected for you from the last two weeks?

Elsa: The first thing that comes to mind is the ease of our relationship both in the studio and outside of the studio. My experience has been that building that kind of relationship with a collaborator or fellow creative, especially when it comes to moving together–and just collaborating creatively and working together too, in terms of processes–is that it takes time and consistency. I felt that it was almost instant with us and there was an ease throughout. That was unexpected for me because it’s not something that I experience very often.

Elsa: Did you experience feeling in community? When/how?

Maya: I didn’t really have any very strong feeling of being in community. Which isn’t a bad thing. I also know from the past–and I guess this has kind of reaffirmed it for me–that I’m someone who enjoys having time to themselves but also having time just one-on-one or in very small groups. That said, even if I’m with just one other person, there is kind of a feeling of being in community that’s possible… So on an abstract level, yes, because spending time with Elsa was also a way of spending time with someone with whom I feel I share a lot of values. 

But I wouldn’t say that this one-to-one relationship is like a community. I don’t know… I would say for the most part no, however, when I am in a certain situation or with certain people, I am reminded of times I have felt in community. And that’s a very nice feeling. Remembering that is feeling in community. Even if it’s not the current reality. So maybe feeling in community is something you can have even when you’re not directly involved with a community, not physically present in that space or with the people, or in that task or action or activity. Seeing my friend Titanne who came in from Brussels was also a way that I felt, or that I remembered the feeling of being in community. And that was really pleasant. So yes! And no. 

From left to right: Maya, Maja, Elsa, Jakob and Sofia after a workshop with Elsabet at Bora Bora, Aarhus.

Maya: What was a moment that stands out for you?

Elsa: A moment that stands out for me was filming together outdoors against that beautiful backdrop and slanted, slopey flooring in Godsbanen. Dancing together, the sun blazing, being completely drenched in sweat… Just creating a really fun memory of the joy of the dance and, I guess since it also happened at the end of the residency, it felt like a really pinnacle moment that was a celebration of the process and of our relationship on and off the dance floor.

Elsa: What’s one thing you’ll take away and incorporate into your practice/daily life?

Maya: One thing that I’ll take away is definitely to not be shy about music. So, integrating music and dancing to music, and that being okay. And one thing I’ll incorporate into my daily life is the popping exercise: keeping tension in the arms and releasing… I’d also be interested in integrating something that Elsa brought into her workshop, which was the piece of paper at the beginning where you ask everyone to write down something that they hope for, a fear that they have, and their intention.

Maya: What would you happily do again?

Elsa: The entire residency! But more specifically, I would happily reuse this mindset and approach toward creative process that allows room for the social aspects that feed into the creative exploration. This approach that allows for a balance and including activities and experiences that are not conventionally considered “working”. I would happily approach a residency in creative process with this kind of Danish mindset again because I think it produced really fruitful results.

Elsa: What risks could you take next time that you didn’t this time round?

Maya: I learned a lot being a participant in Elsa’s workshop and also just through discussions and being around her. One risk I’d definitely take is to not shy away from leading things more confidently, for instance my own workshop. I don’t have to hide behind goofiness or self-deprecating humour in order to make room or space. I have a responsibility to the people that come into my practice to lead them confidently, and guiding this does not mean that I am not giving them time and space for their experience. On a very concrete level that means just keeping things rolling along. Risking interrupting people, taking risks that are really about staying on task, while also being attentive to people’s need for rest or time to process things. Gaining more experience with that. This would also mean formatting my practice into smaller periods of time, or allowing it to deviate from how I imagine it should be transmitted. And therefore opening it up to other kinds of workshop formats or spaces.

Videowalking outside at Bora Bora, Aarhus. Left: Workshop participant Karin. Right: Workshop facilitator Maya.

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