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Inside the Studio : Week One Layers of Skin

After the exciting build up to the beginning of rehearsals for Retina Dance Company’s Layers of Skin, I arrived in Antwerp on Sunday evening. Welcomed by Filip and Natalie, Retina’s Artistic Director and Producer, I had a great evening meeting the other dancers and could not wait to start the next morning. Not long after I was in Jan Fabre’s studio surrounded by 6 other dancers whose energy and unique creativity was an inspiration. From the word go we were learning complex, dynamic and quirky movement material inspired by the concept of how the body would move if only consisting of the skeleton i.e. no organs, muscles, tissue or skin. The level of physicality in Filip’s movement is exhilarating and fulfilling to do.

Each day brings something completely new. The movement is constantly changing and evolving… and its only week 1. When creating, Filip often teaches his own material which is uniquely his movement vocabulary. But during duets and trios a more collaborative approach is used. As well as this, this week we were given a range of creative tasks. We improvised on ideas within the concept of Layers of Skin to create our own material. Specifically, a solo task for which we used the image of our organs escaping through tears in our skin. The atmosphere in the studio is relaxed but productive. We’ve created so much already and I am excited to see where the process will take us in the next 11 weeks.

Written by David Michel, Retina Dance Company

Layers of Skin week 1 from Retina Dance Company on Vimeo.

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