2023 11 21 Mos Generale Pinelopi Gerasimou High 15

Read the full interview, originally published on Dance Art Journal, Ioanna Paraskevopoulou in conversation with Giordana Patumi. 

What is MOS and is there anything that inspired you to create this work?

- MOS is a scenic game, a work that arises from the combination of different materials and media. It is my attempt to create a dialogue between movement, sound and image. I discovered the Foley technique during the pandemic from a YouTube video where Foley artists recreated the sound of film scenes. I was immediately intrigued by the idea and created a video project entitled "All she likes is popping bubble wrap", where I experimented with this idea in a recording studio. I then developed these correlations in a 40-minute live project: the duet MOS.

Have you gained any insights into the creative process while developing this work?

- The process was fun and quite playful! We started by trying different games, focusing first on dances that appear in films. For a while, we experimented with sounds from different objects and which sound best matched the image, in turn creating the most accurate "texture" for each visual clip I had accumulated. Every day before rehearsals, I would go to a shop and buy different materials: wood, metal and other things that we could walk, run and step on to create different sound qualities. We took tap dancing lessons. I definitely wanted the music to emerge from our dancing. For quite some time during the process of making MOS, the dramaturgy of the performance was completely scattered in my head, except for some parts that I was sure of. Then one day I suddenly saw the whole piece in front of me as a vision! I told it to Georgios, my co-dancer, and it started to take shape.

Does MOS challenge or push the boundaries of traditional dance forms or techniques?

- I don't know if I can say that MOS pushes the boundaries of the traditional. It is definitely a work that is quite experimental in concept, as I use a certain kind of sound technology and turn it into a tool for choreographic composition. Nowadays, borders, identity and categorisation are blurring in art. All artists are experimenting with an indeterminate idea from our minds, whether in a studio or elsewhere. The word experiment is just a word - and sometimes words become a misrepresentation of the content.

What matters and is important to me is the immediacy and the feeling that a performance evokes. Many experiments have been done. Many ideas have been embodied. Much around us is chaotic. I believe that MOS succeeds by being accessible and direct, which was my goal. To create something that would have an immediate impact on the audience.

Are there any specific messages or ideas that you hope to convey through MOS?

- I have a strong relationship with everything that passes - the memories and imprints it leaves behind. I am interested in the reproduction of audiovisual elements and what they represent in the present. A kind of visibility of the processes that happen behind the scene. Yet there is nothing specific that MOS handles; the performance captures a function - in this case sound and image in relation - and through this creates a sensory experience that tickles the audience's senses.

Is there any moment in MOS that you think is particularly worth highlighting?

- It is always interesting to observe audience reactions. They vary from country to country. There are moments where the audience always laughs, and those are also the moments that give me the energy to continue with my work.

As a choreographer, what do you personally hope to achieve or communicate through your work, including MOS?

- As an audience member myself, I find a performance most moving when I am drawn into it, feel emotions, remember something and relate to it. Therefore, as a creator, I want to evoke emotions. I want to be able to convey what is happening to me on stage.

What challenges did you face when incorporating everyday objects such as umbrellas, drain cleaners and coconut shells into the choreography?

- The challenge lay in how the props would work as sound and could be amplified in the theatre space. This was difficult! Usually sound effects for films are created in a recording studio, where there are technical aids and necessary equipment, but here we are live in a theatre. Despite this, it brought the most joy and playfulness to our process and the fact that we use them seriously only adds to the entertainment value of the performance.

What do you hope audiences will take away from the experience of MOS? What can audiences expect to experience or feel when they see MOS, and how do you see MOS resonating with different audiences, including those who may not be familiar with contemporary dance?

- I really encourage audiences who are not familiar with contemporary dance to come and see the performance. MOS is a work that by its nature and combination of sound, image and movement can appeal to people with multiple experiences.

Read the full interview, originally published on Dance Art Journal, Ioanna Paraskevopoulou in conversation with Giordana Patumi.