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SIMONE WIERØD: Wired through Choreography

“I want to make people feel, think and wonder - and hopefully question some of the presumptions and prejudices, with which they entered the space of the artwork.”



SIMONE WIERØD in Conversation with GAHSP: Discover the world of choreography of dance and beyond.


The following self-reflective conversation with SIMONE WIERØD, Choreographer and Founder and Artistic Director of Wired Studio, uncovers 5 unique performances produced by the art studio. We explore the Questions and the societal Agendas that inspired the works, as well as investigate the cultural, social, political context that the choreographies are Wired to.


Developed by GAHSP MEDIA for CIRCUS TALK



SIMONE WIERØD in Conversation with GAHSP: Discover the world of choreography of dance and beyond.


THE PERFORMER


Profession:

Choreographer and Artistic Director


Location:

Copenhagen, Denmark


Introduction:

I am a Choreographer and the Founder and Artistic Director of Wired Studio. I have a background in contemporary dance, but find myself drawn to cross-disciplinary collaborations and new ways to explore choreographic expressions.


Context:

Simone Wierød and Wired Studio have presented their works in over 25 countries and won several awards for their choreographic works, most recently for the dance films BEYOND and SOLUS. Simone Wierød and Wired Studio are currently elected as a part of “The Young Artistic Elite” by The Danish Art Foundation for 2023 and 2024.



SIMONE WIERØD in Conversation with GAHSP: Discover the world of choreography of dance and beyond.


What are 3 values that you wish to mediate through your work?


My artistic vision is driven by a curiosity to explore and challenge what we think we know, meaning challenging our expectations and perspectives to the world around us. I do so through working with optical illusions, materiality and social relations and expectations. In my artistic work I always start from a set of core values:


Believing in the audience and their ability to interpret, appreciate and relate to abstract artwork.

A minimalist expression that values functionality over decoration, but in an aesthetic and visually enticing way.

A safe and transparent working environment with space for co-creation and sharing of voices.



SIMONE WIERØD in Conversation with GAHSP: Discover the world of choreography of dance and beyond.


What are 3 relevant problems that you wish to solve through your work?


I would not call it problems, rather observations that I want to explore through a critical lens. In general, I have a curiosity towards what happens in groups of people. I am curious about relations, flock mentality and “us-and-them”-divisions. One could say that that comes from political beliefs, but I would rather say it comes from deeply humanist interest and curiosity about relations - the relation to the people and space around us, the relation to ourselves and to our past, present and future. I don’t want my artwork to solve problems, but I want to make people feel, think and wonder - and hopefully question some of the presumptions and prejudices, with which they entered the space of the artwork. If any of those things happen, I consider the work really successful.





COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOUR


Is my behavior caused by my will? Can a collective of people exist without shared norms? Can individuals exist without relationships with others?


AGENDA


Cross-disciplinary collaboration

Distortion of time, space and materiality

Individual identity vs. mass identification



SIMONE WIERØD in Conversation with GAHSP: Discover the world of choreography of dance and beyond.


The above linked photos and video trailer show moments from the second half of the performance where 5 semi-transparent mirrors appear on the stage allowing us to create a single or endless reflections of the performers. In this scene the performers appear and disappear in a complex choreography of light and movement. We catch short glimpses of movements being mirrored in either space through the reflections or in time through repetition. Thereby, we see abstract illustrations of all actions having waves of impact - sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly or delayed - and how people and and their actions are interconnected.


The choreography in this part is made from 12 words linked to relational discrepancy and conformity. From those words I made 12 main gestures that were then abstracted and versioned into many different physical versions of each word and gesture. The whole choreography can therefore be written as one long poem, with words being repeated in different versions, shapes and tonalities, which created an interesting extra layer for the dancers and I while creating, but which definitely also shone through in the final result shared with the audience.



SIMONE WIERØD in Conversation with GAHSP: Discover the world of choreography of dance and beyond.


BOXED


What choreographic systems do we partake in and what does it take for us to break them? How can we create a participatory work where the audience has full control over the turnout of the performance, while we are still being in charge of the overall dramaturgy and experience? How can we create a safe environment for participatory work, where no one feels exploited, while still challenging the participants? How can we highlight the hidden expectations and dynamics in a group? How can we create awareness of flock mentality and our trust in authorities in a light and inclusive way?


AGENDA


Participatory choreography

Outdoor performance

Group dynamics and flock mentality



SIMONE WIERØD in Conversation with GAHSP: Discover the world of choreography of dance and beyond.


In BOXED all audiences participate under the same circumstances. It is a meeting point where age, background, gender and social status no longer determine the relations in a group of strangers.Being put in an unpredictable situation while being in the public eye together with others quickly creates a sensation of “us and them” between the participants and the outside spectators. The trust and togetherness is built during the performance until the group starts to receive different instructions and are challenged on their individuality and trust in the group. Thus, a big part of the performance takes place inside of the participants’ minds, in the inner dialogues and dilemmas that occur, while still giving a calm, sculptural and aesthetic experience to the outside eyes of the passers-by.


After each performance we do a short debrief with the audience, which can sometimes last a few minutes and sometimes be up to an hour, depending on what the group needs and how much they want to talk about what happened between them. This is always a very beautiful moment, to see strangers share their thoughts, beliefs and sometimes even fears and dreams, and I am very thankful to be able to facilitate that through artwork.



SIMONE WIERØD in Conversation with GAHSP: Discover the world of choreography of dance and beyond.


AXIAL FIGURES


What happens when we build something together? And what happens, when someone lets go?


AGENDA


Aerial dance

3D line drawing

Dance, circus and architecture



SIMONE WIERØD in Conversation with GAHSP: Discover the world of choreography of dance and beyond.


AXIAL FIGURES is still in development, but some of the recurring questions in our rehearsals are linked to the relationship with the ropes and the many symbolic references it creates: Do we manipulate our surroundings or are they shaping us? Am I pulling the strings or am I being puppeteered? The performance contains very symbolic images of pulling, balancing, sharing weight, defying gravity and leaving the ground, crawling upwards and falling down, which all can be interpreted into everyday life and situations. That is where it becomes interesting for me as the artistic director and choreographer; when you can create big stories with relatively simple means, which is one of the reasons I am looking very much forward to the further creation and production of this work.


Another very exciting part of this project is its collaborative and cross-disciplinary nature, combining skills, knowledge and methods from dance, choreography, circus and architecture. The collaboration serves as a steep learning curve for all involved, which invites us to look for new ways of working, creating and communicating, which I find extremely refreshing, inspiring and informing for the artistic process.





SOLUS


Can we assimilate to different versions of ourselves in different times? And if not, why do we even strive to assimilate to others? What is my relation to my past, present and future self - are we one, or are we several selves?


AGENDA


Dance film

Choreographing the eye of the audience

Dancing with several versions of ourselves



SIMONE WIERØD in Conversation with GAHSP: Discover the world of choreography of dance and beyond.


SOLUS was my very first dance film. I didn’t initially intend to work with the film media, but wanted to create an artwork, where one dancer could dance with several versions of herself. The idea and concept led me to the choice of working through the camera lens, which was an exciting extra choreographic layer to add in the creative process - to not only choreograph the body on stage, but to also be able to choreograph the eye looking at it. I believe in this process of always starting with the idea and then choosing the medium, format and presentation afterwards, to stay true to the idea and to explore different ways of expressing what you want to say as an artist before settling for a certain outcome. This process has led me to work with stage productions, dance films, choreographic installations for galleries and outdoor participatory performances, which expands my choreographic language and way of thinking, which I believe is super valuable for me as an artist.



SIMONE WIERØD in Conversation with GAHSP: Discover the world of choreography of dance and beyond.


BEYOND


How do we deal with reconnecting to nature, now that we fear being beaten by it? Can we learn to unlearn our civilized relationship to nature? When we cannot go outside - how do we go “inside”?


AGENDA


Dance film

Human’s alienation to nature



SIMONE WIERØD in Conversation with GAHSP: Discover the world of choreography of dance and beyond.


We see a woman in a pink suit, a symbol of civilized society and man made regulations for behavior and expression. Seeing her in a different context, in a non-conformed physical position and with her body rolling in the mud on a cliff, we see the absurd meeting point between two worlds - the controlled, directed and artificial and the natural, organic and odd. The awkwardness of this scene is a reflection of what we saw in the rich and privileged parts of the world during the pandemic; a desperate attempt of being in contact with something we spent the majority of our life staying away from and controlling, in a blind attempt on finding new meanings, spirituality and a sense of connectedness, while leaving the rest of the world behind.



This interview contributes to a new media format, where Creatives are in full control of their narratives. By exploring alternatives to narrative journalism, GAHSP starts unconventional conversations, emphasizing values and problems that shape our lives collectively.


Written and Edited by Julia Horvath

Image Courtesy of Simone Wierød

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