IRMÃ meaning ‘sister’

14 February 2019

Here at Chameleon, we’re passionate and committed about nurturing emerging dance artists, in order to enrich the dance ecology in the region, and build the dance community in Manchester.

This is why, we’re delighted to bring you news from our Associate Artists, Alice Bonazzi and Sara Marques, about an exciting new choreography called IRMÃ, which will be performed at Resolution Festival, London on Friday 22 February.

Q1. Before we find out more about IRMÃ, tell us about your dance background.
We grew up, respectively, in Porto, Portugal (Sara) and Bologna, Italy (Alice). After experimenting with different dance styles, we moved to England in 2014 to pursue our professional studies in contemporary dance. After successfully graduating from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) and Trinity Laban, we met in September 2017, when we joined Company Chameleon as part do the NSCD apprenticeship scheme. Here we had the opportunity to work extensively together, exploring and deepening our knowledge of contact, partnering and improvisation under the direction of artistic directors Kevin Edward Turner and Anthony Missen.

Q2.What inspired the creation or IRMÃ?
IRMÃ is portuguese for the word ‘sister’. The seed of the creation of IRMÃ was planted during our time as apprentices with Chameleon, when we were experimenting with the theme of echoes and how to express an echo through our bodies. Soon enough this idea became something much closer to us, as we started asking ourselves, could we consider two bodies as mutual points of one echo?  Is this image somehow descriptive of our relationship? Drawing from our shared experience together, the piece now considers how we build close relationships and how these bonds eventually impact on our understanding and perception of ourselves and the surrounding environment, often resonating and echoing in unexpected ways.

Q3. IRMÃ is a joint-choreography, what have you learnt from the collaboration?
We very much feel that this is an ongoing process of discovering and adapting to each other. Being honest to each other has been the most important tool throughout creation. We also learnt the value of compromising, allowing things to not work straight away, and to let ideas go without being too precious about them.

Q4. How has Company Chameleon contributed to your development as dance artists so far?
Being part of Chameleon, as Apprentices first and Associate Artists now, has represented a turning point for our careers so far. We have been pushed beyond our limits physically and trusted to be part of the creative process, be part of productions and to deliver classes and workshops. Beyond becoming more versatile dancers and performers, Chameleon has allowed us to grow the strength and self-confidence that are necessary to be part of the dance industry. Also, they are incredibly down-to-earth people, always available to give advice and keen to follow your development as individual.

Last but not least, Chameleon has specifically supported the creation of IRMÃ since the beginning, allowing us to use their brand-new space for rehearsal, without which the piece wouldn’t really exist.

Q5. What do you hope the audience who see IRMÃ feel and take away with them after seeing the performance?
IRMÃ is ultimately a celebration of genuine bonds, so we’d like the audience to feel that sense of warmth and intimacy that you share with the people you’re close with. At the same time, through a physical and athletic movement language, IRMÃ addresses the way women’s bodies and emotions are displayed on stage and hopefully encourages thoughts in that direction.

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Don’t miss Alice and Sara perform IRMÃ at Resolution, the annual festival of new choreography at The Place, London. Fri 22 Feb, 7:30pm. Book tickets.  Watch the trailer below. (Photo credit: Stefano Padoan)

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