As part of Reykjavík Dance Festival and Sónar, Slovakian choreographer Martin Kilvady, dancers from Iceland Dance Company and the Reykjavík Dance Festival, and Reykjavík-based, electronic duo, Mankan will perform ‘All Inclusive’ on Thursday, 18 February. Martin is a founding member of the internationally recognised Les SlovaKs Dance Collective, and has worked with other European companies and choreographers such as Rosas, Roberto Olivan, and ZOO/Thomas Hauert.
Last year, the Iceland Dance Company brought in some fantastic guest choreographers (such as Karol Tyminski, Amelia Rudolph, and Damien Jalet), so I was very excited when I heard about this upcoming performance. In order to learn a bit more about what to expect, I asked Martin a few questions about himself and the show.
Could you tell me a little about yourself and your background?
I was born in Slovakia, Banska Bystrica—a town bit smaller than Reykjavík. It was still a communist regime at that time, but they were very social times, with people meeting, gathering, and sharing a lot. It’s a mountain environment, with an outdoor culture—skiing, hiking, lake swimming. Karate took me by the storm when I was 10, and for 5 years I was hooked. Then climbing, then bad knees, and no sport; and then when I was 17 dancing came. To me, it was close to martial arts—I loved being part of group of people with passion and interest. Dancing was fun. So, I decided to study it at university.
Have you worked with Iceland Dance Company in the past? How did you come to work with them?
This is my first meeting with the company. The initiation for the project came via a college friend, Shai Faran, who was just teaching here at the Iceland Academy of Arts. We contacted Erna Ómarsdóttir, and soon it became a much more complex project: three artists together proposing a large scale programme of creating, performing and teaching for the Reykjavík dance community during a five-week period.
Kim Ceysens and I are creating and performing with Icelandic Dance Company as part of RDF and Sónar. Then Kim and Shai Faran are continuing their duet creation and presenting it as part of Reykjaví Dance Festival at Tjarnarbíó on 2 March. Shai is teaching at the Academy of Arts for three weeks and Kim is giving lessons in Kramhúsið and Dansverkstæðið.
So, it’s quite a mixed and complex puzzle, but a very enjoyable programme.
Where did the inspiration for the piece come from?
The clarity and the drive behind our work is my personal point of view on the profession—the experience and desire to nourish the complexity and completeness of everyday dance craftsmanship. There are many roles we adopt: dancer, body worker, performer, creator. I would like them all to be present and presented to the viewer.
Could you tell me about the movement? Do you think you are influenced by any other choreographer or technique?
I would have to mention many names and influences, and I can’t see just one that I should highlight or prioritise. For the concert, we are working with instant creation. Therefore, the movement vocabulary that we employ is the mixture of dancer’s personal background and the concepts we explored together. The concepts have different purposes and applications. Some of them are related to the mover’s body user-manual, some are compositional tools and some propose very clearly defined musical resonance.
What do you think is the relationship between music and dance? Can dance exist without music? How closely did you work with Mankan in creating the work?
I always take music as partner. It is a relationship. Music is a very inspiring and obliging partner, if sometimes too strong. I love to dance with music. Can we exist without a partner? For sure we can. It has consequences, probably different for each of us.
Since we arrived in Reykjavík, we were together almost every day with Tom and Kippi (Mankan), or their music. I guess we did work very closely. I love to dance when they play and to be with them. Their sounds are very close to me.
‘All Inclusive’ by Martin Kilvady & Mankan takes place at Sónar Reykjavík on Thursday, February 18 at 19:00 & 21:00, in the SonarHall. Get further information here.
Psst! Love dance, but don’t want to invest in a whole festival pass?
Iceland Dance Company is offering a pass for only 4.990 ISK that will get you into the shows you really want to see like Martin Kilvady, Milkywhale, and Good Moon Deer with Saga Sigurðardóttir. Check it out here.