Interview With Paul Blackman: Dancer @ JukStaPoz



Can dance express what is currently going on in Athens/Greece? How would you do it?

When we created our first production in 2009 called Self Storage, it was the time surrounding the developing economic crisis here in Greece. At that time we where rehearsing in a studio where you could smell the tear-gas from riots a few streets down. Unconsciously we are effected by all the changes that are around from the past and the present which transitions itself into all levels of our work, not only physically but also emotionally.   

Do you dance with or against music or both? How important is music and is it good to dance without it?

Both. Usually we use various music when in creation, but we usually decide near to the end of the development which music if any to use for the performance. We don’t like using music to lead us, but more as a purpose to add atmosphere to what we are saying choreographically.

What do you do to engage with an audience when you dance, apart from just – dance.

We use all forms of theatre ( text, song, props, puppetry, etc ) when we create work, whatever we feel brings the audience closer to what we are portraying, yet also bring us closer to a broader audience. I think somehow audience and creator are both reaching in the same directions – towards each other.

How does dance change your awareness of the world? 

Through the years in this career I’ve notice that we’re all entwined in some kind of continuous choreography… even just people waiting at the lights has some form of composition within itself. I just try to adapt around these daily situations if that be physical, mental, spiritual or otherwise. 

How often do you see grace in the movements of ordinary people and would you use them in your work?

NEVER.  Just joking …. don’t use that!$%^! 🙂

Who has influenced you?

Influence is everywhere for me, from people you see on the street, to previous artists that I’ve worked with, in movies, in books, in art, in friends and in family. We like to take what is real and show it in another light…the only difference is that it’s on stage! 

How does your dancing change in partnership with others? How do others bring out new moves in you?

We all individually have a habitual way of ‘dancing’ yet we can be inspired by others around us, sometimes without even noticing. Usually through energy, quality, presence and skill. We subtract some form of each other and this is what brings use closer as humans and individuals – moving together. 

To find new movement within ourselves, we need to research like all practitioners of the arts, it can come instantly or it can come with a lot of deliberation.   

What happens to dancer’s bodies when they’re old? Does it wear you out or keep you young or both?

We were lucky enough to work with Sadler’s Wells’ – Company of Elders in London. Their eldest dancer was 90 and the youngest 65. If you consider these inspirational examples of what the human body can achieve after numerous ailing effects, this proves that it all comes down to that certain drive that makes us want to live life beyond our actual years.

What is wrong with dancer’s earnings? Why don’t they earn more?

Please don’t get me started on that one!!