It has been two months since I arrived in Porto. I never thought where I would like to live, work, settle down..and I still do not know it. But I have the feeling that it will be at home in Slovakia. All experiences are beneficial and each one is unique. But somehow, I always come back home. I have everything I need there. But you never know. Life is full of surprises and twists. I like to go with the flow. I do what I enjoy, I do it fully and it always brings me somewhere. For instance to Portugal. Honestly, I never imagined myself to live half a year in Porto. I never think about the specific place, but about the reason.
The objective is the most important motive. I always have to have a goal to achieve. I really enjoy the journey, highs and also lows. That’s the most beautiful thing about it. The goal itself, ultimately, is perhaps not as interesting as its achievement. For me it’s exciting! What is more, it is a process, mostly progressive. We acquire new skills, that affect our vision, plans, priorities and values. These skills change the point of view. Sometimes we can get also confused, so we question ourselves a lot with many deep questions like “WTF”? 🙂 But that’s all right. It is part of the process, part of life.
What is more, these questions and looking for answers, move us further than we think. I seek my answers now in Porto. After some time, my life has changed a lot here. I went from being a tourist to having an every day routine. But still, I can get lost. Too many streets..:) Mornings I am at the course and afternoons I use time for myself to process new information and rehearse for my own piece. Or sometimes just walk home, go to the supermarket, cook, read a book, have a coffee and hang out around the inspirational city. And think! 🙂 If I do not have a productive day I feel miserable. Therefore, I always try to find new activities to recharge my energy.
Recently, Madli and I went for a run because we felt that we did not have enough physical activity. On the second and perhaps also on the third day, we had trouble moving. Our leg muscles were sore. But it was worth it! I personally prefer other sport activities over running, but in this environment, running by the ocean with beautiful beaches..it is like a movie. I should practice it more often while I am here. Now that we also have bikes, I am looking forward to a bike trip so we can explore more. Lately I began to attend Lindy hop classes, a social dance originating from America from the period of the 20s and 30s of the last century. I really enjoy it and I am meeting new people, as well. Besides that, I found a contact improvisation group, which brought me to a new studio where I can also take yoga classes. I have not had time for that yet, but at least I know something about it. Very simply said, there is no way to get bored.
Regarding cozy places, I am adding a new one. It is called Maria Bola, a vintage style cofeteria with good coffee and delicious home made cakes . I really love the little garden they have; I can enjoy my coffee and read the book in a quiet place. I am in love! For night life, there is our „bar at the corner“. The real name I do not really know. There is no progress in my Portuguese language so far. We always use to start there with a good wine and talk. The place is very small, but there is an outside terrace on the street. I am thinking what is so special about it? It is about a very chill atmosphere and the wine is very good. 🙂 Finally , I also experienced a good party. So my social life is really very rich. Just I can not forget what the priority of my “trip“ is, so I should calm down a bit and be more focused on my objectives. Of course, one does not exclude the other one, just a balance is needed.
As I said before, here I have an opportunity to be with myself and with my thoughts. Sometimes it is so funny to me, I feel so much like an artist in the true meaning of this word. Art, especially when you want to be a creator, is about finding yourself, knowing yourself and your own artistic voice. After that you can organise and formulate your ideas, thoughts and opinions more clearly, not even in the art work, but of course in every day life, as well. In the course, we work a lot with improvisation and tasks. So movements come out from us and from our experiences, we do not copy other people. I found it very essential for self-development and for the search of specific movement language. Of course, we also do have technical contemporary classes, so we can really improve our virtuosity and the quality of movements. This combination of composition and also interpretation works well for me. I can think, explore and analyze my movement and body a lot, but I can also just let go and enjoy dancing without a specific focus. Even if there actually is a focus. I just approach it more physically.
The creative process we work on here is a challenge for me. I am very familiar with all methods we use because I studied them at the university. By the challenge I mean to put things all together so they can make a sense, so the audience can read it and have some experience out of it. I am very curious, how it will go with me and how this experience influences my artistic voice. I could start to develop and work on my own pieces as a choreographer already in my home country, but I had a feeling I need to kick my ass and find a confidence on one side and on the other side I am still young enough to travel, get know new people and nurture myself as a dancer and choreographer, so I can give more to people I teach and work with. I enjoy it so far a lot!
The last two weeks were very inspiring. The topic was a dance for camera and a creative voice. The people who lead us are professionals in their field. The pity is, we have no time to go more deeply, because there are so many things to learn. Anyway, I always can go deeper into it, if I really want to by myself. The work with the voice was incredibly funny, but also not easy. To use the voice correctly, a rich imagination is important. As kids we used to have it a lot, but we loose it when we become adults. We are so serious sometimes. It means we have to wake our imagination up again and just play with it. Saying text for dancers, it feels very weird. But we all can do it. Honestly, it is very hard to be natural and act with authenticity. It was a very nice experience. Last week we had a research week and also the first presentation of our work. I will write about the creative process next time.
April will be very intense. I mean, it already has started with David Zambrano and his flying low and passing through method. After, we will have a week with Francesco Scavetta and his surprise body. During the weekends we will work on the project with cooperation of the faculty of architecture. So there are many things to look forward to. In addition, we still have to also work on our own pieces. There is still a lot to say. I did not even get to the point that we have our own reality show in our house. I will introduce you to our funny crew next time. And the weather hopefully will be better, so I can go surfing! 🙂