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Presentation:
Some Resistance

The First Open Letter served as a starting point for our conversations. In addition, each participant prepared a short presentation of 10 min around the following two questions:

1.What is circus?
2. How is your notion of circus translated into your artistic research practice?

I'm not sure what I can bring to this moment, because I know why I didn't go to university or into studying. Or perhaps I don't know why I didn't go, but I do know now what my job is: it's to be an artist and to be a creator.

And so it's quite difficult for me to be here now because I feel like we are in a university. I don't know what I can bring here.

It's quite difficult, but I feel there are several possibilities. One is to go out; one is to try to be fine and to search what I could say about this subject, about circus; and another, which is maybe what I have chosen now, is to try and understand why I have so much resistance inside, and why it's not so comfortable to be here, and why it makes me so angry.

So I have chosen this.

I really don't have judgement. I really try to not have judgement about others, and so in this position I really try to ask myself why I'm here and why something is not interesting for me.

I don't care to see the difference between circus and dance – for me, really, I don't care. Maybe it's very interesting, and maybe one day I will read a book and think, 'Wow, it's so interesting', but I think to be part of the conversation is not interesting for me.

Coming here I was not expecting anything; I was just very curious. But I know that my work is. My work is to search, to give, to eat, to eat with someone for a long time, which is like speaking, or to have an intellectual work that is alongside the physical.

I don't know why the reaction is so strong for me now. At one moment I couldn't follow everything because a part of me felt like, 'Ugh, three days like that – I can't imagine!' So I have to say it.

I think for me adaptation is a big part of circus, and we have to adapt ourselves a lot.

We began the day talking about sensations – about contact with the body, what we feel, with listening to others – and for me it was circus in a way. I think now we are just in the head, and I'm sorry but for me we're so far from the subject of circus and I cannot imagine three days like this.

I feel deeply there is something that I can't explain and that I don't want to explain. And it makes me irritable when I feel all this pressure to explain things. Maybe it's interesting for me to look at this resistance in myself, but it's very strong.

Jeanne Mordoj is the founder and artistic director of Compagnie Bal. The above is an edited transcript of the presentation she gave at the First Encounter at KASK in Ghent.
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