Talking Moves Series 4 Episode 1: Creating an Identity

Talking Moves | 01 October 2021

In this episode, we talk to Annie Hanauer and Erion Kruja about Creating an Identity.

For many dancers it’s a dream to secure a long term contract within a prestigious dance company, but there comes a time when it just feels right to move on. So what happens when you fly that nest – leaving the safety of a regular wage, daily class, regular performance opportunities and the companionship of like-minded company members? How do you build that support infrastructure for yourself – at the same time as having to find the funding, secure commissions, and rebrand as an independent?

We start off by finding out more about life with Candoco (from Annie) and with Hofesh Shechter Company (from Erion) and how they came to make the decision to leave. We discuss the support infrastructure and development opportunities they had whilst still a member of the company and what that looks like now that they are making work independently.

We talk a bit about the type of work a body wants to make when it has been a tool for other choreographers for so long and both of our guests offer suggestions for what’s needed to better develop and support independent dance makers of today. As we very often do, we talk about language definitions and discuss the feeling of living across both an ‘emerging’ and ‘established’ description. We talk about the implied hierarchy of dancers and choreographers (the inaccurate expectation that everyone wants to ‘graduate’ to becoming a maker) and this leads us onto broader discussions about labelling where Annie shares the frustrations she experiences of being boxed up into the ‘disabled dancer’ category, and what it’s taking for her to mentally and physically break out of that box. Annie sent us some further thoughts on the subject – don’t miss her PS at the end of the episode.

And finally, we talk about the differences between the offer here in the UK and internationally and what we can be doing as dance organisations to better support the lifeblood of our art form.

Who's Who

Annie Hanauer colour head and shoulders photo leaning against a brick wall

Annie Hanauer

Annie Hanauer is an independent dance artist based between the UK & France. Originally from the USA, she holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Minnesota. She has performed, choreographed, toured, and taught extensively for over a decade, and currently performs with long-time collaborator Rachid Ouramdane and with the Paris Chamber Orchestra. She recently choreographed touring work for Mobius Dance (Leeds, UK) and the ZHdK Stage Lab, Zurich. She is currently creating her own new work around disability, collective imagination, and utopia, premiering in STEPS festival 2022, Switzerland. Annie has performed with Emanuel Gat Dance, Lea Anderson, Wendy Houstoun, and Boris Charmatz, and was a member of Candoco Dance Company from 2008-2014. Annie’s choreographic work has been supported by Arts Council England, Siobhan Davies Dance, Candoco Dance Company, LAC Lugano, Teatro Danzabile, IntegrART, STEPS festival and The Place. She is passionate about making the dance world inclusive and accessible and wants to disrupt the idea of a normative dancing body.

Photo: Camilla Greenwell
Erion Kruja black and white head shot

Erion Kruja

Erion is an Albanian born choreographer based in London. He works in the international stage, where he is commissioned to create dance performances in different mediums. His works range from dance theatre to immersive shows to purely contemporary physical dance. His works are raw, daring and challenging. His raw tribal grooves  derive from his Albanian folk dance background and has its vitality in his blood. He is an all-rounded artist that creates the light design, costumes and music score for all his shows. He utilises his life experience, growing up in a dictatorship and living almost half of his life in western countries to create about both those worlds. Both different and yet so similar. He lures the audience into his world of imagination with the intensive lights and sounds that he creates. He likes to create and research the unknown world of human behaviour and relationships. His passion and creativity make him unique in his style and creations.

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