by Itxasos San Juan

Marco D’Agostin is a performer and choreographer who will perform at Short Theatre festival’s eleventh edition with his his performance “Everything is O.K”. Itxasos San Juan sat down with him at the Macro Museum in Rome to ask him about his performance and the themes he is interested in. 


-What we are going to see in the performance?

“An explosion or an implosion of the signs which are all taken either physically or verbally from the world of the entertainment that you can watch on YouTube, in internet in general but basically on YouTube, since the beginning of the 20th century until 2015. Which is the year I premiered with the piece. I’ve been working on building a chain of movements, postures, textures, sequences that are all more or less taking from there. From this feel of reference and in a way kind of burning them. Because in the piece is a moment wherein the audience can decide to surrender to the performance or gets tired of looking to this that I’m proposing. I’m really interested in what happens when the audience surrenders and if they can see something else.”

-How comes the inspiration to do it?

“It comes from very different points. There is one very basic and initial point and that is my desire to do a piece for myself where I could dance in. Another one is that I wanted to create a piece that would question ‘entertainment’, what is entertainment and what is the specific quality of the time that an audience and the performer spend together while a performer is trying to entertain the audience? The first one was a research of the hyperactivity and I’ve been studying what happens to the brain when the brain has no particular tasks, especially when the brain stops working on something. For example when you are sitting and waiting and looking at the sun. What happens when the brain is not relaxing but is activating another side of the brain, and this is the side that creates emotional memories and creativity. The basic idea is that sciences proves that sometimes it is necessary to do nothing in your life in order to create something. For me this poetically relates to ‘tiredness’. I’ve been reading a lot of things of what happens when a human being is tired, not in a scientific level but on the level of perception of the world. So the idea was how can I get tired and also make the audience tired in order to open something else.”

-Has it changes from the first time you do it? How much? In what?

“A lot. This piece more than the other pieces that I ever created is really depending on the specific relation between me and the audience. All the time that I performed I constantly look for feedback of the audience, in how they look at me. So it really depends and it really changes when the audience changes the way of looking at me, it makes me change the way I dance. Of course it also changes over time, from one year until now, because the material I’m doing is really difficult, sometimes I like to say that with this piece I create a monster and the monster is the choreography because it’s very fast and very difficult to remember and very difficult to perform and I did it on purpose. There are things that I can’t do perfectly but I did it anyway because I need it to keep it alive every time I do it. By doing it again and again I discovered new things because it’s full of details this also enables me to keep performing it for a while.”

-Has this performance relation with the performances you do before?

“There is something in it that relates to something before, but I only related it to each other after the creation of the piece. It is related to memory and that is something that fascinates me in how it works and how dance can be a possible translation  of the mechanism of memory. But also I find there is something in the movement itself, it can be really nostalgic and in every piece that I do there is always a moment where I work with nostalgia, I don’t reproduce it, somehow it entered the material. In a way you can be nostalgic of things that you never experienced and that happend before you, like the age of dinosaurs. It is a theme I would like to develop more in my work in the future. This theme was already touched upon in a previous work called “Let sleeping dragons lie”, a very slow piece and it was really hard to perform it and really hard to find a relation with the audience. So with this piece I try to do the opposite.”

-Is really everything O.K?

“No. I think nothing is ok.”