Meet the choreographers: Lizzie J Klotz

Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform is excited to announce the second interview in a series profiling the upcoming choreographers and artists for our third platform which takes place Tuesday, November 10th at The Galvanisers Union. 

Be the first to hear from the choreographers about their work and thoughts, and get an insight into their process and rehearsals.

CSUkF4sW0AAFQlfLizzie J Klotz: As an independent dance artist and filmmaker based in the North East of England, Lizzie is working on various performance, participation and choreography projects within the region, with companies such as State of Grace, Lo-Giudice Dance, Kelly Abbott Dance Theatre, Late to the Conversation, Bait and Northumberland Arts Development. (To read a full biography of Lizzie you can visit the Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform website)

Lizzie’s work is marked by an interest in human behaviour, exploring actions, reactions and interactions of the everyday. Working in both live and video performance, she is interested in combining elements of dance, text and song. She creates sensitive, humorous and thought-provoking work. Her work has been presented nationally and internationally throughout Europe, the Middle East and South America.

To Suit LJK (7)
Performers Charlie Dearnley and Alys North

‘To Suit’ – which will be presented at Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform on November 10th 2015 – is dynamic dance-theatre about the interaction and relationship between Man and Woman. Investigating human communication, the work draws comparisons to animal courtship rituals, specifically the behaviour of birds. ‘To Suit’ comments on the social formalities of human relationships. It explores the use of body language, instinctive behaviour and ritual as a means of conversation.

‘To Suit’ is a Dance City commission, with support from Arts Council England. Special thanks to Benedict Ayrton.

We were fortunate enough to sit down with Lizzie in London and ask her some questions regarding her work and interest in Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform.

Why did you want to take park in Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform?

My work was performed at the first Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform last year; it was a very short piece I had created in Israel during my time with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in 2014 – “Too Much Noise, Not Enough Nuts”. When I returned to England I recreated it with ten new dancers for Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform and since then I have been based up in Newcastle. I was recently commissioned by Dance City, for the piece I am taking to the third platform, and then I saw that Konstantina and Lucia were hosting again so I applied.

It is great to get back to the platform and see how my work has changed in a year; in the first platform I received useful feedback that has influenced my work quite a bit. Someone suggested creating my work with non-dancers, which I have been doing. One of my performers was originally a writer but now he is definitely a dancer too. I also think of the third platform as a really great space to show work, especially since it is not a theatre space. It is a very intimate platform that I think my work fits into.

20 Lizzie J Klotz - To Suit - Photography by Camilla GreenwellWhat do you enjoy the most whilst creating?

I think for me a massive element is the team that I work with and the collaboration between the dancers and filmmakers and photographers that all influence the process – exciting things happen from them. Also we were able to have a luxurious three weeks in the studio for “To Suit”, in kind through Dance City. We had a lot of time to play, which was fun and useful for the process.

To have time to explore.

That is what I enjoy the most. You learn a lot about yourself and what you think about things, playing is good and we should do it more as adults.

What do you expect from your participation in Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform? How will your involvement help you develop your work further?

I guess for me what is important about showing my work is receiving the feedback which I will get from the Q&A and just general conversation with people on the 10th. I will be sharing the work at a few platforms coming up including Resolution on 19th January, and other performances in Newcastle, Leeds, and Edinburgh. I am looking to receive the feedback to help develop and extend the piece. There is a loose narrative to the work, and I am interested in exploring it further.

Also, for me based in Newcastle, it is important to explore working in different cities and to keep showing work and seeing other people’s work in London to continue to develop a stronger network.

Are you from Newcastle originally?

Yes, I am from Newcastle, but I trained at London Studio Centre, and then I spent time in Israel before deciding to return to the North East. Newcastle is a great place because it has a small and intimate community of dancers, but for that reason you want to get out and see other things. There is a lot of support up there, which is amazing.

Lizzie J Klotz - To Suit - R+D collageWhat is your outlook on female choreographers? Do you have a strong opinion? Does your work reflect that opinion?

That is an interesting question because it seems to be one that is floating around a lot at the moment. I believe it is necessary to promote female choreographers through things like The Bench and other initiatives. Leading female choreographers massively inspire me but essentially I consider myself equal to male choreographers. My work is not female specific but it does reflect my voice. I don’t scream about it but it is present. There are themes about equality and feminism but I’m not shouting about it. I’d like to reach a place where we are on par with male choreographers.

Why do you do what you do? What does choreographing mean to you?

Essentially why do you choreograph?

Choreographing is a really great way for me to process information, whether personal or political or societal, and specifically for me to visualise and physicalise that. My choreography reflects my voice, which through an extensive research period I am able to piece together. Like painting a picture so to speak.

Anything else you want to say about your work?

I’ve had the idea for a long time. I guess it is something that I am strongly interested in. The work explores the relationship between man and woman. It is a comment. Not a scream. I am interested in people and the way people work. I’ve always enjoyed people watching. I am interesting in the communication between people. People are a subject I find interesting and collaborating with tech, theatre, and other elements can develop that subject. I have ideas about exploring other elements of our society, developing small episodes to create a full-length piece. For this, I am interested in engaging with a non-dance audience. People resonate with me more than pure dance, which is important to my work. Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform is fantastic because of what it upholds, if you can’t bring people to the dance events then bring the dance to the people.

26 Lizzie J Klotz - To Suit - Photography by Camilla GreenwellIn the discussion about your work what do you want to address?

Again I am looking for feedback to aid the development of the work. There is an internal narrative to the work; courtship, ritual elements, singing, sounds, costumes, movement, and making a mess. How can we relate to birds as human beings? I want to see how the work is received. I know my own processes, but is that what people on the outside see? Does the work engage with the audience? The key thing for me is future development of the work.

Thank you to Lizzie for giving us the time to talk about your work. We are excited to see it performed and honoured to have you represented as a choreographer for Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform.

For more information on Lizzie you can visit her website.

To see her work at Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform you can buy tickets here.

We hope you can make it to the performance and have enjoyed this insight into what is to come.

Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform

This post was written by Cecilia Berghäll.

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