Interview: Neus Cortes on her Dance Springs Performance

This week marks the beginning of UHArts annual festival Dance Springs 2016. The festival will go out with a bang on Friday 4th of March with Dance Springs: The Show which celebrates the work of upcoming choreographers. We caught up with one of the choreographers, London based dancer, Neus Cortes who along with dancing at Dansateliers Rotterdam has worked with critically acclaimed choreographer Hofesh Schecter. 

“Know what you want and work really hard to get it”

Neus, you’re taking part in the UHArts annual Dance Springs Festival. Tell us a bit about your show?
Our piece is a collaboration between visual artist Nieves Mingueza and myself.  Nieves and I share the same name, in two different languages. It means "snow".
We also come from the same city, Valencia, and both live now in the UK. These life coincidences and connections have loosely inspired the theme of the piece, which is mainly about identity. That is, of course, a massive word, and we are not aiming to do any philosophical essay about it, but instead, we will be using our lives' paths, journeys, changes of scenarios... to present the audience with what we consider "layers" that have been added to our personality.
In other words, every experience that we have had in our life changes us a little bit, adding layers, perhaps breaking some preconceptions or structures and adding new ones. This is specially relevant when moving to a different place, and trying to integrate into a different culture.

What first sparked your interested in dance?
My parents have always been theatre, music and dance lovers. When I was 5 we went to see a performance by CNN, choreographed by Nacho Duato and when it finished I turned around to my parents and said solemnly: “I want to be a dancer”. I repeated it for a whole year till they finally enrolled me in a dance school, and here I am more than 25 years after!

What first attracted you to the genre of contemporary dance and how has your style developed since?
Ever since I started dance school I was attracted to contemporary dance. To me it seemed more current than classical ballet in the sense that contemporary dancers act, in a way, closer to the consciousness that we now have and the way we relate to each other. I also love flamenco and tango, for their strength and depth of emotion but I felt more free in the contemporary dance world.
How has my style developed? I think working with Hofesh Shechter has had a massive influence on me. Up until then I had been searching for a type of movement that wasn't just steps, something that was somewhat more internal and connected to emotions. Hofesh's style is all about an internal feeling, a body “state” that concept gave me the key to create something more “real” to me.  

What advice would you give to Hertfordshire University Students wanting to go into the performing arts?
Know what you want and work really hard to get it. Try to not compare yourself to others too much, because everybody has a different path. Many things don't depend on you and the only thing you can do is to throw your energy in one direction and see what happens. But many others do, so you have to be the best you can be in what is important for you. When you fail at something that's important to you, ask yourself (or others), WHY? And try another approach. Don't give up on your dreams easily.

Why should students/people come and see the show?
I think going to the theatre is always an opportunity to experience something new and unexpected. Regardless of whether you want to be a performer or not, art has the ability to inspire thoughts and feelings that can shake you out of your comfort zone, and that's always exciting! 

Dance Springs: The Show will take place on Friday 4th March in the Weston Auditorium, for tickets or more information click here


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