Email to Igor&Moreno, 24th June 2016.
The way the portraits work is something like this:
We meet in Hugo studio in Hoxton and work for an hour and a half or two hours or so.
My suggestion is that the material not be about the imagined new, but rather about the ghosts in the body, the worn out, the too familiar, the traces of patterns which can't be called old because we live with them every day. And then to map them into the air or onto the table or on the body, and the privilege is that the camera sees the smallest intention. And we'll work in silence and you won't hear the music until the film is finished.
I offer you the looping pattern of the old classical music form called La Folia, with four phrases A, B, C and D that you could make then learn or read in repeating order ABA CDC AB, which is a structure I lived with for a year while making Body Not Fit For Purpose and I made 51 gestural solos like this, and it's actually easy and makes nice change and some do it and others don't, but somehow it does its work anyway and the clue is about rapid shifts. Or you could sing a song or speak something in your head, that perhaps contains a question. Or anything else that makes sense to you, from your practice or from your questions.
For the duet you can work together as shared counterpoint or work apart as collided counterpoint or do both, or alternate like Trisha Brown's Glacial Decoy or whatever, or do something I can't yet think of.
If you want you can write the material down as a score and read it as you do it, and quite a few have.
A minute is the goal, though some go for longer even up to 4 minutes and that's ok but right now we like again the punk duration.
The table should be somewhere in shot, as a link with the spectator sat with their laptop at their own table, but you can do what you like with it.
It turns out that material from well known pieces people have made, seems quite remixed in this context and reveals something else by how the camera sees and how the music and lyrics work and what stands next to it.
For the lyrics I ask you a few questions which takes no more than 10 minutes, and I write the answers just as you say them and I only quote verbatim, and there are some questions the same for everyone and I also get restless and ask new ones, and the purpose is not to expose but to shift the usual philosopher's or journalist's angel image of the dancer and give the complexity and doubt and fury and intelligence and humility and politics which make our performance world interesting.
Then you suggest a piece of music and Matteo uses it as a place to begin, taking pulse, rhythm, harmony, textures and tones, sometimes overtly and sometimes unrecognisably, but there's always something left that holds close to your choice. And he or his daughter Francesca, or both, sing the lyric that I've drawn from our talk, which contains something of your narrative or ideas or questions.
The whole project should never feel it exploits or compromises or exposes anyone, and you can watch before it goes out and you can comment and question and change if you need.
And it's not about subjective or objective, but about using the portrait to challenge how the hierarchies of dance and art wish always to place one approach or style above another, and to reclaim what gets marginalised.
For clothes unfortunately everything works so I can't be of much help, but dark clothes make you float in the space like a Caravaggio and light clothes make you more present and at the forefront somehow, and maybe just a little bit more plastic, like a representation of yourself.
The more portraits we do the longer I write, as though to write the idea into a place where the obvious arrives out of a sense of being overwhelmed by information.
But ask me more at leisure and let me know if we could do next week.