They understand the importance of inclusiveness and how to create a joyful space …
I have always believed in the power of collaboration. It brings together a variety of individuals with different strengths and weaknesses to work towards one common goal. Through collaboration, new ideas can be produced and revitalized, creating the best possible outcome. In the words of Helen Keller, “alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.
When it comes to collaboration in dance, I immediately think of FLOCK. Co-creators Alice Klock and Florian Lochner know exactly how collaboration can enhance a creative process. They understand the importance of inclusiveness and how to create a joyful space where fellow artists can fully express themselves. I got the opportunity to chat to both Alice and Florian about their first full length show “A FLOCK Evening”. They shared not only insightful information about all four pieces in the show, but their exciting future plans for FLOCK. Here’s what they told us:
It is about finding yourself, being yourself, and allowing and loving others for doing the same.
Melissa Panetta: “A FLOCK Evening” consists of three new pieces and your 2017 piece “Familiar”. What does each individual piece focus on and how does the choreography reflect your artistic vision? Can you explain what your inspiration was during your creative process?
Florian Lochner and Alice Klock: Each of the pieces in this program are centered around exploring and presenting the beautiful variety of artistry and personality that we have within the amazing group of dancers that are collaborating for this evening. The inspiration for the work comes from the dancers, us, our experiences, and is all an expression of our collective voice. FLOCK is not just about Alice and Florian and our style, but is always about giving artists a platform to express themselves in their individual ways and to let them truly be seen.
The first work on the program is called “Hidden and Revealed” and features all seven dancers participating in this show. The piece explores the sensation of being limited by only that which we can perceive. We cannot see through objects in front of us. We cannot see beyond the present moment. There are limitations to how much information it is possible to absorb at one time.
The second piece in the program is called “Trio” and is a celebration of the three dancers within this work. We set out to make a piece about the complexity of character, combining the personalities of the three dancers into one mega-personality.
“I built a light” is the third piece on the program and is about connecting, and about being a light for other people. It is a dreamy but strong duet that explores giving without expectation of return. It emphasizes the energy of being honest, human, and optimistic in interactions with another person.
The last piece on the program is also the first piece that we choreographed as FLOCK. We made “Familiar” in 2017 and have been evolving with it ever since. This piece is about finding self appreciation and understanding, about translating and reconciling the different parts of a singular being. It is about finding yourself, being yourself, and allowing and loving others for doing the same. Within this journey we find endless support and understanding from each other, through silliness and struggle. Over the years of doing this work, it has also become very much about us and our friendship and is an expression of our connection and way of being.
We firmly believe that from joy, care, and kindness can come great art and we strive to give artists and audiences a place that they can experience this.
Melissa Panetta: This is a very exciting time for FLOCK as this will be the last performance in Chicago before moving to a new home base. When you created the company back in 2017 what was your mission and philosophy for FLOCK? What new adventures can we look forward to as you step into this new chapter?
Alice and Florian: We began collaborating in 2017 after recognizing an ease and joy in creating together. Initially it was just for fun. We would work all week with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and then go to the studio on the weekend to make our own creations. Somehow this never felt tiring, there is something about choreographing together that gives us both so much energy! With the creation of FLOCK we took this initial enjoyment and energy one step further with declaring it as part of our mission. We firmly believe that from joy, care, and kindness can come great art and we strive to give artists and audiences a place that they can experience this. We want each of our students, guest artists, or collaborators to feel that they can really be themselves, be happy in their work, and step into their power as creators within this environment. We extend this same philosophy to the people who come to ours shows. We love to perform in intimate settings in which our audiences do not feel separate or mystified by what we are doing. In all of our creations we attempt to express something human and relatable in the hopes that our audience will feel that they can find a connection with what they are viewing. We always have a Q&A after each performance so that people can ask questions and understand the work more. We have no interest in being mysterious and untouchable performers but instead want to usher in our audience as equal and valued members of the experience of the show.
This Summer, we transition into running FLOCK full time and this mission is at the heart of all the things we will be doing. We are very excited to continue to expand, to work with collaborators from many arts areas, and to continue to share our work with audiences in the US and abroad. We have engagements coming up in Hawaii, Seattle, Germany, Colorado Springs, and Italy. You can find more information about us at www.flockworksdance.com.
FLOCK will present A FLOCK Evening in two performances, at 5pm on Saturday, May 18 and again at 8pm on Saturday, May 18 at Fulton Street Collective (1821 W Hubbard St, Ste 307, Chicago, IL 60622). Tickets are available online.