MARIE DESOUBEAUX

Monday 5/30/16 time 1:15 PM - interview and photo by Terhi Dahlgren


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-Background as an artist:
I trained as a dancer from the age of 6, in a conservatory in Normandy (France) and move to Paris for my studies after I graduated from high school. I kept on training there and abroad, following my travels and wishes for workshops and projects around Europe and China. Since 2010, I got really interested into the performative field and Instant Composition process. I created and directed a platform dedicated to both those forms between 2012 and 2015, before getting into my own material as a director this year. 
-How did you end up choosing your media? Best/worst sides of it?
I wasn't really much attracted by theater when I was young, it didn't really fit my profile to talk on a stage, and I was already into dance studies back then. 
I recently work in the process of a featured movie, and it made me realize again why dance has also been my media for so long: I guess I just like to have a straight access to my instrument, without depending on an object between me and my way of expressing. Plus, I think I really have a somatic body, which talks to me a lot when any emotional force happens.
I like to put the body in the center of expression. I would say it has been hard to keep the energy and desire of dancing all those years, and I sometime go into phases where I don't have the curiosity to move any more. But it always comes back, and then I need to go extreme with it and dance a lot for a while. I guess I have trouble to stay stable with this, but I guess this is also how I work with it now. 
 
-What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?
I love being an artist for the freedom of thinking that it offers. I feel it sometime puts me into a very nice position to be a link, a thread, or to go to very different fields of life and interest.
I recently had a big brainstorming with me and myself (!), to wonder if I should stay in the dance and artistic area as my main job. But I'm not sure I could really get away too long from that world, for the diversity if offers (or the diversity I take from it). For the worst side, as I guess many artists would say, is to find the right frame and conditions to be working as you wish for. 
-Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?
It is! My coming to Joutsa was actually so spontaneous and last minute made that I'm not sure I had time to have a lot of expectations from it... I quickly borrow a book on my parents' library about Finland, and just had the time to read its people were shy but welcoming at the end..! 
I have always been very much attracted to Scandinavia and Northern countries, and it that aspect it really fits the atmosphere I was expecting from it. I couldn't really picture Joutsa the way it actually is, but I found the environment to be just perfect to focus and get some air for and from your work.
 
-How's your average day in Joutsa?
I tried to fix some rituals for a basic daily day in Joutsa but it didn't really work that much! I tried to follow the flow as much as possible, without closing anything.
I have been working a lot, just in many different ways. I usually get up around 8:30am in the morning (after waking up around 4am to answer the sun's greeting...), get a good breakfast and coffee, listen to french news on the radio from time to time, and sit at my desk in the dance studio to work.
I haven't danced much, but I discovered I was actually in a different process this time, that involve more of gathering, making links and thinking through than actual dance experimentations.
Afternoons are usually more dedicated to reading or trying to find some other way to work and getting some fresh air, but it can also be the other way around. I try to get out at least once a day. I go to the lac and the wood paths around the house. I went a couple of times to Myllykoski, which is such a nice place to walk and get into the woods by the lac. Sometime I just go out to buy some food at the supermarket, or knock at the guy's doors to ask them to go out for a beer with me in Kellari's pub at night. 
I stretched, had some very creative naps, went out a lot to see Kari and Tehri working in the garden,...
SAUNA has been also a very nice place to finish the day, and get fresh (hot?) new ideas for the next day!
 
-What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency? 
It offers you the frame you need to deeply focus on your work, even when you feel stuck with it! It allowed me to sometime let go of the writing process itself, but still be able to let the seeds grow.
You never get out of your process in a way, even when you're doing something else. It is like having a place where your daily life has been put aside just for a moment, to allow you to work, but also to empty the space around for your work to rise.
 
-How does Haihatus meet your expectations? 
I feel a lot of freedom here. Haihatus was just what I was looking for: a place to focus on my own work, alone, but surrounding by people.
The spaces here are huge, and you can really get your own private space to work in, but it is also very easy to connect with people in the house, and get friends and company around you when you just go crazy with you and your thoughts! 
 
-What are your plans after Haihatus?
I was accepted for an other artist residency in Iceland, where my project is also rooted. But meanwhile, I will first go back to Paris, and start to work with my dancer in the studio to keep on going with the project I was working on here. I have a piece that is still touring from next month starting, and I will also be working for a festival in Paris this summer. 


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