In conversation with Sandrine Monin: CC Lab
Published: 8 Jan 2019
Former company dancer Sandrine Monin took part in Phoenix’s first ever Choreographers and Composers Lab in 2015. Taking on the role of choreographer, she worked with composer Roberto Rusconi and together they created the piece Calyx. We asked Sandrine about her experience on the two-week intensive. Find out what she had to say below.
Why did CC Lab catch your interest?
When the call out for the CC Lab came out, I was straight away really interested; I always had a passion for choreography and I wanted to pursue it. The lab seemed like an opportunity to explore my practice, meet other artists and give myself a new challenge.
What did you learn during the two-week intensive?
These two weeks were such a learning curve. We learned how to develop material by exploring a range of different set tasks, sometimes through improvisation, the processes could be really quick at times. We learned the importance of self expression, how we express these ideas and how to adapt these ideas according to the artist in front of you. For example, you wouldn’t use the same words if you discussed them with a musician or with a dancer… Collaboration was at the heart of the two-week exploration and we investigated different ways of working together.
But more importantly, I feel like I learned to trust myself and my instincts.
What was it like to work collaboratively with dancers, musicians and composers?
It was an incredibly human experience. The group of artists we were working with were passionate and open, ready to try anything. It felt like a very safe environment to try out things, explore new ways of working without being judged or expected to deliver final results. Everybody was very generous, here to support each other in their research and to learn from one another.
In what areas did you improve by participating in the CC Lab?
I feel like the Lab gave me more confidence in general. I knew I enjoyed choreographing but the Lab made me realise how much I loved it and wanted to pursue it. I learned to trust my instinct and to develop my quick decision-making. I also learned a lot about music and how to articulate my ideas to others.
What would you say to others interested in applying for CC Lab?
Don’t hesitate! It was an invaluable experience. It helped me to grow as a choreographer but also as an artist. I met incredible people with whom I am still collaborating. I couldn’t recommend it enough.