Antoinette Helbing is a German dance artist based in Copenhagen. Her choreographic works are driven by her deep fascination with how the body is engaged in social interaction. This fascination leads her to explore social phenomena such as laughter, crying and the process of how humans create their self image in social interaction with others. Audience engagement is an integral part of her works. She constructs a social space that opens up for possible social interaction. By placing the audience in close proximity to the performer(s) she often exposes the audiences’ behaviour and reactions as an essential element in her performances. The proximity also supports her wish to give the audience a rich sensual experience.
Taking point of departure in the Feldenkrais method she has developed a choreographic practice that uses somatics as an invitation for the spectator to slow down, to observe closely and to dive with all senses into her performances.
With my choreographic works I wish to give the audience a strong sensual experience of supposedly well-known aspects of social interaction. I’m wondering how social interaction can be experienced from a sensual perspective? How can I seduce the audience to indulge in the sensuality of the ordinary and the daily. By creating a sensual disturbance of the well-known I want to propose an alternative experience of movement in our daily lives as moving beings. Currently I’m exploring the notion of control which I perceive as paradoxical in our society. I observe on one hand the wish to control the image we give of ourselves and at the same time a strong search for ways of letting go of that urge to control. Strong expressions of emotions, like laughter or crying, are losses of control going along with quite dramatic bodily expressions, which can make us lose face in a social context. My work encourages the celebration of those moments of losing control – it’s those that make us human, that invite for empathy and compassion.