Antoinette Helbing (she/her) is a German dance artist and member of the artist-run platform Dance CooperativE in Copenhagen (DK). She divides her time between creating, performing, teaching and practising within the Feldenkrais method.
Her choreographic work is driven by her wish to create art that evokes the viewer’s sense of belonging, of togetherness and empathy – seeing those attributes as patches for the holes in the world’s community. Our endlessly self-centred way of life is threatening both ecosystems and humanity. Societies are increasingly categorising and exclusive while our physical closeness with each other reduces. And yet we are bodies – ripe, receptive, vulnerable and demanding. Despite the influence of the digital world that reduces our ability to sense ourselves and others. What does it mean to exist as a body in our modern world?
As a reminder that we, beyond our instagram handles, are actual living and breathing beings, Antoinette creates experiences within and across bodies. Working towards connection, she addresses the empathic through multi-sensory experiences. Confronting with the sensual force of the moment, she makes the audience aware of themselves by their own sensual experience of themselves as spectators. She’s researching methods to transfer the performers’ sensations directly into the audience’s body. This bodily translation carries the potential to fantasise, to sense and to think from another body’s perspective.
With my works, I wish to establish a strong connection between the audience and the performer(s). Creating dance works that offer an intimate and immediate meeting space – collectively shared physical experiences – I’m challenging the division in performer and audience. Striving for an experience that bridges bodies – bypassing human intellect – where both performers and audience can meet in a respectful, caring and listening way. I incorporate the somatic learning method Feldenkrais as means to explore the connection within and between people. My Feldenkrais-informed choreographic practice serves as a kinaesthetic-tuning process to create a choreographic vocabulary that invites the audience to look at the present as an ocean of possibilities – with curiosity and the capacity to consciously choose how to treat oneself, others, and equally our planet.
Taking point of departure in the Feldenkrais method I’m in the midst of a personal artistic process to create an intimate dialogue between performer and audience. By interfering with the audience’s nervous system I wish to transform their way of experiencing the world – as an invitation to delve into fantasies about new ways of being with oneself and one’s surroundings.