JULIE ANNE STANZAK
Julie Anne Stanzak is a dancer and choreographer born in Charlotte, North Carolina, and raised in New Orleans.
After moving to Minneapolis she continued to train ballet in an academy dedicated to the tradition of the Ballets Russes.
She attended the Childrens' Theater Company in Minneapolis, where she studied acting and performed in their productions.
In 1976 she went to Chicago and danced with the Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet from 1977 to 1979 under the direction of Maria Tallchief, who became the great mentor of her life.
From 1979 to 1985 she was part of the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam under the direction of Rudivan Danzig.
From 1986 to today she dances with Pina Bausch's Wuppertal Tanztheater.
She conducts seminars and works as a choreographer for different realities in Europe, the United States, Japan.
In this interview Julie Anne Stanzak tells us about the joy and energy that dancing with water in the historic show Vollmond still gives her, in particular in the visionary water stage by Pina Bausch, still on tour around the world, of which she reveals memories and anecdotes from its very first creation until today.
WHAT SUGGESTIONS ACCOMPANIED YOUR WORK WITH WATER IN 2006, THE YEAR OF VOLLMOND CREATION?
Pina loved water.
The relationship with water was always a question.
Especially for Vollmond.
It was the year of Hurricane Katrina, the great storm in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2006.
This event has greatly affected the world.
When something happened, like a natural disaster, Pina wanted it to enter her work, her research.
Pina always tried to have it in her work involvement with what was important in the world: the wars in the Middle East, the tsunami ...
Whether it was suffering or joy, she tried to have current events enter her work, in a subtle way.
While the hurricane was rocking the whole world, she came to the studio and asked us the question: "Katrina , what do you mean?".
Suffering, disaster, necessity, emergency, urgency.
This was in Pina's shows.
Urgency in movements, urgency in the relationship with oneself, with our desires, urgency of love.
All this urgency is within her shows.
But in Vollmond particularly.
Pina collected all our ideas about water, about Katrina, about this moment of emergency in the United States.
I was born in North Carolina in the United States, but I spent my childhood in New Orleans for 11 years.
When Hurricane Katrina hit I had already lived in Amsterdam and had worked with Pina for many years, but in my childhood I experienced a hurricane.
I was 6, it was Hurricane Betsy, it was an experience I have a terrible memory of.
I remember the feeling of saying: "Will it end?"
We were in a small corridor, my mother, my little brother and me, my father was not there because he was in another city for work that weekend.
What you would never want to happen to you, a tsunami, an earthquake, a hurricane and instead was happening in my life.
So when she asked this question about Katrina, I started doing all the things I remembered: my mom filling the bathtub with water, we who take food in jars and fill the kitchen cupboard, we who we get ready to wait for this terrible nightmare that was to come.
An infinite rain.
Another question of her was: to write water with the body, the different words Water , Wasser, and then also all the possible variations to express water, a small drop of water falling for example.
In my solo there is a moment when there is only a tear falling and I do the movement and keep dancing.
A small element like this was the answer to a physical, choreographic question, but it is too strong a word "choreographic".
It is the poetry of space and of the body, it is the "human language".
How can I allow a body to express itself without words, with its sensitivity, its hands, its head, its feet, its person, its soul and all the emotions, how is it possible to speak and give a language to the whole humanity?
And Pina did this in all of her magnificent shows.
Photo by Max Grobecker , The Nelken Line: Summer, Julie Anne Stanzak performs The Nelken Line in September 2016 in Wuppertal. Movement 3: Summer