Poliana LIMA
Dancer

Poliana received a grant to participate in the Camping project organised by the Centre National de la Danse.

 

What is your artistic background?

I started studying dance as a child in Brazil and I feel grateful for this because, there, dance is a part of daily life. Besides dancing, I also obtained a degree in Sociology, which is very important to me. I can say that my work now reflects a combination of my history with dance and the time spent at University exploring sociological concerns in depth.

 

How do you see your profession today?

In practical terms, I think that dance is a very difficult profession in Spain, where I live.  There is very little support and we are always surrounded by precarity. It is a difficult reality to deal with. I think this is true in many countries, it comes from a lack of deep understanding and reflection about the social function of art. When a society doesn't recognize the value of art, then there is no point prioritizing it. Of course, this does not only apply in Spain. Artistically, I love the body and its movement. I love to watch people dancing, no matter the choreographic style or technique. For me there's nothing more powerful than a body, or many bodies, committing to dance, which I understand to be synonymous with surrendering to existence. I also appreciate the aspect of craft in art, the composition. I observe that contemporary art is losing this capacity. I don't think it is possible to make a piece only with ideas. I don't think that concepts and ideas are enough. Politically, as a woman making art, I see that we are finally starting to speak about and address the difference in opportunity between men and women in the arts. I don't know the situation in France, but generally what you find is loads of women producing dance as dancers and choreographers, while the big names, with big resources, power, respect, and prestige, are men. For me, this isn't innocent or random: all power spheres are led mostly by men. I think there's a lot of work to do on this, and we must get started. Socially, I think dance has never been as necessary as it is today. To me, dance is the art of presence, the art of empathy, of being deeply connected with a sense of community. I think that dancing, witnessing someone dancing, teaching dance, are deeply revolutionary actions that create a  sense of natural poetry. I'm  a dance teacher and I see the power of dance daily. I think that the future will show a new understanding of the body, of touch, of care and community. More than a vague intuition, this feels like an urgent need if we are to respond responsibly to the world.

 

How do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?

I see myself dancing, creating, teaching, and learning until the last days of my life. It is my deepest desire, and my orientation in life. In five years, I see myself doing what I'm doing now, but with more resources. I see myself developing projects and creating choreographies, with the possibility of paying my creative and technical teams decently. Also, I would like to work with large groups of dancers, something that at least in Spain, we almost never see on the alternative scene (due largely to lack of resources). In 10 years, I would like to see my work sowing seeds. I would like to taste my work, breathe it, feel how it transmits a sense of homeland and belonging; one with no gender, no age, no race, no nationality, and no borders to separate one from another.

 

This interview was conducted in 2017

Photo credit: Antonin Amy-Menichetti