German Jauregui Allue is a man who does not know what he would have done with his life if it wasn’t art. He was born in Bilbao, in autumn. In the late nineties he moved to Brussels to start his career as a member of ‘Ultima Vez’, Wim Vandekeybus’ company, with whom he still collaborates while developing his own work concurrently. When asked about something he adores, he doesn’t hesitate. ‘My friends’, he states very determined. ‘Badness’ is his answer when asked about something he hates.
Within the performing arts sphere you play several roles. As a performer you have worked with ‘Ultima Vez’ for more than ten years. Then you started directing and choreographing your own projects, all of that while constantly teaching and being a pedagogue. So what came first? Did one role lead into another?
GJ.- At the beginning of my career I was mainly a performer for years and I got to a point where I felt a change coming. I felt the necessity to direct myself, the need of creating and taking the responsibility of the works. Currently I’m not interested in being on stage, on the contrary I am keen on directing, choreographing from the outside. Sometimes it is taken for granted that first, one needs to dance then after, take the step into directing as if it was a formula that needs to be followed. In my opinion the best way is to listen carefully to what oneself feels and follow that instinct. More than anything however, I always consider myself a student, an apprentice. Therefore teaching is a way for me to keep in constant learning.
Your function in ‘Ultima Vez’ has also mutated over time. What are your current duties within the company?
GJ.- Currently I’m rehearsal director of ‘In spite of wishing and wanting’, a revival of a piece that was premiered in 1999. It was my first work with the company; therefore first I helped re-staging it. Afterwards, while being on tour, my responsibility is to prepare the rehearsals and keep the piece ready for every show. I am also working as movement assistant of ‘Mockumentary of a Contemporary Saviour’, the company’s new piece. It is mainly a theatrical piece; the majority of the performers are actors not dancers and so my role is to facilitate tools for them to engage physically with the work.
There are apocalyptic thematic links between ‘Mockumentary of a Contemporary Saviour’ and your own works ‘Isaac y Diola’, ‘Confession’ and ‘Sunset on Mars’. Both views question “whether humanity is worth saving, exploring concepts such as life and death or power as an intrinsic human goal. Taking a look at today’s reality with Donald Trump stepping into the White House, Brexit taking place,or the Middle East massacres, I am sure that is a recurrent question in many people’s mind. What is your personal perspective on humankind?
GJ.- Each historical period is defined by its own complexities which inevitably have an effect on the individuals that live on it. From the beginning of times there is a constant in human history of believing that any past time was always better. It is absolutely a normal human behavior therefore we shouldn’t panic about it. The conditions of our time affect us at all levels, economically, socially, culturally… so in my opinion what really matters is how we relate with our context. From the perspective of my profession the question is which role has to have ‘theater’ in each different period of history. Nowadays entertainment is everywhere so theater’s duty shouldn’t be to entertain, instead it should offer conflict to the audience in order for them to confront it and to find answers. As a creator, director and performer I think theater has to be an answer followed by a question mark; I do what I do as an answer towards what is happening but at the same time I propose some questions to the public.
In your own work as a director and choreographer text as a tool is frequently used. What does spoken word offer that movement cannot reach?
GJ.- Sometimes it’s necessary that the spectators connect from a more sensitive or intuitive point with what they are watching, but some ideas are better to be thrown through words because that facilitates a rational process; then the text is there for that purpose. Apart from this rational power, the importance of text lies as well in its literal meaning, what does the text talk about. A message changes entirely depending if we receive it intuitively or textually, therefore text, video, movement… are strategies to get the message through in different ways.
Personal and professional. Are there boundaries between one sphere and the other?
GJ.- It is impossible to disassociate ‘personal’ and ‘professional’, if you manage to separate it there is a problem. In my opinion that is one of the biggest problems, the fact that people live in a certain way and work in another one. In my case my job consists in constantly trying to erase this frontier. My way of living, my way of working and my way of creating has to be the same. Actions, both in our personal and professional lives, should be an extension of what we are living at. It doesn’t make any sense to me getting into the studio and having no connection between my work and ‘what is going on’; then it is just a way of escaping reality and that is not theater to me.
When asked about who inspires him he spits another quick and clear answer ‘My biggest inspiration is the close circle of people around me.’ He highlights his dad from whom he has learned a life philosophy, ‘The worst thing you can do is do nothing’.
With this quote I say goodbye to German Jauregui; a man born in autumn, who adores his friends, hates badness and who does not know what he would have done with his life if it wasn’t art.
My name is Anna and I am from a beautiful town in the coast of Barcelona, where I was born 29 years ago. From a young age I was captivated by the performing arts, which took me to start a career as a dancer in the ‘Institut del Teatre’, the conservatoire in Barcelona. After a few years of intensive training there I decided to give my life a twist, so I enrolled university to study a degree in journalism. However, all the way through it there was a crucial element missing in my life; dance was still a vivid creature shaking my insides. So I started back and I was accepted in the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (Leeds) to undertake a dance degree.
Writing for au-di-tions.com is therefore a great challenge that allows me combining my two professions.
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