The Heroine’s Journey of Camille Hanson

What is the best thing that I love about my work? The thrill of dancing, as well as the opportunity that exists in using movement as a language, a tool for communicating, similar to poetry. I see performance as a dialogue between dancer and audience,- a space that activates listening and response.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Being alive,- committed to living consciously in thought and feeling.

What is my greatest fear? Humanities destructive interference in the selfregulating brilliance of planet Earth.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? My left brain,- that hemisphere of the mind that equates opinion to truth.

Which living persons in my profession do i admire? I draw inspiration from the German choreographer, Sasha Waltz, for her site-specific architectural choreographies.

What is my greatest extravagance? My frugality,- I was the kid who put cardboard paper over the hole in the sole of her shoe, versus buying a new pair.

On what occasion would I lie? I would never hide the truth from a child. One does not need to,- children are amazingly resilient.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Creating against the clock. I recall working with the Spanish director, Chema de la Peña, who called me up one day and expressed that he needed a powerful choreographic duet for the following week,- to be filmed on a beach in Morocco. That´s a challenging time frame for a process oriented choreographer. The ego said there was no way it could be done in such a short amount of time, but the end result was surprisingly positive,- I got quickly comfortable making immediate decisions and trusting that gut feeling.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? For the last nine years I have been creating collaborative artistic stage and site-specific works with the visual artist, Juan Carlos Arévalo, and a talented group of international dancers. Our projects combine dance, music and photography for festivals around Europe and the U.S. Everyone of these projects is life-giving,- something new brought into being.

If I could, what would I change about myself? Nothing,- this time around.

What is my greatest achievement in work? My dance and audiovisual creation, “The Sacrifice of Giants,” for it´s ability to respond to the dark side of humanity and yet illuminate beauty. The work is inspired by dolphins in their natural habitat, the ocean, and takes a stand against their exploitation in entertainment parks and zoo aquariums. It has been supported by various prestigious artistic and ecological organizations such as The Bogliasco Foundation of NYC, SOSdefines of the FAADA Foundation and Greenpeace España. View video: http://www.camillehanson.com/videos/

Where would I most like to live? I am drawn to undomesticated landscapes, and progressive communities,- New York City, Costa Rica and Finland for example.

What is my most treasured possession? My body.

What is my most marked characteristic? My choreographic commitment to the natural world. The conservationist Aldo Leopold said, ‘There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.’ I am one of the some who cannot.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I walk weekly along the river Manzanares in Madrid,- always arriving home with a sense of awe.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Madrid is full of outdoor terraces,- always charming and generous with wine and tapas.

What books influenced my life and how? Julia Cameron,´s “The Artist´s Way” was helpful in getting my ideas down on paper and into the studio for development. Twyla Tharp´s, “The Creative Habit” and Anne Bogart´s “A Director Prepares” are both full of depth on the creative process, and have guided my teaching and choreographic process in more than one occasion.

Who are my favorite writers? The poet, Mary Oliver, is by far the most influencial.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? I consider music to be one of humanities greatest contributions to the universe. I adore the highly emotional melodies of the late Mexican-Canadian singer and songwriter, Lhasa, who sang in English, Spanish and French,and drew from Mexican folk songs and French vocalists like Édith Piaf. I am also fascinated by the “music” of wildlife. One such stunning example is
“Songs of the Humpback Whale” recorded by biologist Roger Payne. This vinyl recording is hypnotic and evolutionary,- back in the late sixties society thought it impossible that whales sang, and believed the sound came from Russian submarine spies.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Was it not Wonder Woman who said,“It is our sacred duty to defend the world. And that is what I am going to do”.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? The German Choreographer,Pina Bausch, for her ability to highlight human behavior. The director and marine conservationist of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Paul Watson, who is  making progress in protecting the biodiversity of our delicate ocean ecosystem. And the English scientist, Rubert Sheldrake, who supports with empirical evidence that memory and consciousness exist in nature.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? “Baraka” (1992)- a stunning non-narrative poetic documentary composed of landscapes from around the world,- directed by Ron Fricke.

What role does art play in my life and work? Art allows me to channel into metaphor what lies outside myself and it´s affect on my inner world.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My partner, Spanish visual artist, Juan Carlos Arévalo.

Whom would I like to work with in 2018? I would be thrilled to collaborate with filmmaker, Gregory Colbert, whose extraordinary project, Ashes and Snow,uses film, photography and movement to generate awareness and protection for
wildlife.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018? Canadian choreographer, Crystal Pite, for her dedication to real life stories.

What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to working on? WE EARTH,- a new dance and audiovisual production coming together in collaboration with the Foundation Dancing for the Millennium Goals,- based in Spain and supported by UNESCO.

Where can you see me or my work in 2018? Currently I have two creations on tour,- The Sacrifice of Giants and WE EARTH. Next stop,- Mexico,- Cultural Sonora Festival!

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Passion is ageless,- independent of time. It is said that Georgia O’Keeffe sat before her canvas painting until the age of 99.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
The co-founder of The Dolphin Embassy,- Nicole Gratovsky
View presentation in TEDx: https://youtu.be/4zbIyD5JjgY

How can you contact me? Website: http://www.camillehanson.com/

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