City Express, Chennai, 19. September 2003

Dance like Schloemer

For Joachim Schloemer, Germany-based chroreographer, India is a long term plan. Almost 10 years ago he was offered a project - to interpret Ramayana. "I was excited by the project. But I wasn't ready then." And so after a decade now, years of researching and investigating later, he is finally in India.
The first step towards his long pending project was the dance workshop that he conducted in Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore in association with the Goethe Institute Inter Nationes. Through these workshops, he trained different groups of dancers - with or without modern dance experience. These dancers, hopes Schloemer, might be able to help him in his project. "But it's still a long way. There's at least two more workshops - more intense and for a longer period of time - before I could even decide if I want to take up the project at all. I am still not judging anything. I am here to see what influence I can get from people."
For now, the only thing he'll admit to is his amazement at the palpable energy of India. "How can you expect me to say anything when I haven't seen anything? I am sitting in a star hotel, having lunch. What can I feel about India? Right now, from what I have seen of Delhi, I would say It's a cool place to live. But who knows, maybe after three months I'll be scared by it."
Schloemer was born near Cologne, Germany. After studying dance and choreography at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, he joined the Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels as a dancer. Later, he founded his own company Josch.
Since the late 90s, Joachim Schloemer has not only been choreographing dance, but has also directed and created opera and theatre productions transcending borders between different arts.
It was after much deliberation that Schloemer admits, "Okay, let's out it this way, even if I am not sure how the entire project might turn out, this country is definitely inspiring me towards my goal."
Then again, he points out, that doesn't mean he'll choreograph Ramayana for sure. "For all I know I might be hooked to Mahabharata instead. Or even be inspired by some real life incident in some newspaper and decide to take that up. Right now, all I know is, I am open and willing enough to go in any which way. And I am looking forward to meeting interesting people in India who think along those lines."

Jemima Raman