3 questions to Sam Coren

Sam Coren, who is creating a piece for the 3rd year dancers, answered our questions:


EDCM: What advice(s) would you give to a dance student?

SC: It’s a difficult question to generalise because everyone needs different advice. I would say however I think it’s very important for students to take responsibility for their own education. As pedagogues we can guide, advise and support but it’s the responsibility of the student not to sit back and expect someday ‘it’ will happen, or one day they will ‘make it’, these are abstract ideas that don’t really mean anything. Students have to ask themselves why? Why are they doing it? What do they want to achieve? Where do they want to go? These questions don’t necessarily need literal answers but to have them at the back of your mind is extremely useful throughout your whole career, I still ask myself these things regularly and the answers are constantly changing. I would also briefly say it’s ok not to know, that’s a good place to be, many possibilities. 


EDCM: Who influenced you through your career and why?

SC: As a pedagogue I’m heavily influenced by my first dance teacher Cecilia Macfarlane, she taught community dance classes in Oxford where I grew up, her ethos of dance being for everyone, anti-elitist and creating an environment that supports creativity rather than one that sidelines it in favour of rigorous technique/obedience is one I will always take with me. It’s hard to say what specific artists I’m influenced by, I fall in love with specific pieces/performances/concepts, never with a whole body of work. I think most artists will understand that, we all have the ability to be genius in some moments and struggle through the next. I am naturally influenced with those choreographers I’ve experienced personally; Hofesh Shechter, Ultima Vez, Jasmin Vardimon. Some more (not necessarily choreographers) off the top of my head Alain Platel/Les Ballets C de la B, Forced Entertainment, Peeping Tom, Andrei Tarkovsky, Matthew Barney, Marcel Dzama. I like other techniques such as editing in film, I love photography, naturally I listen to a lot of music and I take humour from the T.V I grew up on; Monty Python, Red Dwarf, Fawlty Towers. Once again I think it’s all subconscious, this force we have no control over, it's constantly accepting and rejecting things which influences the way in which we make decisions. I also know I take influence much more from things I dis-like, because then I have to rationalise to myself why I dislike them! 


EDCM: In one word, what is Dance for you?

SC: Confusing (still needs to be discovered)


His creation, Danse macabre, will be presented at Cru d'automne, from December 14 to 17, 2016.

Residence Program: Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec and Pépinières européennes pour jeunes artistes.


Photo: Tom Medwell


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