PAUL is the Performing Artists’ Urban Laboratory, a collective for artists by artists with a strong focus on the performing arts. PAUL is a place for artistic exchange, a place for collaboration, and a place for community. PAUL is the conglomeration of Vera, Zahra, Jojo, Rhea and Edegar who support one another in their work and shape this platform together. PAUL is collectively run, without hierarchies. Together we strive for the same concepts and goals.
Rather than delve into facts of our long lives we've chosen to describe ourselves personally, talk about our work, our art and what inspires us. Enjoy!
Vera is a performer, choreographer and director. At the center of her work lies improvisation and spontaneous movement. She focuses on research with/on a body that communicates intrapersonal, interpersonal and social processes through itself and trains its capacity for empathy through processes of imitation.
"I am fascinated by the body; the anatomical body, the inseparability of body, mind and feeling, the everyday body, the dancing body, the performative body.In order to get to know this magical bunch of molecules, I work with Improvisation, Instant Composition and Spontaneous Movement. In my artistic work, I look for possibilities to create spaces in which the body, and the moment itself, may take over, speak, listen to and understand itself through itself. "
Zahra is a contemporary dancer, choreographer and teaching artist. The drive behind her artistic inquiry lies in the space between physical and emotional realms.
"Aesthetically I seek to convey the beauty in the strange, the ugly, and the mundane. I am interested in honest movement. In the exploration of the felt sense and the surfaces, textures and pathways which exist within each of us. Having had music as a deep and integral part of my upbringing I find it is what grounds my work. I am drawn to the gestural relationships between sound and movement, as well as the investigation of our genetic resonance- the memories stored inside us all. I find that the recognition of these distant stories, as well as the integration of musicality can provoke lush landscapes for movement based arts."
Jojo is a dancer, choreographer and teacher of contemporary dance, flamenco and improvisation. Her artistic focus is exploring the transformational and expressive possibilities of the body, its immanent musicality and emotionality. As a teacher, she is interested in somatic work and in getting to know her own body along with its habits and automatisms.
"What fascinates me is the infinite depth and depth of the body and its expressive possibilities. There is so much knowledge, experience and joy of life in a body and it can be read like an open book of personal experiences. As a body can learn and reinvent itself, the spirit can also reinvent itself with it. A trough of endless possibilities - to make the impossible tangible and through the sharpened perception learn deeper and deeper to understand itself. Allow me to carry my organism through life.
The beauty of the body is for me in its honesty, fragile personality, and its infinite wealth of stored memories. "
Rhea is a filmmaker whose focus lies in production and costume design. At PAUL she contributes her well rounded knowledge of the arts supporting and surrounding performance. Rhea holds the rank of 2nd Dan in Iaidô - the japanese art of the sword and thus utilizes PAUL for personal training and occasional martial arts workshops.
"A room is so much more than an accumulation of furniture and inanimate objects. It tells of its inhabitants' stories - it tells you what they like, admire or even worship. It shows you how they see themselves and how they want to be seen, but as important as that it can also show you dark hidden corners, things that are cramped into the bottom drawer, a stack of unopened inconvenient letters or a flickering lightbulp that should have been changed weeks ago but just hasn't. The same rules apply to a person's clothing and all of this information helps shape a character wether it is on screen, on stage or in a performance. This subtle art of storytelling is my passion. As I live and work in the world of fantasies and fiction, Iaidô is what keeps my feet on the ground, my eyes focused and my mind aware."
Edegar Starke is a dancer, actor, choreographer and teaching artist. The focus of his movement research lies on the social aspect and impact of a dialogue through an artistic vocabulary.
“I am very curious about the singularities of the body in movement, this fascinating gathering of memories, images, feelings, flesh, bones, etc., and in acknowledging this, researching a path of exercises and ways of investigating what moves you and what do you move with it."