Featuring a stunning score from NSDOS and clothing from Berlin designer Olivia Ballard.
FMKF was founded by transmedia choreographer Franka Marlene Foth as a response to what she understands as a narrow-minded approach to movement. “Often, dance is merely used as an enjoyable afterthought to augment fashion shows or commercials, or bound to strictly worked out, over-intellectualized concepts,” she explains. At the centre of her practice is a refocusing on the fundamentals of the dance and the dancer, pulling away from concept to delve deeper into the physicality and the sensuality of performance. Functioning as an artist collective and dance troupe, FMKF allows Foth to explore these concepts through a deeply personal process of collaboration and exchange. “I work with the feeling of pleasure, creating pieces that are merging and fusing with the sound which plays a big role,” she explains. “To embody the music, be guided and affected by it is crucial in my choreographic works.”
“In this piece I wanted the dancers to dance for the sake of dancing!”, the choreographer says of her new film, Skylark. “The piece stemmed from a powerful urge to move with my dancers again. Due to Covid we haven’t been all together as a group for a really long time. As a collective we are strongly connected, physically and mentally, and are used to working closely together on a regular basis. This is also true for the other artists I work with, for example NSDOS who created the sound and Olivia Ballard who designed the clothing; it’s a collaboration on all levels. I brought the group together on the first warm day of the year with the intention of exposing the beauty and strength of the dancers I work with, highlighting their dual roles as both artists and athletes.” Set against a clear blue sky, snapshots of individual gestures flutter against ensemble expressions, NSDOS’s dappled synthesis and Ballards’ gauzy fabrics amplifying and refracting the fluidity of the group’s movement.
“I work intuitively to create movement that is authentic, fluid and responsive to the creatives involved,” continues Foth. “It is important that you really see the dance. I don’t necessarily built narratives for me it’s more about the feeling, expression and fun you have while dancing.” The freedom enabled by this instinctual approach to choreography is keenly felt by dancer Janan Laubscher. “The collective is a safe space where you’re free to take risks and create with those around you,” she says. “Building connections through our movement language is so rewarding.” It’s testament to Foth’s reverence for the dancers that form FMKF that such a productive emotional dialogue can develop from ensemble performance. “The intense training that dancers commit to to reach their impressive artistic and athletic abilities deserves to be placed centre stage,” she asserts.
Choreography – Franka Marlene Foth
Music – NSDOS
Dancers – Janan Laubscher, Peer Liening, Steph Quinci, Camille Jackson, Amie-Blaire Chartier
Clothing – Olivia Ballard
Editing – Nicola Powell