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When I first met Claire – Kristen de Groot

Give Me A Reason To Live was created as part of B-project.  The project took 5 choreographers to meet with academics, art historians and restorers to learn about the work of the painter Hieronymus Bosch. Based on the information given to her, Claire began looking at the role of beggars/cripples in the work of Bosch and their use as symbols of sin – particularly the sin of greed. Project Director Kristin de Groot talks about when she first met Claire…

When I first met Claire, having dinner on the arrival day of our first residency of B-project, I felt some resistance to a project that would facilitate a ‘shared research trajectory’. However, when we started the next day with the other four artists, taking time to get to know one another something very profound happened. When it was her turn to speak about herself, she shared her practice, her being, her thinking and her talent in such way, that we were all deeply moved. From that day I trusted she was going to benefit tremendously of the journey we were about to make. Along the line I did understand where the resistance came from though; her way of working up until B project would only allow sharing her practice, once she would be safe, secure and convinced of what she would show. We did not do that during the research that was done through B-project. On the contrary, we would show any outcome of the researches had, even if we didn’t know where the material would end up and we would feedback on everything that was shared, so that the artists were able to distal what would be essential for them and the development of the eventual creation. I think the whole trajectory allowed Claire to open up her thinking and approach, to let go of safety and loose control. This allowed her to go to places, where she would not have found herself if she hadn’t gone through this experience. And I think that shows in the beautiful and touching work ‘Give me a reason to live’.

Kristin de Groot, mentor B-project, Artistic Director Dansateliers (NL)