The Heroine’s Journey of Elisabeth Schilling

What is the best thing that I love about my work? The biggest treasure for me is to get up in the morning and to be able to dance / to be creative. I also love the fact that I get to travel so much, that I am so lucky to work in diverse countries with different cultures and aesthetics. I meet new and interesting people all the time. I find that very inspiring as one can learn so much from the differences, the pasts and the presences.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? A mixture of curiousity, love, passion, harmony, balance, peace, quiet, adventure, search, discovery, nature, music and dancing ofcourse ;).

What is my greatest fear? There are many 😉 Here a few: I am fearful of not having people around me that I feel deeply connected to, I am fearful of not feeling curious and alive anymore, I am fearful of not being able to do what I need to do.

What ist he trait that I most deplore in myself? Not being able to stop.

Which living person in my profession do I most admire? I really admire all artists struggeling with making a creative life happen. It is tough, it takes guts and persistance!

What is my greatest extravagance? Mmmmmhhhh… Carrot Cake 😉

On what occasion would I lie? To be kind.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? The financial struggle, the hierarchical structures, power games and inauthenticity. 

When and where was I the happiest in my work? Generally speaking, any moment of full-on dancing. When you feel really connected to who you dance with, the music or the audience. This is a moment of creation. Magic. Then also the moment of pursuing creative ideas and feeling them develop and becoming. And here is a story of the past: As a teenager I applied to be part of a dance competition in Italy. I did that to convince my parents to let me become a dancer, as at the time, they were quite critical about this idea… It was my plan to completely throw my heart out on stage so that they would see how very much I loved dancing and needed to do that in my life. It was one of the first solos that I had choreographed on myself. I choose the music of Astor Piazzolla, which is full on passionate tango for those of you who don’t know him. I imagined the music to support my strong emotion at the time ;).  So I got to dance the piece on this huge stage and completely threw my heart out. I think I went far over the top with my young passion there… it is quite funny retrospectively.  However, the performance did the job: I won a price and it convinced my family to let me pursue the way. This was a big gift to my young, romantic and hopeful heart!

If I could, what would I change about myself? I wished I knew a bit more how to stop, to take it slower and to just trust life. I wished I could put up boundaries for myself more easily. Passion can also eat you.I also wished I could spend more time with the people that I love.

What is my greatest achievement in  work? My greatest achievement for myself is to be able to dance every day, to be creative every day. It is and has always been a need, a necessity.

Where would I most like to live? On a lonely island.

What is my most treasured possession? I try not to be too attached to material possession too much as my home is my suitcase ;). Probably my phone which keeps me connected to the world on my travels and gives me instagram haha ;).

What is my most marked characteristic? My friends would say my passion and dedication I guess. I am very disciplined.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Which city? Hahaha 😉 The fruit market in Bolzano, Italy and tomatoes from Tel Aviv.

What books influenced my life and how? Das Handbuch des Kriegers des Lichts’ by Paolo Coelho as it gives me hope. Then all poems by Rose Ausländer, Erich Fried, texts by Peter Handke, ‚Singular Plural’ and ‚Alliterationen’ by Jean-Luc Nancy. They inspire me a lot, their language, their imagination, their sense of structure…it sometimes really throws me out of the window as they touch me so much! How precious to being able to enter into someone’s mind and heart through shared words!

Who are my favourite writers? Rose Ausländer, Peter Handke.

You only die once. What music would I listen to on my last day? Györgi Ligeti’s 2nd String Quartett ‚Métarmorphoses Nocturnes’ played by Arditti Quartett.

Who is my hero / heroine in fiction? Thelma & Louise.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Everybody in life giving heart and kindness. People who support other people. People with empathy. People who manage to respond to struggle and the toughness of life with gentleness; people who manage to keep their hearts soft and generous in that.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? The Life of Others’ and ‚Sissi’ hahaha 😉

What role plays art in my life and work? My life is art, I barely do anything else.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor and partner in crime? My Mummy 😉

Whom would you like to work with in 2017? Oh there are so many! I still have so many dreams: Sasha Waltz, Dana Caspersen, Deborah Hay, Theo Clinkard, Alexander Whitley, Carl Knif, Ionnis Mandafounis, Sally Marie, Ina Cristel Johansson, Koen Augustijn, William Forsythe, James Terrel – and Céline Dion!!! Yes, she’s right up on that list!! 😉

Which people of my profession would I like to meet in 2017? All of the above and Györgi Ligeti if he was still alive.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I am looking forward to continuing the tour of my work SIXFOLD, which has been shown in 9 countries with over 40 performances up to date. I am also looking forward to be dancing for some new productions and choreogrpahic researches this autumn with some new choreographers in some countries that I haven’t yet worked in!

Where can you see me or my work in 2017? I will be travelling all around Europe as a dancer and choreographer – from the Shetland Islands to Cyprus and back… Write me an e-mail or check my website for the dates. I would love to meet you 😉

What does the words ‚Passion never retires’ mean to me? These words sum my life up. Not much more to say. That’s it.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Sally Marie from London.

How can you contact me?

facebook: Elisabeth Schilling

twitter: @elisaschilling

instagram: @tanzelitanz

or give me a ring 😉

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