Liadain Herriott (Ireland) in residency in Riga

Between August 6th – 21st, 2012, Irish dance artist Liadain Herriott lives and works on BETANOVUSS in Riga, Latvia. E-Motional Bodies and Cities is the project that brings her to Riga. During her residency, she will create work based on the idea of perception. Inspired by the quote of philosopher and scientist Korsybski (1879-1950) – “ The map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness…” – Liadain aims to develop choreography influenced by her perception of Riga, a city she has never been to before.

Korzybski taught that our perception of reality, of a place, is not reality itself but our own version of it, or our own “map”, unique to the eyes and senses that perceive the place, in time.  Through observation, we notice that both cities and bodies are full of movement.  However, in considering our surroundings, it is often necessary to appreciate a kind of inner stillness, in order to become closer to the essential.  Korzybski called this awareness “consciousness through abstraction” and also “silence on objective levels”.

Merging movement with stillness, and exploring where the external meets the internal, Liadain is working with local visual artist, Katrina Kalnina.  “Below The Surface”, the working title for the creation, will be performed at Noass gallery on August 20th, at 7pm. The presentation will be joined by Latvian choreographer Kristine Vismane, who will present her recent residency in Cyprus, where she developed her ongoing project – The MoveMOMENT.

On August 13th, at 11:00 Liadain invited the dance community in Latvia to meet on her residency place – BETANOVUSS. Liadain told about herself, about how she perceives dance at this moment, what are the first details in Riga she notices, how she guides the creative process during these two weeks, given to her in Riga. There was dialogue between Liadain and Latvian dancers about several themes dance artists are concerned about. For instance, how to get rid of stereotypes about “what is right” and “ what audience wants to see”; if people have to know something about the dance to be able to understand contemporary dance today; what is to be ambitious and how can it help to become more successful and appreciated in the dance field. Liadain also invited for a class to share ideas about the exercises of technique what help her in everyday training.

About Liadain
Dublin born artist Liadain Herriott trained originally as a classical ballet dancer. She studied under Marika Besobrasova at L’Acadamie de Danse Classique in Monte Carlo and under Carmen Roche at Joven Ballet Internacional in Madrid. On completion of her studies she was chosen to dance in Pedro Almodovar’s film Habla Con Ella. Since 2002, she has worked with companies including Cannes Jeune Ballet, Opera Ireland, l’Opera Royal de Wallonie amongst a variety of independent contemporary dance projects.  Working as a freelance choreographer since 2007, her own work has been performed in Dublin, Brussels, NYC and Bangalore.