I recently got the privilege to speak to Franziska Kusebauch, a German dance artist currently living in Sweden. As a class, each of the freshman dance majors was assigned an artist to talk to. We were to interview our artist and give a presentation to the class about them. So saturday morning November 8th, Franziska and I Skyped. I learned a lot about Franziska Kusebauch through our interview, and I was inspired by her ways of viewing dance.
Franziska was born in Neuburg, Germany, a small town in the south of the country. From her childhood here, she moved to Munich to attend university and receive her masters in French and German. In Munich, Franziska got involved in the dance scene and decided to continue furthering her dance education by auditioning for a dance school in Dresden. Being accepted into the program, she worked hard throughout her university years to complete a dance degree as well as continuing her masters in French and German.
At university in Dresden, Franziska learned dance technique as well as dance pedagogy. She learned to ask more questions on the theoretical side of dance such as, “how is dance structured?”, “how is teaching structured?” and “how do the ways we are taught affect how we dance?”. She has an interest in teaching dance, as her focus in her dance studies was education, but she stressed the fact that for her dance is not complete without both performing and teaching. She said that these two aspects of dance could not really be seen as separate for her, rather they made up two parts of a whole.
Franziska incorporates her masters in language to her views about dance. She aims to become a part of “intercultural and international” projects because it is a topic of her interest. Since she was a child she has traveled throughout Europe, journeying to Greece, Italy, Austria, and other countries surrounding Germany through family vacations, Brussels Durham and now Sweden for dance, and France and the London for school. She enjoys entering herself into unknown situations, and giving herself over to unfamiliar cultures. This was one of her primary reasons for traveling to Sweden after graduating this summer. Franziska had friends in Stockholm (Sweden) who recommended the city as a growing hub for people aiming to further analyze their artistry. And while she is working hard to insert herself into this new place, by taking professional class and auditioning as well as applying for teaching positions and higher education programs, she wants to see where the city takes her. Meaning that she would rather go where dance and her teaching degree decide to take her rather than forcing goals upon herself.
One part of our interview that I found especially interesting was Franziska’s views on how to get people to the theaters to see contemporary dance. She said that she often finds people not experienced in the dance field unable to enjoy contemporary dance because they did not know what the dance was about. This lack of understanding prohibits non-dancers, in Franziska’s opinion, from being able to see the movement in its totality. To help this problem, she proposed that we (as people knowledgable in the dance field) could work to educate non-dancers in how to appreciate something they do not understand. Also we should learn how to teach people to find there own understanding in something abstract.
It was a wonderful experience learning about dance through another person’s eyes. I got to hear about Franziska’s journey in the field thus far, and I am hopeful that I can speak to her again in the future. Doing these Dance Artist Talks was a treat and a great learning experience about all that is out there in the dance world.