Bente Alice Westgård is currently a master student in choreography at Oslo National Academy of the arts and will graduate in june 2017.

Two hundred and thirty questions


Sometimes asking questions is more important than having an answer. Sometimes questions contain more information than answers.                Sometimes questions don’t do any good.                                                                Sometimes the answer is in the question.                                                               Sometimes a question is just a question, never to be answered.


January 31st

1.     What do you want to examine?

2.     What do you find exiting to work on?

3.     What are your thoughts about the space?

4.     What kind of experience do you want to invite the audience in to?

5.     Are you going to use music?

6.     Are you going to say something?

7.     What is the relationship between your studio practice and the solo?

8.     Why do you so badly want to do a solo?

9.     Are you going to connect the solo to this fear you are dealing with?

10.  Why do you need to realize a solo?

February 1st

1.     What is the most important aspect of having supervisors?

2.     What do you want from a supervising?

3.     What are you most afraid of when you are going to show material to your supervisor?

4.     What do you think the supervisor knows about your project?

5.     Why do you think it is so difficult be an audience for a solo show?

6.     What do you need in the room when you are dancing a solo piece?

7.     What do want the supervisor to know about your project at this time in the process?

8.     How can you work with the presentation for tomorrow?

9.     In what way do you want to present your work tomorrow?

10.  Could you in the beginning of the supervision be clear on what to look for? Why should your supervisor come in at this time?

February 2nd  

1.     What is the most important reason that you want your material to be so dry/clean/clear?

2.     Why do you not want the material to develop in a visible way?

3.     What kind of music would you want to use in the solo piece?

4.     Why do you think that the costume should only be regular clothes?

5.     Why do you not want to fill the room with more than dance, light, music and the audience?

6.     Do you need some kind of theoretical frame work for your solo?

7.     What is the link between your studio practice and the work with the solo?

8.     How long do you think the solo should be? What length do you think it needs?

9.     What happens if you do the solo in the same scenography as the group piece? What is the link between the solo piece and the group work?

February 3rd

1.     If the Trio A – practice should get a new name, what would that have been?

2.     If this stop-movement-stop-movement-thing should get a name, what would that have been?

3.     Why do you not call this stop-movement-stop-movement-thing a practice when

Trio A is called a practice?

4.     You think you want to use music? Why?

5.     When you dance, you often get this urge to write down stuff that comes up. Why are you so rigid about not stopping until the time frame is fulfilled?

6.     You felt some resistance going on the floor today. Was this because you were going to try some new ways of working with the movement material?

7.     What happens when you enter uncharted territory?

8.     What do you think the dancers need from you next Monday? (since you are emailing them today)

9.     Would it be possible to sit down for one hour, writing a project description?

10.  Is it conceivable that your project is something even if you cannot articulate it at this point?

February 4th

1.     How could you start your work on your webpage again?

2.     What do you need to go further in this work?

3.     What is missing?

4.     What is the difference between the webpage and the book you are making?

5.     How important is it for you to link the webpage to your master’s project/presentation?

6.     Is it not so important for you anymore to make the process visible for other people?

7.     The book designer suggests that I should try to write on a typewriter. I don’t know… Why?

8.     Why do you not take use of a film camera in the rehearsals? (it seems like people are thinking it is a given)

9.     Don’t you wish you had visual material depicting the process? Isn’t that also a form of record?

10.  What is the craft of choreography?

February 5th

1.     What kind of information do you think the dancers need from you now?

2.     How can you give them something more to lean on?

3.     Why is it so hard to articulate for them what you want with this piece?

4.     Does it feel like the dancers are confused and lost in the project?

5.     What can you do to make it better?

6.     Can you spend some time tomorrow and tell them your thoughts when it comes to the scenography, or where you are in this process?

7.     Could you ask them tomorrow what they think about the process? What do they need now?

8.     It seems like you are a bit afraid to give them information. Is this because it’s still changing? How can you bring them into this process?

9.     Isn’t it a part of the project that you work quite separate with the theatrical elements? Isn’t that just a part of the process?

10.  When do you expect to have all different the parts in the piece ready?

February 6th

1.     What is your working method in the group piece?

2.     What do you have to do to come up with a working title for the group piece?

3.     How can we work with all the dance material as a practice?

4.     Is it better to work with the whole group in week 7, instead of having individual rehearsals?

5.     How similar do you want the performers to be?

6.     What should be allowed to shine through in the material?

7.     When will 2nd internal supervisor be invited into the process and what do you need from her?

8.     How are you going to work with the light designer?

9.     How do you want to work with music?

10.  What function does the music have?

February 7th

1.     You have two different concepts for the space going on – which one of them do you like the most? Is it possible to combine them in a way?

2.      Could you describe what you mean by calling the body an object. What are the criteria?

3.     How do you want to work with the composition of all the elements? Maybe in particular the composition of the dance material?

4.     When are you going to contact the scenographer student for a quick conversation about the scenography?

5.     Would it be a good idea to try to answer all of your questions?

6.     How long do you think the group piece will be?

7.     What is the content of the book?

8.     How do you want to practice your writing related to this?

9.     How do you define a practice?

10.  Do you have any idea on what the title for the book publication can be?

February 8th

1.     Today it doesn’t feel so important to ask so many questions, isn’t that so?

2.     Maybe it is ok to let it be for today?

3.     You really want to produce something anyway. Is it because you like to fulfil your working frames?

4.     Are you escaping because you are tired?

5.     How can you get to the 10th question even though it feels impossible?

6.     Could you try to articulate the good feeling as good as you can articulate the bad feeling?

7.     Are you afraid to lose the good feeling when it is there?

8.     Is it possible for you to be in the good feeling the same way as you manage to be in the things that feels tough and the things that is filled with resistance?

9.     Now that it feels like Rock´n Roll, do you really need to cling to this?

10.  Could you manage to just be in this too?

February 9th

1.     You have all the time talked about activating something in and with your project. What is it that you want to activate?

2.     What do you want to activate to?

3.     How do you want to activate?

4.     It is like your collaborators are not totally activated? Why do you think this is?

5.      What is missing?

6.     If you were to describe the content of the pieces, how would you have done that? And how do you think it would have been, doing that?

7.     What is it that you are exploring? What is the material, can you describe it?

8.     What do you think you want the content in the book to be?

9.     What is your aim with the book?

10.  You feel a bit pressured, especially about you solo. What can you do?

February 26th                                                                                                                                      

30 sum-up questions to make up for the time I didn’t write down my questions:

10 questions about being in the studio

1.     What do you do when you are in the studio?

2.     How does it affect you to go into the studio?

3.     What can you find in the studio?

4.     Why do you go to the studio?

5.     Is there something you do in the studio that you cannot do other places?

6.     What kind of movement do you find in the studio?

7.     What is in the studio?

8.     What do you do after you have been in the studio?

9.     How often do you need to go to the studio?

10.  In what way do you connect what you do in the studio to what you make?

10 questions about the solo work

1.     Where do you start the work?

2.     What is a solo?

3.     What is the difference between making a solo piece and a group piece?

4.     What can a solo piece be?

5.     Why do you find it harder to watch a solo piece compared to a group piece?

6.     What did your solo work start with?

7.     What is the difference between a demonstration and a performance?

8.     What do you want the solo piece to be?

9.     What kind of relation is it between you and the audience?

10.  What kind of an experience do you want to invite the audience into?

10 questions about the group piece

1.     What is most important with this work?

2.     What is the relationship between the performers and the choreographer?

3.     The way you have made the movement material, how will this affect the way you work on composition?

4.     What is the function of the different components in the piece?

5.     What would be the foundation of the piece?

6.     What is the overreaching method for making the piece?

7.     How do you relate to the context of the project?

8.     Do you have an overview of all the components of the project?

9.     How strict are the rules for the work?

10.  How do you relate to the project description?  

February 27th

1.     What is the group piece about?

2.     What is the solo about?

3.     Do you need to know what it is about to find a title?

4.     What kind of titles do you like?

5.     What should the titles signal?

6.     What is aboutness?

7.     If you should decide today, what would the titles be?

8.     How have you chosen titles before?

9.     If you should describe the pieces in one sentence, what would that be?

10.  Could the title signal how you have been working with the piece?

February 28th  

1.     What kind of questions do you want to ask yourself today?

2.     Is it ok to just have answers and no questions?

3.     If you should have produced a question for today, what would it have been?

4.     You have always thought there was a connection between the pieces. What is this connection?

5.     How important is it for the audience who sees both pieces to notice the connection?

6.     How do you want to frame this connection?

7.     There is also a connection to the book you are writing?

8.     What is the connection between your so-called practice and the book?

9.     And the connection between the pieces and the master program you have attended for quite some time now?

10.  Is there also a connection to the book you are writing?

March 1st

1.     You really needed a break today, didn’t you?

2.     How would you like to situate the movement material in the solo?

3.     Have you forgotten your starting point?

4.     How are you going to work with composition in the solo?

5.     Do you have control over the schedule for the next few weeks?

6.     Who can you talk to about promo?

7.     This week has been a bit emotional, but how can you get on top again?

8.     What is stressing you? How can you deal with this?

9.     How do you want to feel after the presentations?

10.  You cannot panic now. Deal with it! Would you please go to sleep?

March 2nd

1. How would you describe the movement material? Both in the solo piece and in the group piece.

2.     What do you need from the dancers at this point in the process?

3.     How can you communicate these needs?

4.     What is the best thing with making a piece?

5.     What is the second-best thing?

6.     What do you need from the light designer?

7.     How much does it matter for you what people think about the titles you have chosen? (Have you made a final decision?)

8.     In what way do you think this project differs from a project “in the real world”?

9.     Are you ready to meet the material in the solo piece again on Monday?

10.  Did you get some answers today? It seems like the questions are not coming as easily as they have (most of the time) done before.

March 3rd

1.     Could it be that you know better what you want than you think you do?

2.     Are you happy with the decision on titles?

3.     Do you need an intro for your book? What do you want it to be then?

4.     Do you feel vulnerable in the rehearsal situation?

5.     How do you meet this vulnerability?

6.     You have stated earlier than you don’t care so much about details. Has this changed?

7.     What are the details in your work?

8.     How do you meet vulnerability in others?

9.     What do you want to activate with your work and with your pieces?

10.  You have earlier stated that it is possible to see parts of the methods when you experience performances. Is this something you are striving for in you work?

March 4th

1.     Could you describe why it is so important for you to have a practice to go to on a daily basis?

2.     When are you going to work with how the audience is placed?

3.     You are not quite happy with what you have chosen, why is that?

4.     What will you emphasize the most when you make the final decision?

5.     Is it possible that the way you want to work isn’t the best way for the piece?

6.     What is the most important; the how or the what?

7.     When is it ok for you to throw away your working frames and choose something else?

8.     Could it be that the group piece wants/needs something else than you thought it would?

9.     Or are you just taking an easy way out?

10.  Don’t you think that sometimes the easiest way could be the best?

March 5th

1.     Why are you doubting your decision about how you wanted to work with composition?

2.     Do you start doubting when you feel stressed and out of control?

3.     What can you do to not get trapped in doubt?

4.     You haven’t worked so much with the movement material for the solo piece the last week. How will you enter this again?

5.     It seems like you are a little bit afraid of placing the solo piece in the same scenography as the group piece. Why is that?

6.     When will you start working on the costume for the solo? (you should book a meeting with the costume designer as soon as possible)

7.     How are you going to work with the sound track today?

8.     Do you think it is ok for you to just pick the favourite songs from the list and trust your gut feeling on this?

9.     Is it best to split the movement material in to pieces in the group piece or to keep them as parts?

10.  What is the main focus of tomorrows rehearsals?

March 6th

1.     How could you be even more specific in articulating premises for working with the movement material?

2.     Is now the time to write new performance notes for the dancers?

3.     How can you articulate what you saw in the run-throughs today?

4.     Do you want the music to be in the foreground all the time?

5.     What was your thoughts regarding the costumes?

6.     How are you going to start the solo practice tomorrow?

7.     How can you make it light, going back into the material again?

8.     How can you be served by the scenography? (which is new for this material)

9.     How can you be served by the new soundtrack?

10.  How can you just be in it?

March 7th

1.     Do you find it ok that you are not going do dance yourself in the group piece?

2.     Aren’t you just a bit relieved?

3.     What have you learned from making this decision on going in to the group/material and out again?

4.     What should be the focus on next rehearsal with the group?

5.     Are you confident with the movement material for the solo piece?

6.     What can you do better/different?

7.     What do you need to do until you get the light and the costume?

8.     Doing a run through feels a bit heavy, how can you do it anyway?

9.     What is stopping you from trying?

10.  Could you just decide the day and time, and do it?

March 8th   

1.     Why is it so hard to find a way to write the program text?

2.     How do you want the audience to perceive the pieces?

3.     What do you want them to know before they come in to the performance?

4.     How do you want to talk about your work?

5.     What kind of texts do you like to read before you go in to a performance?

6.     Are you ready for entering the last period of rehearsals? Are you ready to kick some ass?

7.     What do you think is the most crucial for the last few weeks?

8.     Do you think you will be satisfied when it´s all over?

9.     What would you have done different?

10.  What have you learned from all of this?