Every month, Etcetera gazes into the soul of a performing artist. We choose artistic interest over human interest. This time, we are happy to give the word to Florentina Holzinger (1986). She is a choreographer and performance artist. In her work, she revisits themes from classical ballets which she connects with elements of acrobatics, martial arts, stunts, splatter films and slideshows. Since 2020, she’s affiliated with the Volksbühne in Berlin.
Etcetera: What was your first experience with the performing arts?
Florentina Holzinger: It must have been at the exit of my mother’s birth channel, but I don’t remember this moment really. I consciously remember Schlingensief’s Bambiland at the Vienna Burgtheater in 2004 as one of my first “interesting” performance experiences.
What did you want to become as a child?
EF: I wanted to become an architect. But as soon as I started studying this, the interest faded. Too much desk time.
Which performance kept you awake at night recently?
EF: Probably my own. It’s an organizational maze.
And which performance is unforgettable?
EF: Ann Liv Young’s Cinderella was one of my favorite performances in my 20s. In terms of live performance, I get excited a lot by sports events at the moment, or the nitro circus.
What is your favorite place to be?
EF: With my crew on a boat in the Aegean Sea.
Where would you like to show your work once?
EF: Las Vegas!
Who taught you the most in your life?
EF: My closest friends, with whom I’m lucky enough to work, as well. And my body, of course.
What does your workplace or atelier look like?
EF: I don’t have a steady workplace. It’s basically where the wind blows me. At the moment, my workplace is pretty black box based, but I really like to counter this with good outdoors and gym experiences.
Do you have a ritual before you go on stage?
EF: Not really, just the necessary: doing make up, taking a dump, checking my mic.
What is the best thing about your job?
EF: That it really provides for change and challenges constantly. That I get to experience the unthinkable. That I can surround myself with good people.
Do your parents like your work?
EF: To a certain degree, yes, I think so. I don’t think they “enjoy” it at all times. My mother closes her eyes a lot during my shows.
Does theatre have an impact?
EF: The impact of theatre is very relative. Places where people gather collectively definitely have a potential. I cherish the theatre first and foremost as a place for expression and negotiation. In the theatre everything happens in an orchestrated nutshell: that makes it a fun tool for reflection.
Ok, let me be honest: Yes, I have experienced that theatre changed a person’s life.
With whom would you like to collaborate once? Are there certain artists you feel related to?
EF: A lot of them! Sooner or later I invite them into shows – so I’m not gonna give it away now.
Who would you like to see collaborate on a piece?
EF: Penn & Teller, Lucinda Childs, Keity Meier, and D’Argento.
Did you ever have a special encounter with an audience member?
EF: I remember lots of special encounters with audience members. I usually really like to look closely: Who is coming out here? What do they think? Sometimes people are a bit scared. I like to tell them: Don’t be scared, it’s all going to be okay.
Is art your life?
EF: Life and our understanding of it is pretty artful in itself, whether you call yourself an artist or not. So, I guess yes.
If you had the chance to start again and choose a new career, what would you do?
EF: I could imagine doing a lot of things. The choreographic thing is just a consequence of some choices I made. It’s not such an urgency for me- I hope. I could be a personal trainer for example. Any job where you can survive as an imposter!
Do you think the theatre will survive in the future?
EF: Theatre will be evolving like everything else. Looks like humanity might have a shorter lifespan than the concept of theatre.
This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.
This post was written by Florentina Holzinger.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.