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Text:  Michail Fichtengolz
Photo: Roksolana Chernoba

Carolyn Carlson has been admired by DE I team long before we had a chance to interview her. On her arrival in Moscow, we learned that her schedule is so dense we could only speak to her at a press conference. Luckily, soon afterwards, this schedule changed and we met.

A Californian dancer of Finnish descent, Carolyn Carlson has won her own place in the history of arts among such names as Rudolf Nureyev and Marcel Marceau. Her play Tigers in the Teahouse and her hyperplastic cast of three Asians has already won applause of Moscow audience. So we believe we can dwell on inner streams that are never being much exposed by either historians or news reporters.

- After I staged Tigers in the Teahouse, someone gave me a book about Goddess Inanna. It was something incredible! She is a temptress and a mother, a bitch, a friend, and an enemy. So many archetypes are hidden in her! There is so much suffering in this world, so many people die. And it is women that are always ready to lend a helping hand, to show compassion.

- Some years ago, I found a book titled Everything You Need to Know About Women. You open it and there is nothing: hundred of empty pages. This is incredible.

- Once I made a play with seven women. Seven is a number very important to me. Before we started acting, we spoke a lot. We were influenced by the book Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, and we spoke of women who life threw overboard. At that time, we also collected many newspaper articles: of women who suffered loss of all of their children, or of women who kill. We discussed that a lot.

- I was raised in a Lutheran family with strong religious traditions. However, I could never accept them in full. In 1960's in New York, I discovered Buddhism. It has been a fantastic discovery and a great law. Everything we do reflects in our next incarnations. The older I get, the stronger are my karmic relations with people around me. This philosophy has a great meaning to me because of the responsibility for your life. Buddhist philosophy influenced my art a lot, both on stage and in poems I write. Buddhism is crucial for my work; especially for the Tigers in the Teahouse, that was a kind of culmination of my way.

- We create space and time by ourselves, our own reality. We control what is going on, with the power of thought we broaden the space. I am happy to be able to travel, so I can go to Japan over and over again. The Japanese are great people. They have the main principle of compassion to the others. The Europeans and Americans have come to live so fast that they have lost their ability to care of other people. They are inconsiderate and unkind. Everyone just minds his own business: making money, finding a good job. They do not care about problems of humanity; they do not care about each other. Modern people do not want to know who they really are.

- I meditate a lot and this becomes part of my performances. When you are on stage, you are a mirror, it is no longer you. I have a performance where video and a giant mirror is used. Reflecting in it, I become another person, for example Giacometti. I enter another reality. In the dance, our everyday image disappears: we touch something that cannot be seen.

- People often ask me how dance works. I understand this process so that by your mind, your energy we touch something general, maybe the Universe itself.

- In 1999 in India, a medium told me that the best part of my life is the future. I wondered why because my life at the time was terrific. However, today, when I look back I understand what he meant. Today, I have the ability to help young people. This is a higher step of happiness.


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