Symoné: “artists that make me really feel one thing encourage me”

Phrases by Maria Elena Ricci.

Extravagant, immersive, athletic and multidisciplinary, Symoné is a one-of-a-kind artist with an simple, awe-some expertise. From spinning 50 hula hoops on her physique directly whereas skating on excessive heels, to presenting her work at typical and unconventional creative venues, Symoné strikes although the performing arts flawlessly and courageously. 

DAJ: You conceive your physique as a ‘multiversal software’. What do you imply by that? 

Symoné : There may be a lot we will do and say with our our bodies, for a very long time I’ve been fascinated about communications, notably physique language, sociology and linguistics. I studied linguistics at college and thought that this was what I used to be enthusiastic about, however discovered myself extra excited by how we will inform tales with the physique. I prefer to preserve exploring how we use the physique. I imagine our our bodies are endlessly capable of obtain and achieve this a lot, say a lot, and I feel there’s at all times far more that hasn’t been found.

DAJ: Your work as a multidisciplinary performer lives in several creative cultures, from underground events to business and up to date artwork. I’m fascinated about what variations, structural or extra particular, you’ve seen or skilled in these completely different contexts? 

Symoné: These areas are all so completely different for certain. The primary two types of labor that come to thoughts that really feel very contrasting, just like the “entertainer vs artist” are the company areas vs. the reside artwork performing areas. Firstly to say that is all based mostly on my expertise and talent set, it’s not gospel. I are inclined to work in company settings as a circus artist, however there are company reside artwork occasions, I assume I’m notably referring to the occasions that rent “leisure”… So there’s a language that I’m utilizing that isn’t common. 

Company areas are inclined to lean extra in direction of crowd pleaser expertise, fast reveals, and excessive talent degree performing. These are usually situated in luxurious accommodations, personal occasions, company dinner events, and so forth. and costuming and “look” may be very particular. 

If it had been a sort of spectrum, reside artwork is far more expressive and the pacing of a efficiency is much more lenient. This tends to be carried out in all varieties of areas from artwork galleries, basement golf equipment, artwork centres, out of doors areas, and so forth. From my expertise, I really feel just like the expertise and artistry is valued in these kinds of reveals. 

Then there’s cabaret, out of doors work, indoor theatre, I feel these locations can combine artist vs entertainer and you’ll be extra versatile to how far on that spectrum you need to go, like there’s extra freedom. Not less than, that is how I method it. Additionally to say, this very a lot my skilled based mostly on what I do! I might say in my expertise with reside artwork vs company settings…once I mentioned “there’s a particular look” in company settings I really meant gender and the way there’s an significance in conforming to magnificence requirements in these worlds and fluidity of gender (except you’re a drag queen) doesn’t appear to be one thing these areas will provide. Whereas all of those areas provide one thing completely different as a performer expertise and the viewers, actually I worth working in all these areas, I can specific completely different elements of me. 

DAJ: What influences your work? 

Symoné: I get requested this loads! I feel in my early years I used to be impressed by circus artists and cabaret, however discover myself the previous few years extra fascinated about these exterior my main fields (notably writers, visible artists, technologists). Additionally, I’m impressed by artists and makers which have this “realness” and by realness I imply artists that make me really feel one thing. I like combining expertise and kinds and at all times studying new issues. Studying poetry, taking part in video video games, cooking and touring helps encourage and influences my work. 

My favorite: Taking walks in nature. The extra I open my thoughts and do an exercise exterior my very own, the extra it simply appears to feed into my work by pure feeling. I don’t actually really feel excited or impressed by what’s happening Instagram or tiktok, I feel it’s superficially fascinating however it doesn’t stimulate me sufficient to really feel like I need to create like these different inspirational kinds. That’s me I do know! I’m not saying these locations can’t be inspiring, however I feel saying what does and doesn’t encourage you is essential, understanding who you’re as an artist is essential… 

DAJ: How do you see your work in dialogue with previous, current and future? 

Symoné: Bear with me attempting to clarify this! Thematically time is one thing that appears to creep in subconsciously for my items. 

UTOPIAN (t&c’s apply) responded to energy roles, why they’re abused and the way hierarchy exists. When making this work I checked out my private previous and referenced human historical past and mirrored on these subjects. I regarded into the longer term craving for a sort of queer utopia. I used the Greek etymology of the phrase ‘utopia’ (that means “no the place”) as inspiration for this piece. I’ve a eager for one thing that appears too advanced to exist, however one thing I dream might exist in our future and I communicate to the current and future about this sense.

Euphorica, our ensemble costume based mostly efficiency concerning the relationship to queerness and nature, has an identical intention with a sort of speculative fiction method. A lot of this work pertains to the previous and future, of how LGBTQIA+ folks had been recognized, how they had been both honored extremely or disregarded and wanted to stay hidden alongside how nature strikes past time and human communication. This communication system was impressed from nature plus the previous when LGBTQIA+ folks used coded methods throughout strict anti-homosexuality legal guidelines within the U.Okay as one instance. With this present we dreamed of a sort of queer telepathic community that was past our present senses and communication system as people. I feel just like UTOPIAN (t&c’s apply), there’s a feeling of “wanting right into a way forward for queer utopia” that this present is impressed from. 

A videogame I’m at present engaged on is considering reminiscence loss and the ability of the thoughts. Whereas I’m nonetheless understanding what this piece is doing precisely, I feel I’m simply fascinated by know-how proper now, the place it’s going and the way a lot you should utilize it with artwork and storytelling. I’d say by way of time, it’s develop into a reference for temper and aesthetic, how know-how regarded and sounded prior to now (the way it glitched, the sounds, and so forth) and utilizing this aesthetic throughout the storytelling to attach the concepts of reminiscences/and the previous. 

DAJ: What’s the position of care and pleasure in your work?

Symoné: Care is a phrase I like to think about, however pleasure is a phrase I just like the sound of fascinated about extra! When it comes to care, I feel it’s one thing I take into consideration within the course of of making my work. For me, creating in a caring setting gives playfulness and good communication. When it comes to pleasure, I suppose the primary phrase that involves thoughts is voyeurism. It’s a phrase I like to think about extra within the ultimate product of a few of my performances, and within the second as part of my character. I feel it’s a strong and empowering software I get pleasure from utilizing. 

So far as care, I do worth “processed targeted work” that means work that’s created mindfully with the method in thoughts. Creating playfully and in a timeline that looks like pleasure is essential to me. It’s like creating turns into meditative and creatively stimulating moderately than rushed and unenjoyable. 

Picture by Studio Radar.

DAJ: You possibly can spin 50 hula hoops in your physique directly, all while skating on excessive heels! What does your coaching and schedule appear like? 

Symoné: I used to coach 3-5 hours every week my first few years. I feel this was helpful in my follow however have since switched up my coaching to extra “micro coaching” 20 minutes to an hour a pair occasions every week…which usually involves the identical period of time as earlier than, however mainly I don’t crash and must recuperate like earlier than and permits me to do extra reveals healthily! 

My coaching classes sometimes appear like warm-up, conditioning targeted (harm prevention workouts) creatively targeted (creating new tips/strikes, and transitions) or drills (redoing actions and tips I take advantage of in reveals to additional ingrain them in my physique). Consistency is essential.

DAJ: Are you at present engaged on any new productions? 

Symoné: Sure! As I discussed briefly I’m newly engaged on a present and videogame concerning the energy of the unconscious thoughts and desires. It’s one other fusion of reside artwork and circus and at present within the mode of getting it out into the world. When? Unsure but! Arts Council England have supported this preliminary R&D, and I purpose to have artist chats concerning the means of creation so if this pursuits you to debate I hope to share extra of this quickly on my Instagram and publication. Sorry for the shortage of particulars proper now on what I’m making. I’m attempting to not share an excessive amount of info on this stage however positively price conserving eyes open (and in the event you’re a programmer searching for new work and studying this please be at liberty to get in contact I’d be blissful to talk)! 

My present Euphorica and UTOPIAN (t&’s apply) are in planning mode, they are going to be out 2024/2025 for a tour in the event you missed it in 2022.

Subsequent present dates: Showwomxn by Marisa Carnesky September sixteenth – Full day of durational aspect present performances by 16 of the UK’s main showwomxn (Smithfields). Header picture by Captured by Corinne.