It would probably take a lifetime to measure the impact of my 15-year collaboration, one of trust and deep respect, with Raimund Hoghe. Every day, I realize that I’m still learning from him. I’ll just attempt here to touch on key elements that still guide me in my own work and in my life.
First, I want to mention humility and resilience. About his work in the studio, he used to say:
“I’m simply doing what I have to do. I’m continuing on my own path, regardless of trends and whatever success I may or may not have. Work isn’t about ego. There can’t be any judgement. I merely create atmospheres in which things can happen…”
But these atmospheres, which made every dancer feel at ease, were so subtly crafted that each person could reveal themselves in a deeply sincere dance, freed from virtuosity. When we first started working together (for 36, Avenue Georges Mandel, in 2007), Raimund Hoghe taught me an essential lesson about movement that he’d learned from Maria Callas:
“The only thing you have to do is to listen to the music, and the music will tell you how to move (…) Music is the most direct way to people’s hearts.”
There was also, of course, his sense of respect, his consideration, and his profound humanity. He taught me how to see beauty where it is, in the acceptance of who we really are and in our relations to others, and to not be afraid of it, afraid of sharing it on stage and in life. A quest for beauty, but for all types of beauty, even non-conventional ones. The stage can be a place where we reveal to the world our ability to communicate beyond our social and cultural backgrounds. In his works, he magnified those who inspired him daily, great artists but also unknown people, alive or dead, those that society doesn’t want to see and who are struggling, facing adversity.
From New York to Tokyo, Raimund Hoghe never stopped paying homage to the beauty of others – all others. A lifetime would not be enough to pay tribute to him in return, in all his beauty.