Clinton Stringer

Date: 09/09/2006
Place: Eleanor's kitchen

Clinton Stringer auditioned for P.A.R.T.S. in Johannesburg in ’97 and was accepted. The first year in Rosas was “a steep learning curve”. In the second year, he got the feeling that he had established something. He did not want to spend too much time studying and auditioned for a project in Switzerland. After the Swiss project he was accepted in Rosas, much to his surprise. In the beginning living in Brussels was hard; he lived in a neighbourhood where he felt uncomfortable and was upset with the dirt and squalor in the city. The latter he got used to and after changing neighbourhoods, he felt a lot more comfortable. Meanwhile, he definitely feels at home in Brussels and has more ties with the city than with any other place. Important in this respect is the network of friends and colleagues he has built up over the years. Although most people he knows are foreigners and dancers, he feels that he has integrated in the Belgian society. He would be happy to keep on living in Brussels, even if he would not dance anymore. Another reason why he would like to stay in the city is that he feels very European and enjoys the cultural overload and accessibility of culture in Europe. However, being on tour for five months a year is perfect for him, otherwise living in Brussels might become challenging.

Stringer always knew that he would not stay in South Africa. His family spread out over the world so that not three people of his family are living in the same place. When he moved to Brussels, he found out that he could enter the dance community easily because he was surrounded by people who were doing the same and who he could speak to in his own language. Going to P.A.R.T.S. was in more than one way a radical change in his life. The focus in his life shifted from studying and reading to the physical. The relationship between Stringer’s artistic and survival needs has changed over the years. When he first came to Belgium to study at P.A.R.T.S., he had very little money. He immersed himself in his work and was amazed by how little he could survive. Although he was living extremely modestly, he was very fulfilled artistically. When he joined Rosas, things settled down for him; it was the beginning of a more stable and predictable life. He gave up the artistic plenitude of P.A.R.T.S. for the more limited and focussed artistic experience of a professional. His priority used to be “becoming a professional dancer”. When that goal was reached, his priorities shifted to other things, like relationships.

Stringer enjoys working as a dancer and does not have the desire to become a choreographer. Interpreting and realizing a choreographer’s vision gives him a huge amount of freedom. People often cannot imagine how a Rosas dancer can have freedom, but he is free to express what he thinks the choreographer is proposing. He never gets bored by doing the same movements over and over again because he can interpret them in different ways.

notes on the billboard – jazz – joke – steep learning curve – I was lucky – dress like a South-African – gangs – squalor – graphic design – compromise – long-term – daily reality – fake – unattainable – meditating – connect easily – membrane – segregated – Afrikaans – alienated – biorhythm – boyfriend – integrated – amazed – mantra – exhausted – tolerate – thrive on – buttoned down – artistic plenitude – huge amount of freedom – colleagues – most acclaimed - roommate


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