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 without delay whereas skating on excessive heels, to presenting her work at standard and unconventional creative venues, Symoné strikes although the performing arts flawlessly and courageously. 

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

Symoné : There’s a lot we are able to do and say with our our bodies, for a very long time I’ve been concerned about communications, significantly physique language, sociology and linguistics. I studied linguistics at college and thought that this was what I used to be obsessed with, however discovered myself extra excited by how we are able to inform tales with the physique. I prefer to hold exploring how we use the physique. I imagine our our bodies are endlessly in a position to obtain and accomplish that 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 modern artwork. I’m concerned about what variations, structural or extra particular, you’ve seen or skilled in these totally different contexts? 

Symoné: These areas are all so totally 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 dwell artwork performing areas. Firstly to say that is all primarily based on my expertise and ability set, it’s not gospel. I are inclined to work in company settings as a circus artist, however there are company dwell artwork occasions, I suppose I’m significantly 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 abilities, fast exhibits, and excessive ability stage performing. These are usually positioned in luxurious lodges, non-public occasions, company dinner events, and many others. and costuming and “look” may be very particular. 

If it had been a type of spectrum, dwell artwork is far more expressive and the pacing of a efficiency is much more lenient. This tends to be carried out in all sorts of areas from artwork galleries, basement golf equipment, artwork centres, out of doors areas, and many others. From my expertise, I really feel just like the expertise and artistry is valued in most of these exhibits. 

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 wish 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 primarily based on what I do! I might say in my expertise with dwell artwork vs company settings…after I stated “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 (until you’re a drag queen) doesn’t appear to be one thing these areas will provide. Whereas all of those areas provide one thing totally different as a performer expertise and the viewers, actually I worth working in all these areas, I can categorical totally different components of me. 

DAJ: What influences your work? 

Symoné: I get requested this lots! I feel in my early years I used to be impressed by circus artists and cabaret, however discover myself the previous few years extra concerned about these outdoors my major fields (significantly 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 abilities and kinds and at all times studying new issues. Studying poetry, taking part in video video games, cooking and touring helps inspire and influences my work. 

My favorite: Taking walks in nature. The extra I open my thoughts and do an exercise outdoors 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 occurring Instagram or tiktok, I feel it’s superficially fascinating but it surely doesn’t stimulate me sufficient to really feel like I wish 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 might be as an artist is essential… 

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

Symoné: Bear with me making an attempt to elucidate 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 appeared into the longer term craving for a type of queer utopia. I used the Greek etymology of the phrase ‘utopia’ (which 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 may exist in our future and I converse to the current and future about this sense.

Euphorica, our ensemble costume primarily based efficiency in regards to the relationship to queerness and nature, has an identical intention with a type of speculative fiction method. A lot of this work pertains to the previous and future, of how LGBTQIA+ individuals 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+ individuals used coded methods throughout strict anti-homosexuality legal guidelines within the U.Ok as one instance. With this present we dreamed of a type 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 facility of the thoughts. Whereas I’m nonetheless figuring out what this piece is doing precisely, I feel I’m simply fascinated by expertise proper now, the place it’s going and the way a lot you should use it with artwork and storytelling. I’d say by way of time, it’s turn out to be a reference for temper and aesthetic, how expertise appeared and sounded previously (the way it glitched, the sounds, and many others) and utilizing this aesthetic inside 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 contemplate, however pleasure is a phrase I just like the sound of serious 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 affords 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 contemplate extra within the remaining product of a few of my performances, and within the second as part of my character. I feel it’s a strong and empowering instrument I take pleasure in utilizing. 

So far as care, I do worth “processed targeted work” which 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 reasonably than rushed and unenjoyable. 

Picture by Studio Radar.

DAJ: You’ll be able to spin 50 hula hoops in your physique without delay, all while skating on excessive heels! What does your coaching and schedule appear to be? 

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

My coaching periods sometimes appear to be warm-up, conditioning targeted (damage prevention workouts) creatively targeted (creating new methods/strikes, and transitions) or drills (redoing actions and methods I exploit in exhibits to additional ingrain them in my physique). Consistency is vital.

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 in regards to the energy of the unconscious thoughts and goals. It’s one other fusion of dwell artwork and circus and at present within the mode of getting it out into the world. When? Undecided but! Arts Council England have supported this preliminary R&D, and I goal to have artist chats in regards to the strategy 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 making an attempt to not share an excessive amount of data on this stage however positively value holding eyes open (and in case you’re a programmer searching for new work and studying this please be at liberty to get in contact I’d be glad to speak)! 

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


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