Swedish/British choreographer Alexandra Wingate (b.1981) works as a choreographer, producer and as a process facilitator. She is based in Skärkäll and Göteborg on the northwest coast of Sweden.
As a choreographer she works with performance for stage, dance film, performance installation and participatory performance. She does this as part of a non-hierarchical collective, as the leader of a team and sometimes as a co-creator in someone else’s project.
Alexandra is committed to in-depth artistic research and to in-depth collaborations. She often collaborates with the same people. She also likes to stay with the research for a long time producing several different works.
In her early work, developed during her BA and MA studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, she was interested in how the cognitive processes of forming emotions and conscious thought relate to the process of choreography and improvisation.
Choreographic strategy develop during this period was building systems or mechanisms of behaviour (not form) that by being repeated would create a choreographic structure(s).
Improvisation and score building as the main technique for developing and performing work as well as a strong focus on the co-authorship together with the dancers remains a foundational part of her practise.
A strategy for her more recent work is to use commonly known movement languages. And from that develop a dance movement language specific to each work. An example of such a starting point is the exercise form step-up aerobics.
Alexandra is interested in how one can create meaning within the framework of a very limited movement material. And how the dancer and the improvisation score can change and mutate the meaning of that material. Opening it up to say something about the culture that the original material is connected to. Example: To use the movement language of step-up aerobics to open a discussion about bodily ideals, etc.
She also has an idea that using a commonly known movement language can, through the audience recognising it, create more connection to the subject matter of the work.
An additional choreographic tool is to process the material with repetition and small changes in placement and dynamics to manipulate the meaning of the various symbols in the material. It can be completely deconstructed and reduced to abstract details or exist in its full and recognizable form. The repetitive is strongly present as a contrast to the subject’s presence and expression of will. The repetitive mechanical properties of an ”automata”, copy or lifeless object can be irresistibly comic while at the same time evoking a feeling of the eerie.
Connected to this is an interest in how culturally conditioned symbols, icons, ideas, ideologies, etc. are internalized and becomes an invisible part of a human being and of a society. How this can be both be experienced as an external pressure put on us and as an invisible internal process. Alexandra thinks it is both interesting and important to understand how ”culture” shapes who we are, what we feel and how we express ourselves.
Collecting and working with clothes is central part of Alexandra´s work. The aesthetics of the costume, the texture of the material, their associations and personal history are all starting points to compose outfits and movement materials.
Alexandra also has experience as a producer, method developer and process facilitator for interdisciplinary, intercultural and community art processes within the framework of her own workshop format Kind of like this. As a part of the art group The non existent Centre who runs Ställberg gruva. And as project manager of Bottna Culture Festival.
In addition to her work in the art field Alexandra has since 2014 worked with children and youth with neuropsychological diagnoses.