Songbook Of Success

Anne-Lene Nöldner - concept & choreography Raphael Malfliet - concept & music

Creation Process
The short performance „Songbook of Success” was originally created and performed as graduation project from the contemporary dance department of the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, Belgium in summer 2019. The piece is both a dance performance and a live electronic music composition based on the collaboration between dance artist Anne-Lene Nöldner and contemporary composer Raphael Malfliet.

Background and Original Content
The research for the performance Songbook of Success followed both, personal questions as well as a broader socio-political interest in the question of what it means to be successful for young artists and especially female read bodies. Anne-Lene wanted to find out which subjective but “world-made” criteria she is either unconsciously or even consciously following to be acknowledged as a successful performing artist and justify her own existence within that field. The close examination of personal experiences within higher arts education as well as those experiences which come across as medial representations and seem to operate further away from herself formed the starting point of the research. Personal feedbacks out of 5 years of higher dance education as well as jury feedbacks of all kinds of talent shows on TV were collected and intertwined to dismantle the similarities of these two seemingly far apart domains of artistic talent wrought. Songbook of Success questions the value and purpose of feedback formats as constant tools of self-optimization. It examines the fine lines between constructive external input, well-meant attempts to be supportive to ones personal and artistic growth to commenting and even insults or harassment.

Giving feedback is a contributing process to what is highlighted and considered successful as in marketable, functional etc. In Songbook of Success Anne-Lene is dealing with this image of success through the entanglement of a collection of physical postures and symbols of power, female sexiness and attractiveness as well as submissiveness and humiliation. The concepts of morphing and zapping between these postures as well as between own and appropriated text are researched and performed physically, vocally and through electronic composition. Songbook of Success is the life adaption of a TV Talent show in which the audience can't completely hide behind there comfortable role as mere spectators, but is actively invited to lend their own voices to the event, too.