Lucian Warner talks with Aleksandra Fontaine
a French-Polish dance star, actress, writer and journalist.
(Lucian) Where are you now, Aleksandra?
I am in my garden, looking at Pyreness Mountain range, natural border which divides Spain from France. Its very nice and refreshing view, full of cold air and bird songs.
Coronavirus in France today: 16,000 average cases and 674 deaths
Probably your friends from Paris have started to envy you now ... Are they not trying to break into your castle in Northern Catalonia now?
They are trying and will probably try even more, but with country wide lock down its hard to reach my castle now.
People have suddenly lost there ability to move freely, there reference points have desapered, situation might even start eroding our value system. We are witnessing strong global correction in all segments of our life. How it will affect our life, work and free time is yet to be seen. Its too early to speak about aftermath. Let us first come out safe and strong on the other side.
Are you tired of sitting constantly?
Me tired, never! I dance, walk, movement is creativity. Even as I write this I am on my stomach, making those muscles work for me. I only sit down when I have too. Just like now when I'm talking to you on the phone.
Our company Fontaine Media quickly switched to a whole new dimension of work. We scaled down from larger group of people to a small number of participants. With my creative shadow Pawel Zbierski, himself an artist and journalist, we came up with a model that allows us to be creative but also responsible. Despite the borders closing down and general need for self isolation we don’t feel lonely, our mental health is doing very well. We are saddened by pictures coming from Spain and Italy. Its distressing to see people in there frail age having so many existential problems. And then there is the politics of it all. Individual states taking individual measures, there is little cross border co-operation, and yet like in my Poland, president Mr Duda is using current crisis to enhance his political stance rather the pressing need of our nation.
Do you miss your continuous travel, be in movement? After your last stay in Venice and then in Geneva, you supposed to be in April in New York with "Mustang" your new book, and than with your new dance?
We are indeed living in strange time. Our mother, our planet is being decimated by human activity and it feels as if it is striking back. For her we are the virus, she is just trying to protect itself, like any other living being. I would like to see our politicians, artists and clerege people from all aspects of life unite together in an idea of building a better world for us all. This crisis might be a good initiator to focus minds and hands on our universal problems and make sure that the planet, the only one that we have, is left in better shape for generations to come.
President Trump closed USA borders. All public performances are being canceled or put on hiatus. Same fate was given to my "Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater" in Manhattan. I was supposed to meet with French people living in New York.
What is the most important for you right now?
Another book, but results will be readable in few months time. Stay tuned for this one.
And what now ?
Fortunately, before coronavirus, I managed to install a giant mirror in my living room, build specially enhanced floor and buy new points. So I'm moving every day. In the evenings I play on my great white piano all the classics, Chopin, Beethoven..
What if you were to be under house arrest for the rest of your life?
As an artist and company president, I have my hands and my feet full with work. I am still preparing new dance arrangements, and in addition, I am documenting special outlines. We all have to do our part and work hard and safe, for us but for others who are yet to come. I am also slowly sailing into writing again. I am flirting with lots of great and creative ideas, lets see which one turn into butterfly.
What if the crisis worsens?
If run out of internet, you can still write and paint the walls in the house. There is space in the garden for several hens and for several vegetable beds. There is also a water source nearby - clean mountain water gushing straight from the rocks. I will survive, I am a fighter and a reasnoble and resourceful person.
And besides that ?
Besides that I am looking up in the sky more and more. Looking for inspiration in clouds, stars and natural things that surround us. I am trying to soled my mind from gadgets, phones, time machines. I want to reconnect with nature, not with google.
March 19, 2020 Northern Catalonia
MUSTANG in FRENCHTOUCH MAGAZINE