"It is a daring program that pushes the borders of what an art institution can be"

Taking part in a workshop and the caring atmosphere at Norwegian Theatre Academy (NTA) triggered artist Fernanda Branco to engage as a full-time student at the international master program in performance.  

Photo of master student in performance, Fernanda Branco

Photo of master student in performance, Fernanda Branco. Photo by Tor Magne Lie

The program recruits students from any artistic discipline who are interested in exploring their practice as performance. Branco says:

- I am currently working on two projects where my artistic materials are plants. One of them is lavender and the other is flax. I have planted both of them and I am not only using them as a material but I am also having the experience of a long-durational relationship with them. With lavender I am also experiencing what is to care about other species – for example, bees. With both plants I am investigating affective relationships with artistic materials.

“You feel you are part of a community which is in constant renewal and exchange with both the historical and contemporary performance worlds.”
Fernanda Branco, student Master in Performance

 

The performance program aims at enhancing the development of the methods, theory, terminology and values emerging from contested perspectives on performance while enriching the field with a critical focus on artists’ practice and engagement with their context.
The application deadline for the master in performance program is December 1 this year. Read more about the program.


Can you describe your master project “Multiple presences”?

- My research approaches the body as part of a bigger ecological network of mutual responses, inspired by contemporary theories that embrace multispecies’ relationships. I am cultivating my artistic materials which are two plants: lavender and flax. I am focusing on a long durational process of learning from the plants and the experience with them. I am interested in how to-be-in-relation-with sparks my creative process.

Learning from the plants: Fernanda Brancos is currently working on two projects where her artistic materials are plants such as lavender and flax.

- “Multiple Presences” is an invitation for a multiplicity of entities and narratives to be woven, investigating how to articulate language and non-verbal expressions to give voice to otherness. What narratives can foster imagination in a world exposed to challenges of a so-called Anthropocene era?

- For my phase two Master project in spring 2020 I am considering of having a performance in the forest and working with ritualistic elements. But I also might do a workshop-based practice or create a room for dialogue between environmental concerns and words.

- There is a great feeling of being held, while being in an amazing space to be heard
Fernanda Branco, student Master in Performance

What is it like being a student at the master program in performance at NTA?

- The program is very well thought through divided into themes by seasons and inside those themes we have the chance to work with a high level of international artists in workshop frames. Those artists bring their practice or methods in a way that is supportive to us, to develop ideas and generate works that are in conversation with our individual master projects.

We are a small group of six master students and that makes us to accompany closely each other’s development, while being supported and giving support. We have the opportunity to work alone in a group and this is a very good learning process. It feels very privileged to be at NTA. That encourages my deep commitment, while reinforcing the power of doing art in an academic realm as a tool to be used in the complex political and environmental crisis we are facing nowadays. 

 

“It is a daring program that pushes the borders of what an art institution can be. There is a great balance between theory and practice and the students are encouraged to develop in depth their research inquiries with no pressure of “producing” works but rather generating work that support the student’s research.”
Fernanda Branco, student Master in Performance

 

Can you describe the international profile of NTA – from a student perspective?

- The language used at NTA is English which welcomes students to have a common language and understanding. The selected students come from a variety of countries making NTA an international friendly profile, where everyone is seen with equal eyes. Diversity plays an important role at NTA.

 

Why would you recommend others to apply for this study program?

- It is a daring program that pushes the borders of what an art institution can be. There is a great balance between theory and practice and the students are encouraged to develop in depth their research inquiries, with no pressure of producing works, but rather generating work that supports the student’s research. There is a great feeling of being held, while being in an amazing space to be heard. A listening mode is practically invited in the NTA Master in Performance program. You feel you are part of a community which is in constant renewal and exchange with the historical and contemporary performance worlds.


You graduate Spring 2020 – what would be your ultimate project in the future?

- To be able to work process-oriented where I can continue to practice my perception and senses towards unexpected encounters that spark creative processes, alone and in a group. This investigation goes towards entanglements within movement, voice, materials, species and the surroundings.

Tags: master in performance, artistic materials, international study program, scenic arts By Ann-Kristin Johansen
Published Oct. 10, 2019 2:42 PM - Last modified Oct. 11, 2019 10:18 AM