n ï m

n ï m

n ï m company / Naïma Mazic

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Choreographer/ Performer/ Dancer Naïma Mazic founded the Austrian association more2rhythm  and the international company n ï m in 2016.

The goal of the company n ï m is to be a stable team that keeps refining its tools and concepts and works on a long-term basis. Within the current culture of short-term project based performances, we want to create a space that allows us to constantly keep developing what we have established.  Our last arrival point will be our new starting point from which we can grow.

In the work with n ï m and in my research I am investigating how rhythm manifests itself in dance and how rhythmic independency of dancers can allow various dance forms and music to communicate through a shared language.

Naïma Mazic (l) & Golnar Shahyar (r)
Naïma Mazic (v) & Golnar Shahyar (h)

My main focus lies on the interdisciplinary approach between dancers and musicians; to find out what is common, what the distinct natures are and how we can work within that. The mediums evolve out of the shared work with house dancers, swing dancers, contemporary dancers- and Jazz musicians.

It is especially important to me to work with female Jazzmusicians and to explore the history of female Jazzmusicians, many of them not being recognized enough. I want to question the still male dominated Jazz.

Bearing in mind the history of exploitation of Black creative labor, how can I as a white European give credit to what so often goes unrecognized?

For me, it is important to get into conversations about topics such as anti-colonial practices, spirituality and cultural appropriation. I will never stop asking: How can I work with the social- and political situation out of which jazzmusic emerged and still is emerging? One can hear a history of displacement, of labor and self-fragmentation within the polyrhythmic music. In Jazz, one can find a paradox of interplay in relation to freedom; of self expression and selflessness and the brutal process of individuation and going against individuation. One conclusion could be: Jazz is a critique of freedom and at the same time is a music of freedom. Amiri Baraka formulated in Black Music: “The line we could trace, as musical “tradition”, is what we as people dig and pass on, as best as we can. The call and response form of Africa (lead and chorus) has never left us, as a mode of (musical) expression. It has come down both as vocal and instrumental form.” I have a deep appreciation for Jazz and the musicians who play it, also through having grown up with this music. I have been focussing on a formal approach to the music and dance and I want to interrogate my position as a white Austrian person honoring the forms that have been passed on to me through a lineage of black music. I want to find space for it within the dance of the moment. From a scream, highest rhythmic complexity, to a simple melody: Jazz at its most fundamental is not what it is. Sounds familiar.

Thank you Fred Moten and Amiri Baraka

©Keren Kraizer / infectious
©Keren Kraizer / infectious

Cécile McLorin Salvant (Jazzthetik 2018): «Many people over the last 50 years said: Jazz is dying, it’s dying, it’s dying! I think this led to many musicians and singers concentrating even more on Jazz, to make Jazz relevant. Jazz became a mission, a political standpoint.»

I am asking: What is Jazz’ apprehension of time? What is the heartbeat of Jazz?
My journey went from analyzing to moving- moving with or against beats and offbeats, changing subdivisions, speeding up or slowing down time within time- until the embodiment of polyrhythms. I am observing what makes movement groove, shuffle and swing, and how dance by itself can be infectious. This goes along with my concentration on the breath that can be used as an instrument by all performers.

Naïma_Mazic_Infectious_AnjaBeutler
Naïma_Mazic_Infectious_AnjaBeutler

 

The next step was to figure out how multiple dancers and musicians can communicate together through polyrhythms and polymeters: How can dance and music correlate through a common language within multiplicity?

                               Naïma Mazic

Grasping PoLy-Phonies

The word “nim” comes from the german verb nehmen– to take, learn, grasp.

As a company we focus not only on the interdisciplinary exchange between dance and music, but we want to take, learn and grasp from each other within different mediums, always concentrating on the resulting Polyphony of our distinct fields.

Therefore, most importantly, the quality of each discipline may not be compromised within the interdisciplinary context.