“To perform doesn’t mean to execute” – Interview with Momo Sanno

I find myself fascinated either by extremely odd things or by those which are far from my reach. I would rather learn to understand the differences than toast for the things people have in common and that’s why I decided to interview Momo. As I’ve met him, he embraces the world in a way which I would never dare to, because I don’t love it enough. I’m not a giver, I’m a taker. I steal everything and then decide what and if I find it worth to give something back. Momo is the perfect opposite – he gives bits of himself to the world through dance and choreography, you don’t even have to get to know him in order to see that, you just have to watch.

However, if curiosity killed the cat, then I’m happy I ain’t one, because for me just watching him dance made me wonder and so, I had to ask as many questions as I could:

Alexandra Crisbășan: What do you value most about people, about yourself and about life?

Momo Sanno: Their direct honesty, the power to make a meaningful gesture, to act consciously. Their ability to love unconditionally, to make the seemingly impossible, possible. As for my self… my capability to adapt to anything, my power to create, my thirst for new. Life is the greatest experience. Life contains everything, it fills the Infinite with spectacular “colors”.

A: Why is it that we are so desperate to constantly move and are afraid to stop and listen to the silence?

M: I love both, Life is a constant movement, a continuous expansion. Yes, at first Silence can scare the mind, but as we walk with It and we start to understand its beauty, we might get addicted to It. In reality I believe silence has so many answers and once we will listen to it, we will understand ourselves too. Who fears silence, misses a great teacher.

A: Why performance and nothing else?

M: Every iceberg has a tip. Performance is only the tip of my iceberg; so there’s not only performing, for some the performing aspect of my life is the most visible. In reality, performance, sits on a mountain of other aspects which are less visible to the public eye. When creating, the work process is continuous, the mind always engages into finding the perfect way in which it can present the chosen subject. (…) The interaction with music, to decode the intention and to master the control. Each step of the process is just a piece of an entire mechanism called performance. To perform doesn’t mean to execute. Performing is a miniature segment of this lifestyle, withholding all of it’s aspects, it has the power to transform the human mind, its vision and to leave a considerable mark within anybody’s  understanding.

A:  What was the most important lesson you’ve learned and what did it take from you to do so?

M: The most important lesson? Every day offers important lessons, even if their taste is not always sweet. There were days when I learned that rain feels so good on a naked body, or how the smile of the person who asked for a piece of food, at the street corner, lightened the saddest day. In other days I learn what it means to say: “I need help” – help is a glimpse away.  I guess I can say that I’ve learned and I keep learning to keep my eyes open even when they are closed (author note: reminds me of Leon “You have to sleep with one eye open for the rest of your life”), to never stop searching for what my soul desires, to step into the unknown and to trust the ones who truly love me.

A: We talked about the animal side of humans, tell me more about that.

M: I think it is one of the most honest aspects of who we are. Animals are beautiful, powerful creatures. Imagine a world without animals, without their essence, without their particularities, without lions and wolves, without bears and eagles, without cats and horses, without dolphins and dogs without hummingbirds and gorillas, without cheetahs and gazelles, without crocodiles and wildebeest, without orcs and tigers, without nightingale and hyenas, without giraffes and elephants (…) How would that world look like? The animal in us is the direct link to a world which we can perceive beyond our educational implementation. It is our invisible signature, it is the root of our total capacity to survive and to live.

Without it we are smaller, weaker we are less [human?] and with it we are greater, more powerful and alive.

A: You’re going to reach an age where I suppose you will stop dancing, where would you like to retire?

M: Retirement is for those who think that to work means to have a ‘job’ 🙂

A: Describe your spirit, your madness. What made you this way?

M: Look into the mirror and for sure you will find resemblances and differences too. When we choose to truly listen and to leave fear away, we will discover the quality of our spirit and madness, from the abyss and the colors that make it unique to the endless paths that we can take to discover it’s nature.

You describe my spirit, what did you see when you see me? What is my story telling you?

A: If you could do absolutely anything in this very moment, what would you do?
M: I would fly… but that’s why I am a dancer.

A: How often do you think about what you’ve missed or are missing? Where do you live, in here and now, the present? Or within the future or past?

M: When you dance there is only now. Each voyage starts with one step in front of another. Each path we take, creates an unique road and each road will teach you something that no other road will.

A: Surprise me with something.

M: Have you ever walked on an invisible road? I did – in the Mexican jungle, in the darkness of the night, I’ve walked on a path invisible to my eyes, but familiar to my body.

You can follow Momo on Facebook and watch his amazing performances here.

Photo credits go to: Pollak Po, Marcin Woloszczak, Corneliu Ganea, Franz Gallo and Les atelier nomad.

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Bucharest-based artist. Psychedelic photographer, brain-scratching writer / poetess and priestess of the macabre.

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