Expression through movement
Artist, entrepreneur and photographer David P. France reveals the philosophy behind his life and his goals – and what he plans to achieve in Basel with the David P. France Dance Company. A New Yorker in Basel.
By Shirley L. Kearney, German by Martin Pütter
Turn to the internet, and you will find no shortage of information about David P. France’s Dance Company and his various activities, for example on the website of “Tanzbüro Basel”. But what makes him tick, what are his goals? Not only did meeting him in person reveal a lot about him, it also topped the information available online.
David moved here from New York with his partner, and Novartis became his employer. A self-networking force directs him to engage with the present community – it is something innate and inescapable. A distinctive strength is his ability to guide people to a recognition of what they can do, or show them how to reclaim their dreams, mainly through movement and expression.
A platform and an outlet for reconnecting is furnished via the internet and through eye-to-eye communication. As we all have split personalities – or fluctuating and splintered lifestyles – expression through movement à la David P. France could bring us back into contact with ourselves, so that we relaunch our zest for life, and our understanding of who we are and how we can stay sharp.
Local success is on the horizon. A small group of artists, half amateurs and half professionals (a few who also work as Novartis employees during the day) is going through a reclamation of their suppressed needs through dancing – a non-pharmaceutical medication which delivers an instantaneous recognition and release. Could a “spontaneous” event take place at the Novartis Campus with the freedom-of-action as its theme?
Everybody has the need to hip hop, line dance, tango, waltz, fox trot or simply rhythmically move and bend the arms and legs. But often this is set aside. To go forward towards reaching this goal, David is collaborating with Shalini Trefzer’s Dance Studio in Oberwil www.danzbollywood.com with the idea of using her expertise in traditional Indian and Bollywood-style dance to open a show using the title: Transcendence.
When David attempted to establish business connections in Harlem he failed; introducing dancing helped open some doors. “In Harlem, I felt that my voice was not being heard. In addition, life in New York City had become very difficult in terms of making a way for myself, connecting with others in the business community. In Basel, I had a lot of work regarding connecting with the community. However, there was an openness mainly out of curiosity. I was curious about the people and how they lived in terms of language and culture. And people were curious to know how someone from New York City managed to come to their land.”
A prophetic comment was made during a luxury goods conference held in Marrakech, Morocco when David ventured forth and equated dance with luxury – as it makes one feel good.
In summary his message is: create, have a voice, connect with the community and thrive! His enthusiasm is contagious. When asked what his uniqueness is, he replied, “to be able to see each person’s ability that they do not recognize.” David is an attentive listener, which makes him a masterful communicator.
The David P. France Dance Company’s next local performance is on 26 April at 4 p.m. at the Union Culture Centre on Klybeckstrasse 95.