30 Jan The Woman Behind Carmen, Yasmin Priyatmoko Bohn
In the new ŻMDE production Carmen, choreographed by Jose Agudo, to dance the role of the famous protagonist is Yasmin Priyatmoko Bohn: charismatic and energetic, the dancer brings on stage a complex character, a passionate and strong woman, who goes towards her own destiny shouting to the world, forever, her freedom. An interpretative challenge, that Yasmin faces in these days of rehearsals with commitment and curiosity, looking for the details of the unstoppable and proud personality of Carmen. We just asked her some questions about her role.
Dear Yasmin, tell us about your character in this new version of Jose Agudo…
“Carmen is a simple yet complicated character. She is a gypsy and she is very strong-willed. Carmen is a woman who is not afraid and lives her life with no repercussions. She is young, flirtatious and tempestuous. In this new version of Jose Agudo we are keeping the essence of Carmen true to the story but adding a modern twist to it, Carmen as the modern woman”.
Born in Bali, Indonesia, Yasmin left her country when she was only sixteen to live in a dance conservatory outside of Los Angeles; in 2013 she moved to Rotterdam, Netherlands, to attend Codarts, University of the Arts. She then danced with Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, and after graduating from Codarts with a Bachelor’s degree in dance, she then joined ŻfinMalta Dance Ensemble in 2017.
Even if you are young you have already had important professional experiences. So, how are you preparing for the role of Carmen?
“I try to embody the character. To understand how she would think and do things. I find myself asking “What would Carmen do?” in a certain situations. As we were rehearsing Carmen I couldn’t really get her out, during rehearsals I am dancing as Carmen would and then when I get home I think about what I could change or do to boost the character. Although I am dancing the role of Carmen I don’t want to shut out my own character completely and my own take on the modern day Carmen. In a way I feel I can relate to Carmen, I feel like I have that gypsy soul, being from two different cultures and for the past six years living in neither”.
Leading you in this new interpretation, not only the choreographer Jose Agudo, but also the music by Bernhard Schimpelsberger, the composer of the new notes for the immortal story of Carmen. What about the original music score of this contemporary dance version?
“Bernhard Schimpelsberger’s music is very innovative. His way of adding Flamenco based percussions into the music makes for very complicated and distinct rhythms. Its light, its dynamic, its melody and there are so many textures that explodes within his music”. Two weeks before Carmen’s premiere, we look forward to seeing you on stage to enjoy the beauty of this new dance story.
Just one more question, what do you think can bring the public closer to contemporary dance today?
“Contemporary dance, these days, is really broad. It can be something that has a more classical repertoire or something that is very free moving with aspect of floor work. I feel dance is a speech, we are telling the public a story, a message. It doesn’t have to be literal but it may also be very specific. There are many styles and influences that can be put together. Contemporary dance is always evolving always changing just like how the world does”.