Educated in Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands, Nicola Hepp obtained her Master in Choreography and New Media at the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in 2006. Her live performances have involved video and projections since 2003. Nicola's choreographies and screendance works have been shown in festivals and venues internationally and have won several awards and nominations.
My work often returns to the themes of aging, reminiscing, perception and/or the notion of a double such as in the ideas of writer Jorge Luis Borges. I am fascinated with the moving camera; its choreography in relation to the dancers or moving bodies. I merge movement, choreography, narrative, mise-en-scéne and editing in my imagery and visual stories.
Themes that are recurring in my work are: aging and in particular the fear of that process, self reflection/alter-ego, identity, doubles, perception and inevitability.
Although these themes are very universal they have taken on a personal importance for me in seeing my father having to deal with them. Still a practicing dancer at the age of 85, his body is no longer able to perform in the way that he still envisions himself. Reflecting on how he is approaching these issues make it apparent that I will have to go through a similar process at some point. Aging is not only a physical process but also a mental and emotional one. At the end of your life, what are you looking back at?
The writings of Jorge Luis Borges and Fyodor Dostoyevsky in particular have been essential in the development of my interest in many of these issues. There are parallels in my films Echo, Songs of the Underworld and The Double and my video dance installation 23|73 with the short story, The Other (Borges, 1975) and the novel, The Double (Dostoyevsky, 1846).
My Swedish background has also left a bigger imprint on me than I may have initially thought. There is a certain quality to the rhythm of my films, my choices and themes that I attribute to my Scandinavian heritage: the loneliness and darkness, the at times slow pacing, the simplicity and the long close-ups. All elements that nordic filmmakers such as the masters, Victor Sjöström and Ingmar Bergman have dealt with in their films.