When we meet someone after a show or at a conference (or in life) and we tell them about Tut'Zanni we always get the same questions: "How the hell do you do that?" "Why would you continue to work with people that are so far away from you?" And a lot of other hows and whys about our shows and process. The funniest part of this is that until I first heard this question from the outside, I had never questioned it myself. When ALi and I first spoke in 2011 about starting a company, the names of the people that we wanted to be involved came easy and none of them lived in the same place. We didn't know how we were going to make it work, we just knew that out of anyone we had ever worked with or for, these are the four people we trust to go on this adventure with us. And I can easily say it has been quite an adventure so far.
We have learned a lot about ourselves as artists; about our needs and desires. We've learned a lot about ourselves as an ensemble: What does the most ideal situation look like when we get the best work done? What feels natural and what feels unbalanced? How long we can go without speaking or even without being in the same room together before we feel completely disconnected and unhappy? Basically, over the past 5 years, we've tested the limits of time and space in many ways and found out how we work best.
It's tricky, it's a balancing act and it's an incredibly human experience. I think we all came to the realization of the importance of this group and this work in our own ways and in our own time. This is easy to do when you trust each other so deeply that nothing can disturb that relationship. This is Tut'Zanni. A group in a constant balancing act that knows the importance of connection and allowing ourselves to be human. This is what we put in our shows. This is how we build. This is how we live.
Now, these are all just words. No one can really explain how this group goes from point A to point B to point C and so on, in a way that anyone can understand. Sometimes seeing is believing and so that is what we decided to do. 2016 is the year of documentation. Tut'Zanni has been documenting every moment of our process and it has been interesting. What we're finding is that sometimes the camera matters. Having a camera on us at all times is an existential experiment that has occasional consequences. We want people to be able to understand this process in a deep way but sometimes it is difficult when you need to have those private moments with your most trusted colleagues. Little by little I think we will find the balance between what needs to be seen and heard for others to understand us and what is just for us... because there has to be something just for us... that is where the magic lives.