• by Alexander Joseph Kinzel

EXPLORING THE EVERCHANGING

THE MOVEMENT WORK OF CLARA WIEST

Like so many of us creatives, Clara Wiest says, “I could never imagine myself doing anything else. Really truly. Even now, I sometimes think about what I would do if I weren’t an artist. And I CANNOT think of anything else. Nothing makes me feel more in the right place, more capable, more passionate, more focused than being a performance artist.”

"Exploration of the Everchanging," play directed by Clara Wiest. The Stone Theater, New York. 2019

Clara is a child of movement, both in her raising and the way she expresses herself creatively.

Born and raised in Switzerland until she was 11, then moving to China with her family until she was 19, Clara has long since learned that home can be many places and feelings at once, and perhaps that the most important home is in one’s own skin. Clara says of her art “I’ve always felt closest to myself when in the process of creation.” She has been part of the world of performing arts since the age of two, when she attended circus school, and since then has worked and performed as a dancer, an acrobat, a competitive athlete, an actor, and a singer as well.

Clara grew up using her body as her medium and when she was accepted to The New School’s Dramatic Arts program, naturally she entered as an actor. However, she quickly realized that she wasn’t an actor, but that she still loved working with her body and being on stage. Thus, she started found herself in the role of a dancer and a director for the stage. The first scene she directed was from “The River” by Jez Butterworth, a process during which Clara says she immediately “fell in love with this craft. I felt called to it ever since and I feel more like myself when I am directing than when I do anything else. The interaction with performers, the work, the creation, the mental and physical rigor, the new world we are creating – I love it all with everything that I have in my body.”

"Exploration of the Everchanging," play directed by Clara Wiest. The Stone Theater, New York. 2019

Clara says that with her work as a stage director, movement director, acrobat, dancer and performer, she wants to start a conversation, to turn things on their head, to “show that there are no rules to the game. We make the rules, and if these new rules function well, the show will function.” Her upcoming directorial projects include a music video, called “The Way You Look At Me”, written by Calvin Rezen, as well as a performance with Joanna Warren titled – 20-60 To Share. A ritualistic moment created to share. Along with collaborations and directorial projects, Clara also holds online sessions for performers and other interested humans.

From acrobat to actor to director, from Switzerland to China to Brooklyn, Clara has done and seen so much. This unique perspective lends a holistic hand to her work, allowing her to direct and engage with movement from many bases of knowledge at once. Her work as both performer and educator embodies her identity as a multidisciplinary artist and a global citizen and no matter how she is portraying her art, you can be sure that it will be complex, heartfelt, physically rigorous and as one of a kind as the artist herself.

CLARA WIEST

SWITZERLAND

www.clarawiest.com

Instagram@clarawiest

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