Who is K Goldstein ?
I met K Goldstein during a Kenzo campaign a few years ago. It was the kind of campaign with too much budget and a lot of time waiting around. It gave us time to get acquainted. We quickly realized that we had a lot in common; we both have an Ashkenazi father and a Vietnamese mother, we were born in the same year, we both completed a literary prep school, we were both bookworms and passionate about cinema and dance.
We started following each other on social networks. Then I discovered an independent artist who awakened in me the desire to find out more about him. K is an artist devoted to art in general, which is reflected in the different forms he uses to express himself: choreography, dance, images, videos, audio and text. He has been dedicated to it his entire life.
K started contemporary and classical dance at the age of six. But he grew up with the goal of becoming a film critique. His parents certainly also had a strong influence in developing his taste for art. They decided which movies their children could watch while also installing a child lock on their TV to limit their access to mainstream media. This was not always easy for him as a child. It often meant being the only one who didn’t know the shows everyone else was talking about. But, this didn’t stop him from watching the shows later in life, and he even ended up naming his cat “Donna Martin” (the mean blond girl from Beverly Hills 90210).
After completing his literary prep school, K Goldstein returned to university to study modern art and cinema. Only to be disappointed by the course, and hence he started an internship at the International Dance Academy. This internship went so well that he ended up staying there for two years. He would go on to live the dream of a whole generation, a life of “Fame”: dance classes and auditions during the week, performances on the weekends, tours, complete with rhinestones and sequins. He also recalls his first experience on stage in front of 6,000 people for the song Africa. In a moment of total anguish, he completely froze on stage for the first ten seconds, before finally giving his all. He learned a lot during his time at Academy, but after two years he started to feel the urge to create.
K went on to start his own dance troupe called KeatBeck, a combination of the names of his two mentors Keaton and Beckett. He is being supported by the Point Ephémère, and by “Paris and Young Talents”. He received grants from the Royaumont foundation and Adami. K is even one of the choreographers at the Fabrique de la Danse, the first incubator for choreographers. Listening to him, I had the impression that he was receiving grants right and left, but it turns out this was not the case. He is fighting hard for every single one of them, and there are a lot with he didn’t receive.
As an independent artist, he has to work even harder, because it is him who has to find contracts, generate customer interest, propose projects and raise funds. These things do not come about just by snapping your fingers. He compares it to being a contestant on the reality show “Survivor” every day. This somewhat competitive lifestyle can lead to a lot of stress. A few years ago, for example, he became so ill as a result of nervousness that he was not able to audition for a musical which he had dreamed of working for. Today he uses meditation to relax and manage his stress, mostly at the Buddhist school of Zen “Kwan Um”.
In the midst of his daily “Survivor-challenge”, K Goldstein tries to take dance classes several times a week, and he cultivates himself as much as possible to find inspiration. He watches at least one movie a day and reads a lot. He is particularly fond of classical horror movies by the great masters Carpenter, Hitchcock or Argento. But he also loves unclassifiable movies such as those by William Castle or Peter Watkins. K also wrote articles on this movie genre for the collective SuperNova. So when he found himself dancing for a Dior commercial, a big production with a big budget, multiple cameras and a real crew, he felt like a kid who was granted a look at Disney World.
K doesn’t hesitate to mix dance and cinema. Together with his partner and visual filmmaker Véronique Hubert, they are working on a film-based project. For him, this is a very interesting experience because the two don’t speak the same language, nor do they take the same approach to space and rhythm, hence this is yet another opportunity for him to learn.
A few months ago I was invited to a workshop organized by the Fabrique de la Danse where I could see K Goldstein in action for the first time. For him, this was a new experience as well because this workshop was intended for amateurs rather than professionals. As a result, the performance was not up to his usual standard, but that didn’t make it less interesting. For me as a spectator, it was a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of his artistic versatility. The whole performance was cleverly structured: the music choice, his choice of words, the exercises with the participants…The purpose of this structure was to “work the imagination” and to “unleash the imagination”. From an outside perspective it looked a bit like a group therapy session, but as the participants acted on instinct, the results were very different from one course to another. For K, the show was about each of them individually, their imagination and their experiences. This is why he told them “you are the author of this trip”. And it was beautiful to hear him speak of the body as a landscape or how he told his participants to remember to “touch their heels and thank them for all the weight worn during the day”.
This is why I describe K Goldstein as poetry in motion. When he dances, he is constantly moving in space, jumping, running, rolling on the ground, deconstructing his gestures, throwing himself into space. It’s almost as if his body was following the path of a feather in the wind. It’s a pleasure for the eyes and for the ears. I invite you all to follow his videos on Instagram or Youtube, where you can see him dance in harmony with the nature that surrounds him. Social networks are a new challenge for him. He takes the time to keep his profiles up to date. If it were up to him, all his videos would be 10 – 15 minutes long, but Instagram’s format limits him to only 1 minute. It’s a challenge that he is happy to take on.
And then there’s Ireland…Apart from being the home country of his mentor Beckett, K Goldstein also has fond childhood memories of the country. His parents sent him there to learn English and attend a dance workshop. To this day he has a very close relationship with his host family, who he still visits once a year. He loves the Irish joviality, their songs, the great outdoors, the sea and the nature. The country represents many things for him. When he told me about his dreams, which included working with the cellist Marie Ythier or with the Italian composer Maurizio Azlan, the one that stood out the most was that of him living in a lighthouse in Ireland and the pleasure of spending time in front of the fireplace. I hope that K will make this lighthouse the scene of his new stage show and share the results on social media for all of us to enjoy.
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