Just as natural as stunt coordination

Simplified, you could compare intimacy coordination with stunt coordination. Collaboration with a stunt coordinator ideally begins at an early stage in the process. Fundamentally, the goal is to create an authentic scene based on the director’s vision while ensuring that the process is safe and secure for everyone involved. The stunt coordinator has an overarching view of the production’s stunt scenes,  breaks down scripts, carries out risk assessment,  facilitates dialogue with the actors before the scenes while finding alternative ways to meet challenges. All safety measures are taken in consultation with the production team before the stunt coordinator choreographs the various steps in the scene in collaboration with the director.

This is more or less how an intimacy coordinator works, but with scenes that include intimacy, nudity, simulated sex and sexual violence. Work with the scene does not only taken place in a safe and secure way for everyone involved, but has also been deepened and become more authentic.

An intimacy coordinator has both an artistic education and training in mental health. The process includes risk assessment and the writing of so-called nudity riders.

Foto: Micke Sandström
From Dangerous Liaisons, Uppsala Stadsteater  

Intimacy Coordination is liberating!

You may think that intimacy choreography limits the actor’s movement and creativity, but it’s just the opposite. By choreographing the scene and breaking it down in detail, opportunities open up and the actors get a greater freedom to deepen their character work while at the same time reducing the risk of personal boundaries being crossed.

Intimacy is individual and should therefore, regardless of genre, be handled carefully and through a structured process.

As an intimacy coordinator, Malin has an overarching responsibility for intimate scenes and is available throughout the process. All choreography and coordination takes place in close collaboration with the director and actors while coordinating with other professions and departments in the production.

Photo: Milja Rossi / From Blod, svett och tårar, Riksteatern (National Touring Theatre)
What do actors and directors say?

Riksteatern’s director Lisa Färnström was the first to use intimacy coordination in Sweden for her production of Blood, Sweat and Tears (2019). Here, together with actress Dejmis Rustom Bustos, she talks about their experience of working with Malin.

Dangerous Liaisons trailer

Dangerous Liaisons at Uppsala Stadsteater under the direction of Anna Azcárate became the second production as a worker with intimacy coordinator. The show premiered in February 2020.

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