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Roy Carroll, Maya Matilda Carroll and Christian Hawkey as part of drei D poesie: Ingesture. 17.06.2017, Poesiefestival, Akademie der Künste, Berlin.

A meeting between two strange figures, sometimes touching, sometimes distant. Linking words to movement by gesturing in gestures, they recognise the poetic potential of didactic connections. Like in a dream, waves resound around their words, stopping and starting in a fragmented flow. As their interaction deepens, ever gentle and mysterious, they make us remember other hands on other shores. The end is near – a final twist, a voice, a gesture used to break.

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Marlene Monteiro Freitas with Andreas Merk: Jaguar. 31.05.2017, HAU 2, Berlin.

Animalism, burlesque, puppets, robots, tennis outfits, swimming goggles; three stairs leading to nowhere, the blue horse recalling Der Blauer Reiter; vigorous contractions of the (whining or working out) body: sports culture vs. the Tragedia.

It almost feels like that there is never a direct connection of themes in Marlene Monteiro Freitas’ works: what does the dance movements dragged from the carnival festivities of Cape Verde has to do with Der Blauer Reiter or say, Stravinsky with David Bowie? However, indirect connections build an eclectic architecture: a simple towel helps to suck the sweat of the dancers in tennis outfits as well as to defeat the unseen fly; it cleans the horse, metamorphoses into a penis of a female body and turns the performers into a non-existent creature. Reminiscent of of ivory and flesh – statues also suffer (2014) facial muscles are as crucial as the core; the gape open mouth painted with red is, say, the protagonist. The time is (ab)used with an utmost concentration; after a while, the length of the piece pulls you into an indescribable entity and even creates a tension because of the upcoming end.

 

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Potsdamer Tanztage: Focus Canada. 16.-28.05.2017, Potsdam.

This year’s Potsdamer Tanztage, supported by the Canadian government (who has boosted arts funding for the next five years in celebration of its 150th anniversary), presented Kanada-Fokus / Focus Canada, which brought the work of four very different Canadian choreographers to German audiences — all are based in Montreal’s vibrant contemporary scene, and yet all represent a style of contemporary dance markedly distinct from the others: „80“ weiterlesen

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Aline Landreau: Underneath. 02.06.2017, Tanzfabrik Wedding, Berlin.

Dunkelheit drückt auf die Augenlider, bis eine rechteckig-helle Fläche an Kontur gewinnt – die Bühne, an deren Rändern zwei Zuschauerreihen entlang führen. Darauf nur leicht erhoben haben sich zwei Körper niedergelegt, übereinander, geformt zu einem lebendigen Haufen,  einem Felsvorsprung am hinteren Drittel, dort wo es spitz zuläuft und dahinter abschüssig wird. Röchelnd und schnaufend, in Schieflagen und aneinander abgestützt vermessen Aline Landreau und Sébastien Chatellier die Begrenzungen der Bühnenrampe – gleiten über die Holzverkleidung, gönnen sich ab und an ein Seufzen, ein Zur-Seite-Kippen und kurzes Liegenbleiben, Atmen – viel Horizontale –, wenn das Licht tanzend mit einstimmt (Bruno Pocheron, Emese Csornai) und der Soundteppich (Antoine Monzonis-Calvet) sie noch ein Stück davon trägt, bis sie, endlich, zum langen, langen Fall ansetzen. Sie sind abgetaucht, ins Dahinter, wo die Rampe zu Ende ist und sich ein größerer Bühnenraum eröffnet. Schwer zu sagen, ob mit Verlassen des „sicheren“, „gemeinsamen?“ Grunds das Bodenlose drohend schlummert …

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Gob Squad: Gob Squad’s Kitchen (You’ve Never Had It So Good). 27.05.2017. HAU 1, Berlin.

How to reconstruct an artwork: it’s framing, lighting, and sound, its atmosphere, its tensions, its norms, and its values? Gob Squad, the seven-member Berlin-based collective, ponders these themes in Gob Squad’s Kitchen (You’ve Never Had It So Good), in which they reenact for camera a series of Andy Warhol films. At first it’s all goofing off and jokes: recreation is challenging, fraught with disagreements, and generally hilarious. But as the team convinces audience members to take their place, it’s clear that recreation means reinvention, and that generations both social and artistic must seed newer forms. A forced moment with one of the audience members-come-actors is disturbing: in the spirit of reinvention, should not a hug be substituted for a kiss despite the name of the originary film? This unsettling misjudgement lasts throughout the end of the piece, distracting from the otherwise superbly structured and artfully handled work of interactive theatre.

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Lemi Ponifasio: Die Gabe der Kinder. 28. 5. 2017, Kakaospeicher, Hamburg (im Rahmen von Theater der Welt 2017)

Der Saal nimmt einem den Atem. Der Kakaospeicher am Hamburger Baakenhöft, in der Lemi Ponifasio Chöre, Jugendliche, Performerinnen seiner Gruppe MAU arrangiert, choreografiert, auch: ausstellt, ist eine 9000 Quadratmeter große, entkernte Lagerhalle, die auf einer Halbinsel im Hafen dem Strukturwandel entgegendämmert. „Die Gabe der Kinder“ entfaltet sich darin als Mammutstück, das einen in seiner formalen Radikalität überrollt, das die Gewaltigkeit der Bilder performativ mit einem stoischen  Minimalismus voranschiebt, Schreiten, Singen, winzigste Bewegungsspuren, und solch eine riesige Halle will ja auch durchmessen werden, klar. Inhaltlich dagegen leider mau, ein wenig wohlfeile Verweise auf die gefolterten, entführten, vergewaltigten Kinder der Welt, meine Güte. Aber dann ist da der Saal, und der nimmt einem den Atem, wirklich.

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Doris Uhlich + Michael Turinsky: Ravemachine. 21.05.2017, Sophiensaele, Berlin.

Closing Sophiensaele’s four day festival Every Body, which investigates the individual and communicative potentials of ’non-normative‘ bodies, Doris Uhlich and Michael Turinsky present their thumping and explosive duet Ravemachine. „My machine / my machine is yours / your machine / your machine is mine“, utters Turinsky in the first phase of silence, inaugurating one of the piece’s most interesting themes (namely, in which ways do machines erase and enforce our differences?), and introducing the binaries, which will be swapped all performance, between two bodies and two machines: wheelchair and DJ set. With Uhlich as DJ, the crushing beats create the activation energy which brings Turinsky off his chair, into space, and, eventually, into his duet with Uhlich — all of this takes time: careful yet pulsing transformations allow us to feel both the uncanny familiarity and the miraculous strangeness of the human body. While Turinsky’s focus and presence are relentless and concrete, throughout much of the performance Uhlich’s is nonchalant: after having watched her saunter across the stage and mimic movements with an exaggerated casualness, the smooth, endless circles in which she swivels once in the wheelchair — moving not from her spot but creating more drama and meaning than all of her long, purposeful, two-legged strides — remind us that the most obvious/efficient/normative way to do things is not always the most enriching nor the most beautiful. A celebration and an investigation that left as many questions…