The Amplifiers of Voices
In November 2020, due to the pandemic, we were forced to reduce our programme and put it online. While waiting for the moment when our programme could be implemented, our plans changed, our programmes were sporadically cancelled, but our will to implement it was not affected. Our voices have not been hushed.
Although it is usually associated with silent body movement, contemporary dance has never been a silenced subject in its outstanding examples. It always had its own specific voice. In a situation where, as a result of a pandemic, politics has turned into a choreographer, as it increased the distance between bodies, prevented touch and created social scores with unprecedented somatic scenarios, we decided to set the dance »on high volume« at CoFestival and also persist with it. To ear-splitting highs. Now that we all learned how to embody a piece of freedom in disciplined choreographies along the city streets, as if we would be realising pleasure in inventive dance scores, perhaps the conditions may be met to help us understand who or what are the true amplifiers of our voices.
Programme 1 (video stream)
„And one – two – three – four …“ The usual command doesn’t set the tempo of the music in the pieces by Lucinda Childs, but of the silence. Her evening performance of „Works in Silence“ brings together five important works from the 1970s. Childs, who is among the most significant and productive choreographers of the present, was a member of the innovative Judson Dance Theater movement. The collective revolutionized dance in New York in the 1960s. Childs varies walking, hopping, and running, she experiments with the behavior of the human body during rapid changes in direction, and the effect of minimal shifts in movement patterns. The dancers of the Dance On ensemble bring the hypnotic effect of these works back to the stage approximately 45 years after their world premiere.
Programme 2 (live stream)
This evening presents two dance pieces by Rabih Mroué, the Lebanese artist, actor, and performer who lives in Berlin; he created the pieces for and with the superb dancers of the ensemble Dance On. After „Water Between Three Hands“ (2016) the internationally renowned artist and the company worked together for a second time. In „Elephant“ (2018) he uses – as in many of his pieces – documentary material in order to blend personal and collective archives into one another. Here it’s pencil sketches of bodies lying on the ground. Are these people resting? Are they sleeping? The restrained atmosphere soon gives way to other associations, images of victims of violence or refugees whose lifeless bodies washed ashore. For a year Rabih Mroué gave himself the task of sketching a dead body every day. For „Elephant“ three hundred and sixteen images from this collection were selected, and over the course of the piece they will be projected on the back wall of the stage. Jone San Martin and Ty Boomershine translate with Mroué the concept into movement; Mattef Kuhlmey composed the music for the piece.
For the second work of the evening, „You Should Have Seen Me Dancing Waltz“ (2019) Rabih Mroué also worked closely with the dancers. Reports about deaths and destruction, horrible images as soon as you page through a newspaper and which keep recuring – what if one would never get used to this? The dancers read the newspaper, we hear the sentences, movement echoes, and in turn they are put into words. Rabih Mroué poses political and moral questions with both pieces, and he transposes them into space, speaking, and dance.
A constellation on Mal Pelo’s research on Johann Sebastian Bach and his relationship with dance and the stage.
Bach is a rigorous piece of language of movement for which María Muñoz needed to travel alone to what were probably non-negotiable places in terms of her deep understanding of musicality. She herself dances it in the Constellation. The same piece is also danced by the Italian performer Federica Porello, who learned it from María Muñoz in an intensive transmission process.
Photo and video: Jubal Battisti