The feverish quest for truth often leads to insanity, a frantic search for meaning, order and answers that result in chaos, zaum, and silence. Art asks questions because it is already ‘from the other side’. In the performance Bliss by a Slovenian dancer, choreographer and author, all these elements are mixed. The collective of very diverse performers, ranging from the stand-up comedian who isn’t, to the drag queen who would very much like to be, to the dancer who is more interested in why she is dancing than how, is connected by the need to be in a system without rules, where they can express themselves in the best, or only, way. The strategies of the six-member ensemble are completely different, from shock to niceness, and they contribute to this display of scene schizophrenia, more individually than in cooperation. Processing the results of this game of identity and appearance is hard work for those who need to replace disbelief with facts. Everyone else will, maybe, for a moment, find happiness in this collage of monodrama, musical, essay and tragedy.
Slovenian dancer and performer Mala Kline has worked professionally since 1995, first with the Slovenian company En-Knap, and later with Wim Vandekeybus’s company, Ultima Vez. Among the most important Slovenian dance and New Theatre authors, her own choreographic and directorial work is done both independently and in collaboration with artists from other fields.
If you get a certain amount of deja vue while watching this video feature of Ultima Vez then fret not because not only is Spiegel a retrospective on some of the company's work from the last two decades but a lot of the movement style you see here has found its way into hundreds of works by many companies over the years.
Ultima Vez and its founder, Wim Vandekeybus, pioneered the movement style rather simplistically entitled 'Eurocrash' back in the day. The term 'crash' does no justice to the obvious skills of the dancers though. Yes they do hurl themselves around with an incredible amount of energy but their relationship with the floor and how they get down there is precisely controlled, crashing has nothing to do with it.
If ever there was a work to emphasise the difference between classical and contemporary then this is it.
'Spiegel', which means 'mirror', is a composite work with sections taken from 'What the Body Does Not Remember', 'Immer Das Selbe Gelogen', 'Bereft of a Blissful Union', '7 For a Secret never to be told', 'In Spite of Wishing and Wanting' and 'Inasmuch as Life is Borrowed'.
The company speaks of the work thus;
"Twenty years after the première of What the Body Does Not Remember - and almost as many creations with changing international casts later - Wim Vandekeybus composes Spiegel, an evening with some remarkable scenes from his work. With nine dancers - performers who have already worked with the company as well as some newcomers - Wim Vandekeybus looks in the mirror. No simple collage, but a journey in search of the essence of his movement idiom. A retrospective of the energy and emotions at the base of his creations. Together with the performers, Wim Vandekeybus explores his early works as well as more recent productions."
Our seven minute clip includes the infamous brick throwing sequence from 'What the Body Does Not Remember'. Although the blocks appear to be made from some form of chalk-limestone composite, make no mistake, if one of the dancers gets hit then they are going home in an ambulance.
'Spiegel' is performed by Laura Aris, Elena Fokina, Robert M. Hayden, German Jauregui Allue, Jorge Jauregui Allue, Mala Kline, Thi-Mai Nguyen, Manuel Ronda and Helder Seabra. Choreography by Wim Vandekeybus and Music by Arno & Ad Cominotto, David Byrne, Thierry De May, Pierre Martins, Marc Ribbot and Peter Vermeersch.
What can we say about Motionhouse Dance Theatre that hasn't already been written? Well, probably quite a lot since our book 'Motionhouse The Untold Story, Living The Dream with Very Little Cash' couldn't find a publisher.
Having previously toured the country with works involving scaffolding ('Volatile'), mountains of sand ('Perfect'), too many objects for words ('Driven') and huge diggers ('Road to the Beach') the company have decided to make things easy for themselves this time out by touring with a giant half pipe ramp made out of fibre glass!
'Scattered' is all about water which thankfully remains mostly virtual and there are no silly 'Flashdance' moments to be seen.
The aforementioned ramp also acts as a projection screen for numerous motion graphics all with a water theme. When all goes well (which is 99% of the time) the dancers interact with said graphics to good effect.
The work continues touring throughout the year alongside its smaller, more portable, little brother entitled 'Underground'. Check the company's website for touring information.
'Scattered' is performed by Junior Cunningham, Phillip Stummer, Claire Benson, Olivia Quayle, Alistair Stewart, Laura Peña Nuñez and Giorgio de Carolis with music by Sophy Smith and Tim Dickinson.
Next in line, a piece created by Asier Zabaleta for the Russian company Chelyabinsk Contemporary Dance Theatre, directed by choreographer Olga Pona.
Next in line is a project created within the program of co-productions between Russia and the European Economic Community Intradance that takes place during the years 2009-2010. The project will provide the means to initiate and present seven productions between Russian dance companies and choreographers based in the European Economic Community in seven Russian cities of different regions and in Moscow.
Asier Zabaleta, has been nominated in the categories of 'Best Choreographer' and the `Best of contemporary dance piece for her work Next In Line for the prestigious award given by the Russian festival of theater, dance, music and opera 'Golden Mask'.
Next in line, pieza creada por Asier Zabaleta para la compañía rusa Chelyabinsk Contemporary Dance Theatre, dirigida por la coreógrafa Olga Pona.
Next in line es un proyecto creado dentro del programa de coproducciones entre Rusia y la Comunidad Económica Europea Intradance que se lleva a cabo durante los años 2009-2010. El proyecto facilitará los medios para iniciar y presentar siete coproducciones entre compañías de danza rusas y coreógrafos con base en la Comunidad Económica Europea en siete ciudades rusas de diferentes regiones y en Moscú.
Asier Zabaleta, ha sido nominado en las categorías de `Mejor coreógrafo´ y en la de `Mejor obra de danza contemporánea´ por su trabajo Next In Line, por los prestigiosos premios que conceden el festival ruso de teatro, danza, música y ópera, `Golden Mask´.