In Performance

In Performance: Sasha Waltz & Guests, Kreatur (Tanz im August)

Kreatur Sasha Waltz & Guests Tanz im August, Haus der Berliner Festspiele August 21-24, 2017 Kreatur is an expansive undertaking from the venerable Sasha Waltz, a human origin story of epic proportions packed into just ninety minutes. Vibrating constantly between formal precision and unsettling rupture, Kreatur taps into basic building blocks of life and consciousness, painstakingly building a civilization before our eyes. Bodies are born as if from nothing, appearing pristinely from a sea of haze. Muscular, untamed choreographies emerge in unpredictable spurts. The company of fourteen are attracted to and repelled from one another; build and break alliances; inflict abuse; discover environmental danger, companionship, the erotic. Extended periods of diffuse repetitions are punctuated ...

In Performance: La Ribot (Tanz im August)

Panoramix & Laughing Hole La Ribot Retrospective La Ribot, Tanz im August August 2017 The Spanish choreographer and multidisciplinary artist La Ribot, a pioneer of conceptual dance, is receiving a retrospective at Tanz im August including past work as well as new performances, film screenings, and a gallery installation. I caught two of the remounted works, Laughing Hole (from 2006, created by La Ribot and performed here by Tamara Alegre, Olivia Csiky Trnka, and Ruth Childs), and Panoramix (from 2003, performed by La Ribot), both at the stunning Sophiensæle, a former craftsman’s workshop in Mitte. In Laughing Hole, the four walls of the large space are covered in cardboard signs, each with a short phrase handwritten in Sharpie: “DISTURBING HELP”. “STILL BRUTAL”. “PLEASE DIE”. “CLEAN HO...

In Performance: Trajal Harrell, Caen Amour (Tanz im August)

Caen Amour Trajal Harrell Tanz im August, HAU2 August 17-19 “Hoochie in the front, koochie in the back,” explains the chipper woman who takes the stage early in Caen Amour to walk us through the performance. She is referring to the hoochie-koochie show, a pastiche of so-called “oriental” and “exotic” dance styles that emerged in the U.S. in the early twentieth century, which provides the framework for Trajal Harrell’s piece. Her statement also playfully introduces us to the performance’s bifurcated playing area, created by a flat backdrop (with one doorway and a shadow-play window) cutting across the middle of the space. On one side is the show proper: dancers enter through the doorway, shake and strut their way across the stage, and make a tantalizing exit on the other side of the wall. O...

In Performance: Rudi van der Merwe, Trophée (Tanz im August)

Trophée Rudi van der Merwe Tanz im August, Vierfelderhof August 19-20 The performance space (in this case, a field at the outer edges of the Berlin city limits) becomes a site to be conquered in Rudi van der Merwe’s outdoor Trophée. At one end of the field stands a white picket fence, the audience gathered a short distance behind it. From the faraway trees at the other end of the field, three figures emerge. Their faces are blank, white; they lift their blue hoop skirts to move purposefully, with a regimented directness. Too distant to perceive the details of their actions, all we know for certain is that they are coming closer. Their slow approach instills a visceral unease (augmented by the ominous soundscape, performed live by Béatrice Graf). When we first arrived, the picket fence mere...

In Performance: Lea Moro, FUN! (Tanz im August)

FUN! Lea Moro Tanz im August, HAU2 August 11-13 The title of FUN!, its aggressive capitalization and that emphatic punctuation, reads both as encouraging exhortation (have fun!) and vaguely threatening guarantee (you WILL have fun). It’s an apt encapsulation of a performance that, in its commitment to the relentlessly cheerful aesthetic of the amusement park, takes the spectator on an alternately delightful and infuriating ride. The performance is exhausting, but then, so is having fun. Choreographer Lea Moro (who also performs in the piece) is interested in entertainment as industry, in the codified structures within which we are encouraged and expected to consume the product that is “fun.” FUN! draws inspiration from, and re-performs for our benefit, a parade of familiar cultural diversi...

In Performance: Serge Aimé Coulibaly, Kalakuta Republik (Tanz im August)

Kalakuta Republik Serge Aimé Coulibaly Tanz im August, HAU 1 August 11-12 Kalakuta Republik, by the Burkinabé choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly, takes its name from the residence of the Nigerian musician and activist Fela Kuti, a commune which Kuti declared to be independent of the Nigerian state. The tension between artists and political systems, the contribution of art to popular revolt and perhaps revolution, drives this thrilling, energetic performance. Though the piece draws inspiration from Kuti’s life and work, Coulibaly is not concerned with biographical or historical recreation. Rather he is in choreographic dialogue with Kuti as countercultural leader, asking his own questions about the social responsibility of artists in Africa and around the globe today. At the beginning of th...

In Performance: Alexandra Bachzetsis, Private: Wear a mask when you talk to me (Tanz im August)

Private: Wear a mask when you talk to me Alexandra Bachzetsis Tanz im August, HAU 2 August 11-13 As the audience takes their seats, choreographer Alexandra Bachzetsis applies makeup at a small mirror; an unsurprising image, but this mirror is affixed to a camera tripod, occupying the place where a lens would normally be. This detail suggests that it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to craft your self-image without being influenced by what you yourself have seen. Bachzetsis’s solo performance is very much concerned with images of gender and sexual identity, and particularly how the media that we consume and the activities that we engage in every day train us to perform—and read the performance of—these identities. She moves through sequences of movements and poses that refer to athletics, ...

In Performance: Ivy Baldwin Dance, Keen [No. 2]

Keen [No. 2] Ivy Baldwin Dance Abrons Arts Center 466 Grand St June 1-11 A massive installation constructed out of white paper (by the artists Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen) fills the back wall of the Abrons Playhouse. Its elaborate, vaguely ominous assemblage of coils, tendrils, and vortexes loom over a single dancer alone in the space, but her bright orange leotard and grounded, deliberate movements hold their own, commanding our attention. Later, the stage is overtaken by a group of similarly attired women: trilling with increasing aggression, they gradually assemble into a pack, crawling in circles in a feral display until they exhaust themselves and lay quiet. Ivy Baldwin arises for a quiet solo, holding her leg suspended in air for so long it begins to seem like something sepa...

In Performance: Jeanine Durning’s inging at Los Angeles Performance Practice May 12–13, 2017 (Los Angeles)

 Los Angeles Performance Practice Jeanine Durning’s inging May 12–13, 2017 Los Angeles Performance Practice (LAPP) presents inging, created and performed by celebrated choreographer Jeanine Durning, an Alpert-Award winning artist and influential dance maker. For the first Los Angeles presentation of her choreographic work, Durning performs this intimate exploration of rarely charted territory at the intersection of thought, language and action. inging is presented May 12 and 13, 2017 at 8pm at Automata in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. Full event details below. The performance’s title refers to the suffix “ing” in the English language, used to express actions that are still in progress, that haven’t yet ended. Part spoken word performance, part reverie, part dance, part oral bio...

In Performance: FCCC #1 Future Clinic for Critical Care – May 6, 2017 Berlin

FCCC #1 Future Clinic for Critical Care   Saturday May 6, 2017 from 14:00 – 18:00 Location: The Aquarium, Berlin Skalitzer Str. 6 Organized and curated by Jeremy Wade Featuring: Locomotive Labels – Solo Dance by Justin Kennedy Totemic Identity Healing – with Katerina Kokkinos Kennedy NAGELNEU: Death-Nails-Special by Quast & Knoblich The Battlefield Nurse – Jeremy Wade DJ Zhao – Ambient Futures AND… part of our practice is that we serve you Coffee + Cake!!  FCCC The Future Clinic for Critical Care (German Version Below) What happened to care? Who cares!?! “The Future Clinic for Critical Care” aka FCCC is a fictional DIY world making forum to explore the subject matter of care. FCCC will evolve as a series over the next year at “the Aquarium,” Ko...

In Performance: Jen Rosenblit & Geo Wyeth – Swivel Spot (The Kitchen)

A companion piece to Rosenblit’s Clap Hands, which ran most recently at the 2017 American Realness festival, Swivel Spot continues Rosenblit’s line of performative inquiry into pairing and relationships, and marks a new collaboration between Rosenblit and music/performance/installation artist Geo Wyeth. Comprised of gently accumulating scored movement punctuated by surprising turns of music and interaction, Swivel Spot watches Rosenblit and Wyeth fumble blindfolded through a motley landscape of objects and sound, groping for grounding, and for one another. Alexia Welch, the “supportive performer” who also provided her gentle care for Clap Hands, trails Rosenblit and Wyeth with plastic wrap, methodically pinning a city of objects to the gallery floor at The Kitchen. Welch’s methodical atten...

In Performance: Philippe Quesne/Vivarium Studio – La Melancolie des Dragons (Out There Festival)

La Melancolie des Dragons Philippe Quesne/Vivarium Studio Walker Art Center A group of long-haired metalheads sits in a stalled vintage Citroën in a wintery forest. They fiddle with the car radio, share snacks, and chat under cover of blasting music. Then arrives their friend Isabelle, a wise Snow White figure to the metalheads’ seven dwarves. After determining (through inspection and tinkering) that their Citroën won’t be going anywhere tonight, she asks the stranded metalheads to pass the time by demonstrating the attractions of the amusement park they are developing. Here, Philippe Quesne’s penchant for using simple tools to create surreal images shines. The would-be amusement park creators display each attraction for Isabelle, often calling her away from the previous one like a child e...