Choreographer Doris Uhlich’s Come Back brings five former ballet dancers from Vienna’s State Opera and People’s Opera back to the brut stage long after the end of their dance careers.
The dancers spent a year working with Uhlich on a futuristic archaeology: based on internalised hierarchy and ballet’s rigorous physical techniques, which came second nature to them back in the day, this work wasn’t about some nostalgic retrospective or about personal failures, but rather focused on risky perspectives: what power is in these disciplined bodies, transformed by time, in the here and now? Where can this power be discharged today? How can you make an internalised system flexible?
While their contemporaries were revolting against the current system at the end of the 1960s, they were training at the bar. Did they follow this time of change? Were they aware of the changes going on outside?
With their Come Back these former dancers are founding their own radical and self-ironic revolutionary movement as pensioners. Their material: politically volatile figures that are shaking at the disciplining of their bodies, searching for utopic landscapes of movement, and who view their limits as a political opportunity.
Come Back is the third instalment of a trilogy in which Doris Uhlich explores the historic development and the stringent forms of classic ballet. In SPITZE [Pointe] (2008), Uhlich grappled with the idea of dance en pointe and the romantic idealisation of the ballerina. In Rising Swan (2010) Uhlich allowed the Dying Swan by Anna Pavlova to rise again in the present and related it to the ebb and flow of world affairs
Choreography: Doris Uhlich
Dramaturgic collaboration: Constanze Schellow
Lighting: Monika Gruber
Sound: Gerald Pappenberger
Interior design: Alexander Schellow
Artistic consultation: Yoshie Maruoka
Production: Christine Sbaschnigg | insert (Theaterverein)
With: Marialuise Jaska, Susanne Kirnbauer, Percy Kofranek, Renate Loucky, Violetta Springnagel-Storch
A co-production of brut Wien, De Internationale Keuze van de Rotterdamse Schouwburg Rotterdam, Festspielhaus St. Pölten, Göteborgs Dans & Teater Festival Gothenburg, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main, NXTSTP, steirischer herbst Graz. With the kind support of the European Union’s Culture Programme and the City of Vienna’s Department of Cultural Affairs.