Poetry, Pain and Resistance – Music in Dresden

Anne Jong, Zoe Lindsey Alaria, David Leonidas Thiel, Sam Young-Wright, Cello: Petar Peggy (all photos: Dominic Mintzus)

With the latest premiere, dance company Dresden Frankfurt is laying great glimpses of contemporary dance in Dresden

It starts with Bach. “Bach Off” is the name of Jacopo Godani’s creation of a selection of dance moves from the cello wings of Johann Sebastian Bach. Cellist Alex Lau performs these movements. Unfortunately, technical amplification delays the sound – and of course the question arises, why amplification at all? The sound of this instrument alone must have the necessary, but above all, authentic presence.

A couple turns poetry of sound into poetry of movement. Music flows, so to speak, through the cellist’s hands and body to the dancers’ hands–and also across a great spatial distance to the other dancers, whom we at first regarded as shadowy figures in the faint light at the back of the stage.

Time and time again one feels the sound of silence spreading here. Here this sound flows through the body and then conveys the dancers to those highly sensitive characters that touch the audience strongly. It’s a wonderful give and take. This image takes on a shape of its own when the shapes come out of the shadows. When they allowed themselves to be moved by this pair, who had previously moved the cellist with his instruments repeatedly, and this movement, which owes its sonic touch, continues in what seems to be infinity. It is a celebration of farewell at the end. Perhaps something like the newly acquired strength of affinity after long periods of distance.

Zoe Lenzi Allaria in “Quintet”

The contrast to the following choreography couldn’t be greater, yet an artistic dialogue of emotional connections between beginning poetry and the pain-resistant images that follow soon unfold.

The Quintet, directed by William Forsath, premiered almost thirty years ago, on October 9, 1993, at the Frankfurt Ballet. Forsyth created this work for his seriously ill wife, who died shortly thereafter. Jacobo Godani was among the dancers with whom this quintet was created. Forsyth brought this piece to Hellerau in a visually modified form, above all without the use of a sunken stage (as in the performance in Semperoper) when he was the company’s technical director. In his new production, Godani now focused strictly on this entirely different generation of dancers from the contemporary company; So there is no tradition, but rather a new perspective, by virtue of the individual characters of the pentacles.

There is, of course, the magic of sound again. First from afar, barely perceptible, then ever closer, in these bleak iterations of an endless loop: “The Blood of Jesus Has Not Yet Failed Me” by Gavin Briars. Homeless man song. The sound threatens to fail at any moment, but the power is always there to start the next iteration. Don’t give up. And that’s when this wonderful and deeply moving dance begins by this quintet of dancers who are as weak as they are strong. Yes, they leave the scene again and again, but they come back there again, when their power fades, they are caught, supported and escorted. These may be visions of looking at the despair in the path of the beloved who has no return. Time and time again, with the highest technical requirements, dance can transform everyday experiences of the absurd – not being ignored, certainly not dancing away – into moments of life’s most beautiful experience. It shouldn’t be a sad piece for Forsyth either, in this time of agonizing trials it should be just the opposite, he said, “a tribute to life in the face of death.” In addition, this choreography always allows one to feel something of the power of dance, that native language of man, which can certainly transcend everyday experiences, but also to counteract these experiences in the case of the physical weakness inherent in dance. .

David Leonidas Thiel, Zoe Lindsey Alaria

It was just news that choreographer Marco Goeke was receiving this year’s German Dance Award when his “Good Old Moone” dance celebrated the premiere of Dresden as the closing of a three-part evening “Zeitgeist Tanzania”. Joic’s dance of explosive objects, so propelled from the inside that the movements of the arms and hands go off repeatedly like electrically charged lightning, is truly a provocative force. Provocation, that is, the pushing of something hidden, here should be understood in a very positive way, as an opportunity for art to highlight what sometimes threatens to tear us apart from within. And when title poetry allows all this to happen under good old moonlight, then one must rightly assume that this choreographer is also a master of poetic irony over and over again. Just as Patti Smith leaves the strong tones of her singing abruptly changing to the verbal art of her poetry, so do dancers with and against each other. Is it love, is it longing, is it sadness, is it pain, what provokes these disturbing and disturbing movements on the one hand, and on the other hand movements of longing and mutual desire in the true sense of the word?

The Goecke dance throws away helpless things that secretly inflict pain. This can also be screaming in the best sense of the word. As a choreographer, Goecke is a master of silent screams. But now it goes beyond that. Dancer Anne Jung associates existential images of the boisterous body with the groundbreaking voice. And thus closes the circle of these associations with the spirit of the age, which began poetically with the power of music, which is over three hundred years old, and led to painful resistance and now – as paradoxical as it may sound – to the poetry of resistance: certainly also spurred by the present skepticism of the spirit of a time when one might long to dance reconciled, In the faint light of the good old moon. But all this would not be very close to the spirit of time if you had not experienced a company that was explosive, then again and again with such a sensitive and individual strength. Congratulations, Jacobo Giudani, congratulations, Dresden! This is where the standards for contemporary dance are set.

Upcoming shows: 18, 19, 20, 21 and 2022

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