Archive for August, 2013

Day 19: Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

Watch my work-in-progress showing for First Things First.

Day 18 – Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

It’s the final day in the studio! With the work-in-progress showing tonight, and to mark the end of the residency, I’ve got a little competition for you!

Nos Limites

It was a real joy to watch this duo show. Choreographed by Radhouane El Meddeb, and performed exquisitely by Matias Pilet and Alexandre Fournier, Nos Limites (No Limits) took us, with almost no sound and on a simple white mat, through an entire relationship of two men. From playfully being cheeky, aggressive, offended, affectionate and finally lonely, the men tried to work together to find a way to make their bodies fit.

Using mostly circus skills, the performers were incredibly soft and fluid, and they performed with such honesty and sincerity that you couldn’t help but be totally charmed.

It’s amazing how engaging a piece can be when the performers barely even stand up (most of the show was performed crouching, lying down etc.) and these two acrobats showed just how much you can do with your body to tell a simple, effective story. Urgh. Loved it.

Day 17 – Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

It’s tech time! Wow, this showing is really getting close huh?

Funk Lessons

From 1982 – 1984, Adrian Piper performed Funk Lessons, an interactive performance/lecture where she would attend nightclubs and teach people how to dance to funk music. With simple, classic moves that could be elaborated, she got the crowd grooving, and suddenly politics, race, and dancing ability didn’t matter.

The shoulder shrug, two-step, head nod and hip isolation became staples in a dance style that became more about FEELING good than looking good (although, many people looked pretty damn good too!)

The main thing was that if you were trying to look like the dancers on Soul Train, you’d already missed the point. Funk is about self expression, and Adrian knew how to give them the tools to express themselves.

An awesome film. Incredibly inspiring.

Day 16 – Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

It’s my 26th birthday. And the performance is just two days away. That means: not a lot of time to stop!

OTTETTO – 8 Swings for His Highness

Off to the theatre again, this time to see OTTETTO (8 Swings for His Highness) choreographed by Iztok Kova? performed by EN-KNAP. This work was stunning.

After the few disappointing live performances I’ve seen over the last few days, it was a joy to see something that was genuinely entertaining. It didn’t ‘dumb down’ any ideas, it simply considered it’s audience and the audience was eating it up.

The work was dealing with Stravinsky, his complex musical ideas being so controversial and so mathematically interesting. With five dancers, 8 musicians and a very expressive conductor, the managed to still keep it light and emotional, even though they were dealing with numbers and patterns.

The dangerous, but very exciting swinging pendulum bulbs, only narrowly missing the dancers faces while they danced frantically was certainly a highlight. Seeing the polish and rehearsal involved was delightful, and the audience audibly gasped on occasions.

Strut Your Stuff

Ina Wudtke recently travelled to Berlin to teach a dance class. The idea is simple. Teach a group of 40 non-dancers a dance routine. The final product is truly charming, entertaining and sweet. Ina has a wonderful way of talking about dance that is not intimidating, and makes all the non-dancers find the joy of movement, without freaking themselves out that they don’t look good.

The movement of course, is very simple, mostly swing in style with a lot of arm actions – but seeing the different levels of achievement throughout the group is fascinating, from those who use the wrong arm (and know it) to those that step in the wrong direction (and don’t notice)

Strut Your Stuff is a fascinating project, and was created specially for Tanz Im August. A delightful film.