Wednesday, February 10, 2021

"Der Sprung als Flug" von AKS in DIE BRÜCKE Brücke 02/2021

↓ English translation below ↓


The Jump Suspended
elongating the moment | how contemporary body landscapes transform reality

Art is the only place where new thought concepts can be tested, boundaries shifted, hard- to-digest constructs experienced, utopias constructed, fantastic worlds invented – this is the thesis that connects all those who live in and with the arts.

Undisputedly, the highest and furthest leaps are made in the most ephemeral of all arts, the art of dance, which touches emotionally and intellectually on a deep, sensory human level. In the blink of an eye, dance stretches its moments and unites the present, past and future in a single pirouette. Contemporary algorithms operate in today's syntax, arcs from I to ME, from ME to YOU, to ALL OF YOU, to US are created. Information runs from point to point, from impulse to impulse, shaping movement and resulting in frequencies that grant a simultaneous experience of seemingly irreconcilable poles. Three-dimensional spatial figures emerge like traces in the sand, embodying the complex present, transferring subtle perceptual experiences from the stage interior to the social exterior and back.

The driving force behind today's dance creation is a formative reflection of the current environment, relating controversial content with experimental body textures. Scores are being created on the basis of compositional parameters, structures transform reality, the dissolution of syntax and semantics serves as a reflection that casts multipixels, visualising transparent images of our complex reality. Stage dance speaks to its audience on the level of kinaesthetic sensation, where it maps out – no doubt socially relevant – airily suspended body constructions.

Today, dance is choreographed at a rapid pace using all the available tools that dance development with its history and body knowledge has to offer. A broad spectrum of multiple dance experiences opens the curious spectator's eyes and senses with an invitation to step into unknown territory.

Anyone who is able to dance one of Lucinda Childs' timeless choreographies possesses high skills and utmost concentration. The protagonist of postmodern dance constructs a world of abstract minimalism. Her dance sequences work with repetitions, shifts and variations, operating on a rhythmic-musical basic structure. Orientation for the dancers, whose concentration is highly challenged by the sudden changes in dynamics, spatial direction and movement themes, is provided by an imagined, internal score that keeps track of the rhythm and its changes. The consistent synchronisation of all participants subtly transforms the unfamiliar in the instant of the dance, unfolding a fascinating pull.

The requirements for dance are complex on every continent. The contemporary realisation of concepts, their boundary-shifting aesthetics and their translation into diverse signatures is the focus of interest, even before irrelevant things such as national references or genre classification can take hold.

A choreographer can do more than 'just' give an aesthetic direction. The time of black-and- white definitions and the drawing of boundaries between different branches is no longer helpful for a society in which the integrating common should be placed before divisions, as
Martin Schläpfer stated in an interview. Since he has become the director of the Vienna State Opera Ballet, into which he has integrated the Volksoper Ballet, a new tune is being played there. He wants his ensemble to be firm in all styles, able to dance everything, whether it's ballet, musical, opera or his own, demanding dance productions.

Today, dancers are active in the creative process; choreographic questions need to be answered with formal dance solutions. Choreographers look for innovative movement material, which is to be understood and internalised, they ask for individual accents and attitudes, they expect discourse and dialogue at eye level, they seek input for the creation of sequences, connections, transitions and flow. Profound technique, movement intelligence, flexibility, an understanding of the concept and the choreographic process are part and parcel of today's requirements for dancer-personalities who are constantly asked to cross-check and transfer information and need to alternate between internal and external perspectives in their perception and awareness.

Emanuel Gat confronts his dance artists with defined movement material which – through playful tasks and their translation into space and time – creates a surprising, complex landscape. Gat's approach to the choreographic process resembles an experimental set-up that demands a high degree of curiosity and openness from all participants during the rehearsals. He choreographs from the inside to the outside; spatial divisions and group constellations, movement pace and internal participation reflect current realities of life and allow conclusions about global issues without explicitly addressing them. An exuberant playful energy and the joy of dance characterise his visually powerful, emotionally condensed compositions that are close to the pulse of our time.

In stage dance, overcoming gravity has always been a credo and a symbol for shifting boundaries in all conceivable directions, far beyond those of the arts. Images of utopian coexistence define dance as the epitome of all transformation.

Run, flee, fall, survive, be caught, float, fly –
overcoming gravity allows access to breathtakingly alien body moments. In evocative, poetic ways, the duo Guy Nader & Maria Campos compose translation processes of today's world events into dance. In their art, jumping becomes flying, throwing becomes dynamic gliding through heights and skies, the crash suspended, floating towards a lived utopia. In the moment of the crash, a group rushes into the previously empty space, producing moving images. These are moments that our society needs today more than ever, moments of being caught.

However, the currently dominating question is: will we be able to experience the condensed intensity of spatial coexistence via live streams as a synaesthetically motivated common sentiment? The screen space with its two-dimensional limitation cannot replace a three-dimensional togetherness that involves all senses.

– Andrea K. Schlehwein
published in DIE BRÜCKE Nr. 22 / Feb. 2021
Translation by Roman Zotter

Photos by Sally Cohn . Ok Sang Hoon . Alfred Mauve . Laurent Philippe . Ashly Taylor . Roman Zotter
of works by Lucinda Childs . Emanuel Gat . Guy Nader & Maria Campos . NETZWERK AKS

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