Matica hrvatskaVIJENACNr 451, 16 June 2011ISSN 1330-2787Theatre28
DANCE WEEK FESTIVAL, 25 MAY – 2 JUNE, ZAGREB, RIJEKA
ATYPICAL PERFORMANCE PROTOCOLS
By Ivana Slunjski
Quality breakthroughs at the Dance Week Festival took place in small-scale performances. Thesolos and duets that move away from the act of dancing and focus instead onto re-semanticizing of the performance material, understanding dance as phenomenology of body.
Far from the much-vaunted titles such as
by Wim Wenders,
by Jasmin Vardimon or
by the Israeli Opera and the Suzanne Dellal Centre, the quality breakthroughs at thisyear’s Dance Week Festival took place in small-scale performances, often presented late at nightand to smaller audiences. I am talking about the solos and duets by the authors that understanddance as phenomenology of body, moving away from the act of dancing and putting a major focusonto re-semanticizing of performance material, including all possible inter-textual links.The viewer here is invited to share responsibility in the process of exchange, be it the undoing of strategies of memorizing and exposing artistic procedures (
After Trio A
, adoptingthe offensive (
Early Ripen Early Rot
), juxtaposing one’s own body to the communal body (
AShort History About Reclaiming The Authorship of My Body
) or the contemplation of the concreteconsequences of political indoctrination (
). Performances that somewhat deviatefrom this selection by basing themselves in the visual are
, which takes the visual asequivalent to reducing communication to a two-dimensional image or a comic, and
, a performance by Swiss company Alias, which takes it as a measure of the passage of timeand fragmentation of individual existences. All of them, however, directly or indirectly, more orless consciously, deal with the question of the politics of looking at dance performance.
Postmodern Dance Postulates
The title of the performance
After Trio A
clearly indicates that its author Andrea Bo
draws fromthe revolutionary and negational statement by Yvonne Rainer in
. The latter shaped thepostulates of postmodern dance by rejecting the spectacular, virtuosity and stage illusions. ForYvonne Rainer, a performance does not build towards the layering of intensities or a culminationand she annuls the dancers’ position in relationship to the viewer as a passive recipient.
After Trio A
departs from two Rainer’s postulates – continuity of the dance material and active participationof the spectators – but it goes further. Performers Sonja Pregrad and Iva Hladnik face a part of the
choreography which they try to repeat in front of the audience as faithfully to the originalas possible. During the piece, the performers develop various approaches to memorizing the dancematerial, their bodies revealing that a process of memorizing eludes any kind of linearity, gettinginterwoven into a boundless associative network. Rather than the continuity, the performancefavors discontinuity, embracing the dancers’ mistakes and disruptions in the transfer of thematerial as eruptive points of creativity. With every repetition, the performers define theperformance material anew and again relying on the mentally fixed material and questioning thestrategies of memorizing chosen earlier. At the same time, the spectators are focused on themomentary categorization of what they are seeing and developing their own strategies of memorizing, as that which is offered to the view is constantly interrupted by multiple andsimultaneous sensations.