English translation of review in Neues Deutschland (page 17)Berlin, 24.08.2009also on www.tanznetz.de
Between Combat and Coitus
David Zambrano's all-male piece SHOCK shakes up the Radialsystem
With their legs ostentatiously wide apart they stand in a line across the whole width of theRadialsystem stage. The light coming from beneath makes them appear as silhouettes. Nevertheless, this sculpture formed of twelve men already eradiates force and sensuousness.The Venezuelan choreographer David Zambrano, who now lives in Amsterdam, met them atworkshops around the world and brought them together for this 60-minute piece. »Shock« boldly combines Asian martial arts with European classical music: excerpts from Mozart's»Requiem« and Verdi's »Messa da Requiem« carry this explosive trip into the contradictionsof masculine sensitivity. Two figures want to come together, with only a square of lightseparating them. Letting out hissing sounds, they are trying to overcome the barriers in their bodies. Jumping, they rush past each other, then scream into each other's mouths to a powerful Mozart chorus before finally finding the courage to simply hold each other's hands.The other figures engage each other, often devoid of physical contact, emitting monstrouslyenergetic combat roars. Playfully, vigorous African dancing causes a precise Asian pose tocollapse. As everybody on stage forms a group, the mass starts moving in space throughchanging constellations like a dynamic über-ameba. This eventually coalesces to form acompact sculpture that promptly bursts, with individuals skyrocketing like fountains of lava.After running around and obstructing each other long enough, this wandering hoard sinksdown over one another moaning like in an orgy, accompanied by a Requiem chorus. As aninterwoven sculpture takes shape, the Asian performer destroys the intimate form. The karatekid inside the man thinks he has to vainly let off steam through intimidating affectation,cartoon sounds and cries in combat poses. Tenderness is forbidden. With a lot of self-ironyZambrano casts this into whimsical images – first he lets the pairs act like robots, then hefinds a touching metaphor for love: to Elvis Presley's »Love Me Tender« two men moving backwards in circles repeatedly meet, go part of the way together, then lose each other again.The difficulty for men to deal with love is also shown in the next scene. Five couples, witharms linked together, shuffle over the white stage with an empty gaze. They alternate betweenfighting forms and tango poses, between combat and coitus, gliding to the ground whilemoaning and touching. This can only be atoned by outbursts of roaring and rolling. Whereaselsewhere the group engages the dramatic music with physical attacks, they now stand in twolines, listening to the alto and soprano duet respectfully. Then a group formation picks up the backward motion of the aforementioned duet, finding themselves, now without any irony,embracing each other in pairs. First one and then the other, the partners withdraw from theembrace only to return and insert themselves into the shape again. It appears like a sculpturereproducing in space, but fear also creeps in. At the end everyone is citing the run-and-jumpsequence of the initial duet. After a vibrating solo the Asian quietly joins the line at the back that was the starting point of the piece. The best we've seen in a long time.