• Sigita Ivaškaitė

Let ‘s try

... I really really should have written this earlier... I got used to this quick reviewing, and now… It almost feels like I don ‘t have an excuse to write NOW. But as long as ideas are stuck in my head, I gotta get them out, or else… Weeeelllll…mostly, nothin’ will happen, but let ‘s try make me and you happier, or at least more curious.

At Naujasis Baltijos šokis festival I got to see some very masculine and equally very feminine performances. This fact alone (these days) is a good reason to write a text. I am a feminist, I love men, and I love a good taste jokes about differences of the two (or three, or four, or five) sexes. Because, as my partner says, our life is THAT interesting only because men and women think just a liiitle bit different.

And it. IS. True.

"bang bang" (foto - D. Matvejevas)

While watching Manuel Roque ‘s “bang bang”, I did think about the ritual of dance, the simplicity of a movement that can be called a dance, the history of stage dance, how classical ballet ruined it for everyone… I saw a dancer, a man, his shirt, that colored itself with his sweat. It was almost like he was the storm of his own life, that made this beautiful rainbow appear and then tried to cover himself in the clouds. More of a “big bang” complexity lies in this performance of excruciating movement (highly unrecommendable to watch it while thirsty…), that leads us to… nothing. And at the same time – everything that our short lives can embrace. And it is the artists aim.

But somewhere in the middle of all of this I felt like I have figured out a secret. Or just formulated something that made sense then and that makes sense on my daily basis: men do repetitive, at first glance simple tasks so long and sometimes in a rather brutally bare way, just that women could think of some sense to put in it. And that is it. That is the meaning of life. For somebody. If you wish.

"Even Worse" (foto - D. Putinas)

Of course, there were more performances that led me to this conclusion at that point. Guilherme Miotto ‘s “Even Worse” and Cocoondance ‘s “Momentum” had the same quality of masculine energy, concentrating on physical expression and intensity, letting its audiences to feel, rather than comprehend their ideas through the course of movements in time. Worth mentioning that Miotto ‘s performance didn’t catch me as very touching or inclusive at any level, but with a sensitive change of space (getting the audience closer to the dancers) that might happen. Also, the performance space was something that Cocoondance created carefully and wisely.

As cute, as the beginning of “Even Worse” resembled failed selfies moments, or uncomfortable posing tryouts, something that mostly women associate themselves with, the plot went to explore more masculine moves. This path, from looking a bit foolish, to finding a move and pose of your own, coexists greatly with the evolution of three dancers on stage, as each of them, being a pro of his own style, step by step, gets to its pure form.

And the form is pure with “Momentum”. Their inspiration in parkour movement, glued the performance impeccably. The only obstacle here is the stage floor. Everything else has been moved away, or never existed. So that is what they start their struggle from – the floor, with all of their bodies. Gradually dancers move up, again a bit evolutionary way of doing it – from the form of a worm, from the ground or soil (if you will), up to a vertical life. And in between the community dissolves in making it all about one space, one glue, one mass on that one floor…

At some point this great mix of music (Franco Mento) and space/lighting (Marc Brodeur) reminded me of the movie ‘Victoria” by S. Schipper, and its scenes in this underground club… That feeling of getting loose and, just maybe, lost… Filled with extraordinary dancers ( Alvaro Esteban, Werner Nigg, András Déri ) and their incredibly affectionate bodies, "Momentum" does get you in the moment of pure beat.

To be continued...

…because all of you these days are to lazy to read long articles...

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