A look back // Into the future

april 18th, 2009

Written for Springdance

Next year Bettina Masuch will do her speech in Dutch, she promises just before the world première of Jérôme Bel’s Lutz Förster. I’m not sure if that is the best choice if your want to get your message across in such an international festival, I’m writing in English for a reason, but it is a nice gesture.

Enter Lutz Förster. A personality, that’s for sure. The peaceful and gentle way of walking to a chair in the wings, and back with the chair, onto the stage, tells me that already. Bel gave Förster the opportunity to tell his professional life’s story on stage to an audience. And Förster likes to talk. He discovered that early in his professional life when he danced and talked in one of many performances by Pina Bausch. His talking in this biography is only now and then alternated with short dance scenes.

Förster doesn’t get too personal, he doesn’t do too much. He is just there, taking some of the viewers back in time and presenting others a short lesson in dance history. I must admit I belong in the second category. My knowledge of Förster’s work was close to nothing. And I had a good time, I wasn’t bored for a minute, I laughed, admired, enjoyed. But I do wonder, as did others, what Bel’s role was. In Pichet Klunchun and Myself the dialogue between Klunchun and Bel was brilliantly staged. They challenged each other, and the audience, to rethink the history and the aesthetics of dance. The performance <i>Lutz Förster</i> is only about and with Lutz Förster. Where is the other? Where is the mirror to reflect? Reflect both movements and words, both history and present? Let’s leave it at that question.

Springdance’s slogan is ‘A look back into the future’. Lutz Förster gave me ‘a look back’. If I want, I can now go ‘into the future’. This weekend is a weekend for new style; contemporary and modern dance, hip hop, flamenco, butoh and street dance.

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