Posts tagged with Opening

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.

Looking is only just allowed

april 18th, 2009

Written for Springdance

The opening day of Springdance &amp; performance festival: It is hot, tight and rather oppressive in the narrow and long hallway of the Centraal Museum. Journalists, dancers, choreographers and others are waiting for the opening of Choreographic Objects by William Forsythe. There’s hardly any space to move so I start to feel like an object myself. I’m being moved by others; someone tells me to remove my bag, and yet someone else pushes me aside gently to get by.

Finally Bettina Masuch takes the microphone and opens with a rather short and brief speech the installation and the 25th edition of Springdance. She urges us to get involved and Forsythe himself stresses to put on the vests which read a short mirrored text. So there we go! To the mirrors, to see how we can manage to rearrange these mirrors in such a way that we can actually read what is written on our back.

But the fun is cruelly interrupted by the voice of Forsythe begging us not to move the mirrors because they were carefully ordered so we could not see ourselves, not even to mention the 14 hours of polishing that went into the work. I felt like a small child whose toys are taken away. I took off the vest and in a sulk I turned my back on the mirrors walking out into the sun. Only to slip back in again seconds later, to take a peek at the other pieces.