Hidden Features (Uraufführung) / Antoine Jully
Scenario / Merce Cunningham
Große Fuge / Hans van Manen
Duration b.19: about 2 ¼ hours, two intervals
Merce CunninghamMerce Cunningham made it his life task to explore the endlessly varying possibilities within the spectrum of the motions of the human body. In his aleatory working method, which he developed together with the composer John Cage and had extended since the 1990s by computer-generated physical patterns, the medium of dance became for him identical to movement itself. But he also continually overstepped the boundaries between many artistic genres outside his own, in that he persuaded many renowned pictorial artists including Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol or Jasper Johns and composers such as John Cage, David Tudor or Earle Brown (to name only a few) to devise performance concepts congruent to his own choreography.
With the world première of “Scenario” at the 1997 Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, one of his most unusual works successfully came into being through a collaboration with the Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, who had been bringing out her radically avant-garde collections since 1969 under the label “Comme des Garçons”. At first Kawakubo turned Cunningham down: “As I understand nothing about dance, I thought I ought not to accept the job”. But during her Spring and Summer collection “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body” in 1997 she decided to enter in on the challenge after all, and submitted a design which had next to nothing in common with conventional clothing: with extreme bulges and protrusions on various parts of the anatomy, on shoulders, back, hips or rump, Kawakubo formed the lines of the dancers’ bodies in a highly individual manner, while vice versa the movements of the bodies give the garments new, unexpected and sometimes strange and grotesque forms. To the almost endlessly flowing wave-swell of the music of Takehisa Kosugi, into the step by step changing tonal spectrum of which electronic word alienations from A to Z are sprinkled, “Scenario” abducts the watcher into a fascinatingly strange world, in which deformation and beauty seem in a highly peculiar way to be siblings.
Ballett am Rhein is the first German company to mount Cunningham’s “Scenario”. By an elaborate process the original costumes of Rei Kawakubo have been reconstructed for the performances in Opernhaus Düsseldorf.
MUSIC „Wave Code A-Z“ by Takehisa Kosugi
Choreographie Merce Cunningham
Kostüme, Raum und Licht nach Rei Kawakubo
Einstudierung Banu Ogan, Daniel Squire
Production Consultant David Covey
Rekonstruktion Kostüme Catherine Voeffray
Tänzerinnen Ann-Kathrin Adam, Camille Andriot, Mariana Dias, Nathalie Guth, Alexandra Inculet, Nicole Morel, Louisa Rachedi, Virginia Segarra Vidal
Tänzer Jackson Carroll, Martin Chaix, Michael Foster, Marquet K. Lee, Sonny Locsin, Bruno Narnhammer, Alban Pinet
Hans van Manen“I do not make experiments, I make ballets”. Hans van Manen could hardly put more revealingly what has made his choreographies so special for more than five decades. In this sense he derives from George Balanchine, the American dance purist, and yet he points over and beyond him, since – even though they may not tell us a palpable story – his pieces tell us about contact between human beings, and thereby broach exactly all those human themes which come to mind in each of us.
Four women, four men – two small groups. The men in full-length black skirts and naked torsos, the women in flesh-coloured leotards contrasting strangely with their elaborate hairdressing. At first the men pose and the women wait. But that is of course not for long. In the typical Hans van Manen manner there begins a cunning game of enticement, approach, seduction, rejection. The two sexes see eye to eye, also with respect to their language of movement. There are no light-footed elevations for the women, no strong leaping for the men, in place of it extremely nimble step combinations and turns mingled with everyday gesturing.
As Hans van Manen’s musical basis serve two of Ludwig van Beethoven’s last works, the “Grosse Fuge” op.133 and the cavatina from the op.130 string quartet, scores in which the highest constructive compactness lead to extreme and subjective expressiveness. Created in 1971 for the Nederlands Dans Theater I, Hans van Manen’s ballet belongs today without doubt to the masterpieces of the 20th century, and has a firm place in the repertoire of many major companies.
Hans van Manen
MUSIC Große Fuge in B-flat major op.133 and Cavatina from the string quartet in B-flat major op.130 by Ludwig van Beethoven CHOREOGRAPHY Hans van Manen SETS Jean-Paul Vroom
Choreographie Hans van Manen
Bühne Jean-Paul Vroom
Kostüme Hans van Manen
Licht Jan Hofstra
Einstudierung Mea Venema
Tänzerinnen Doris Becker, Feline van Dijken, Claudine Schoch, Julie Thirault
Tänzer Rashaen Arts, Paul Calderone, Bogdan Nicula, Alexandre Simões