A Passo di Mulo
Opens Spaces/Sommer Tanz 2018
Backwards into the future
by Alexandra Hennig, 20.07.2018
In honor of its 40 year anniversary, Tanzfabrik Berlin invites us to look back at its beginnings – but not without opening the Uferstudios stages to young artists. A review of the program from 17 July 2018.
III) Lina Gómez: “A Passo di Mulo”
The works of choreographer Lina Gómez are challenging and moving because they ask the big questions. What remains (of us) when we move on? In “A Passo di Mulo”, four dancers stroll through imaginary landscapes, turn their backs on the future, and enter into resonance chambers between music and the body. Bella Hager, Julek Kreutzer, Camille Chapon, and Diethild Meier expose themselves, each other, and the audience to a series of transitions. As border-crossers between worlds, they brave paths through "dust, mud, water, stone”. Music and singing (Michelangelo Contini, Aaron Snyder, Maja Olenderek) resound from beyond the stage, still filling the space with all their power. As with her past stage pieces – most recently in her solo “Restraint” for Julek Kreutzer – the rhythm, which spreads, abruptly ceases, and reverberates throughout the body, is inescapable…
A frenzied figure, whose face is initially cloaked by a cape, (Diethild Meier), hastily and tenaciously struggles across the floor through golden dust. Bent forward and supported by her forearms, her body twitchingly slumps down over and over only to right itself once again. Driven by an unknown force, she falls over in all directions – flailing arms pave the way. Her dance evolves out of an imperative urge to persist.
“A Passo di Mulo” touches on the topics of migration, flight, transit, parting, and beginnings. It poses the question of what we leave behind and how we lose and find ourselves. What remains is a diffuse vibration in the room and the impression that something important has just occurred.
An oversized sculpture made of multi-layered blankets sits enthroned above the undefined landscape observing the events like a phantom – patron saint of all travelers? Two clay blocks lie abandoned on the floor and are set in motion by invisible strings. It is these snapshots, stations along the way (that knows no arrival), that set the stage for the choreography: heads drooped on shoulders, bodies leaning against one another and spiraling into the landscape together. Their forging ahead is akin to a trap when they circle backwards towards the future on a seemingly predestined path, free themselves from the clutches of the other, and yet remain stuck to one another. Ahead of them that which has already come to be.
Again and again, the dancers contort their bodies, topple over, cross the space in hectic poses, stumble through time oblivious to everyone around them, and pick themselves up again. The dance has happened to them. In the moments when music, song, and dance form one entity, the choreography touches the spheres of ritual, of magic. Perhaps that is why it is difficult to approach “A Passo di Mulo” with language, and almost impossible to approach it with rational categories … It is a rapture – with the future at its back.