Dancing Without Borders: Into-the-Fields festival features exceptional international dance productions

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Black Out (Photo: Philippe Weissbrodt)

The fifth edi­ti­on of the in­ter­na­tio­nal Into-The-Fields dance fes­ti­val in­vi­tes au­di­en­ces to new vi­si­ons and ex­pe­ri­ence ex­ch­an­ges with ac­c­lai­med cho­reo­graph­ers and emer­ging ar­tists. From Fe­bru­a­ry 18 to March 19, the Thea­ter im Ball­saal, the Brot­fa­brik and the Künst­ler­fo­rum Bonn will host a wi­de ran­ge of dance ac­ti­vi­ties, from ex­tra­or­di­na­ry per­for­man­ces, live art and in­stal­la­ti­ons to work­shops, ar­tist talks and work-in-progress presentations.

The fes­ti­val pro­gram of­fers uni­que field trips to the world of con­tem­pora­ry dance and new per­spec­ti­ves on mo­ve­ments and bodies.

The ten selec­ted cho­reo­graph­ers re­pre­sent so­me of the best today’s dance world is pro­du­cing. They are chal­len­ging the tra­di­tio­nal al­lo­ca­ti­on of ro­les and space –the spec­ta­tors on one si­de, the per­for­mers on other one– and en­ga­ging the au­di­ence in new ways to crea­te a shared sen­so­ry ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Rai­nald End­raβ, fes­ti­val or­ga­ni­zer and co-founder of Bonn-based CocoonDance Company.

Fea­tured per­for­mers in­clu­de the Hun­ga­ri­an dance duo Jozsef Tre­fe­li and Ga­bor Var­ga, who are de­co­n­struc­ting and re­cy­cling tra­di­tio­nal folk­lo­re dan­ces to pro­du­ce their own “Crea­tu­re” with play­ful fero­ci­ty and vi­brant bo­dy per­cus­sion (Feb. 27), and Ka­rel Vaněk and the pre­mie­re of his new dance theat­re, “Die Sehn­sucht der May­brit Ill­ner” , in­spi­red by Ger­man talk show host May­brit Ill­ner (Mar. 17/18/19).

End­raβ is ex­ci­ted that Bri­tish dance ar­tist Lu­cy Sug­gate, who­se pie­ce “Pil­grim” was one the high­lights of last year’s So­lo Fes­ti­val, re­turns to Bonn to show her “Swarm Scul­pu­res” at the Künst­ler­fo­rum (Feb. 20 /21). Ma­de of mo­ving hu­man bo­dies, the­se sculp­tures will be pre­sen­ted in gal­le­ries in Gre­at Bri­tain throughout sum­mer and fall as a part of the Eu­ro­pean “Dan­cing Mu­se­ums” pro­ject. Sug­gate will de­ve­lop the live art work at the fes­ti­val du­ring a 2-day work­shop with 30 pro­fes­sio­nal and non-professional dancers.

The Into-the-Fields fes­ti­val ope­ned on Thurs­day with CocoonDance’s ne­west pro­duc­tion, “What about Or­feo?” (Feb. 17/18/19), a col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve work with Bra­zi­li­an cho­reo­gra­pher Cris­ti­an Du­ar­te ba­sed on the an­ci­ent Or­pheus myth. The pie­ce ta­kes a deeper look in­to nar­cis­sism, voy­eu­rism and de­si­re. The out­co­me is a cle­ver mind game of count­less re­flec­tions and re­flec­ting mir­rors. Sit­ting with the back to the sta­ge, the au­di­ence ta­kes the ro­le of Or­pheus who is for­bid­den to look back at his be­loved wi­fe Eu­ry­di­ce while wal­king back to the up­per world. The spec­ta­tors are watching the per­for­mance through big wall and small hand mir­rors, which al­lows them to in­di­vi­du­al­ly zoom in­to a sce­ne, as in a mo­vie, and make di­rect eye-contact with the dan­cers. Ever­yo­ne has a dif­fe­rent viewing ex­pe­ri­ence and be­co­mes part of the crea­ti­ve process.

Co­lo­gne dance cri­tic Tho­mas Lin­den de­scri­bes the ex­pe­ri­ence as fol­lows: “If I watch the be­au­ti­ful bo­dy of the fe­ma­le dan­cer, she can see in the mir­ror that I watch her legs, and I see that she saw me. The­re is hard­ly a bet­ter way to drag the hid­den exis­tence of de­si­re in­to light li­ke the one CocoonDance bril­li­ant­ly ma­na­ges to de­ve­lop. This is phi­lo­so­phy writ­ten with the bo­dy, by the per­for­mers as well as by the spec­ta­tors, and so­on the­se ro­les can no lon­ger be dis­tin­guis­hed from each other.”

CocoonDance was foun­ded in 2000 by Rai­nald End­raß and Ra­faë­le Gio­va­no­la, a Swiss dan­cer and cho­reo­gra­pher, who worked for ma­ny ye­ars with Wil­liam Forythe’s Frank­furt Bal­let and Pa­vel Mikuláštik’s Cho­reo­gra­phi­schem Thea­ter. The com­pa­ny di­rects and cu­ra­tes the dance di­vi­si­on of the Thea­ter im Ball­saal and has es­tab­lis­hed its­elf as an in­ter­na­tio­nal dance in­sti­tu­ti­on that of­fers a sti­mu­la­ting en­vi­ron­ment for crea­ti­ve self-expression and team work.

Every pro­duc­tion is an ex­pe­ri­ment. Or­feo was spe­cial be­cau­se it in­clu­des an ex­chan­ge bet­ween two cho­reo­graph­ers and en­sem­bles on two con­ti­nents working on the sa­me ma­te­ri­al. Plus, for ne­ar­ly eight weeks, I was sit­ting with my back to the dan­cers cho­reo­gra­phing and watching ever­ything through mir­rors. It wasn’t ea­sy, but very ex­ci­ting“, Gio­va­no­la explains.

Ano­t­her unusu­al set and in­ti­ma­te ex­pe­ri­ence pro­mi­ses “Black Out” (Feb. 26), a mi­xed dance and vi­su­al art crea­ti­on by the Swiss Com­pa­nie Phil­ip­pe Saire, that puts the spec­ta­tors abo­ve the dan­cers. Stan­ding on an ele­va­ted sur­face, the au­di­ence sees the pic­tu­re in a deeper-lying squa­re are­na. Ever­ything is black, ex­cept the floor, which is white. Gra­nu­la­te cras­hes down on the three dan­cers, who­se mo­ve­ments crea­te fa­sci­na­ting gra­phic pat­terns while ad­ap­ting to for­ces bey­ond their con­trol. Cho­reo­gra­pher Phil­ip­pe Saire de­scri­bes the dark pie­ce as “a work that con­tem­pla­tes the rand­om­ness of mor­ta­li­ty in a world of ge­no­ci­de, di­se­a­se, epi­de­mics, and sen­seless violence.”

In ad­di­ti­on to an im­pres­si­ve line-up of con­tem­pora­ry dance, the month-long fes­ti­val aims to crea­te op­por­tu­nities for emer­ging ar­tists. Gio­va­no­la en­cou­ra­ges peop­le to be open-minded and vi­sit a va­rie­ty of per­for­man­ces. The fes­ti­val card of­fers a 2 Eu­ro ti­cket re­duc­tion for each fol­lowing show. The pro­gram al­so in­clu­des free work­shops, open rehe­ar­sals and ar­tist talks to en­ga­ge with di­ver­se au­di­en­ces and at­tract young generations.

CocoonDance has over the last de­ca­de de­ve­lo­ped in­no­va­ti­ve arts edu­ca­ti­on pro­jects which led to the foun­ding of the Ju­ni­or Com­pa­ny Bonn –THEY MIGHT BE GI­ANTS, a youth en­sem­ble with about thir­ty mem­bers bet­ween 8 and 18 ye­ars of age. In the com­pa­ny, the young dan­cers work “on equal foo­ting” with pro­fes­sio­nal dan­cers and de­ve­lop each ye­ar a full-length dance pro­duc­tion. Af­ter an open Ju­ni­or Com­pa­ny rehe­ar­sal (March 13), teen-agers (ages 12-18) are in­vi­ted to par­ti­ci­pa­te in a hip-hop work­shop with CocoonDance dan­cer An­di Xhuma.

The last per­for­mance of the fes­ti­val, “Car­te Blan­che” by Da­vid Her­nan­dez (March 18/19), will be a sur­pri­se. Her­nan­dez, who grew up in Flo­ri­da and now lives in Brussels, has worked for ma­ny ye­ars with Meg Stuart and An­ne Te­re­sa de Keers­maeker. At the 2014 fes­ti­val edi­ti­on, he pre­sen­ted “For Movement’s Sa­ke”, a vi­su­al dia­lo­gue with the ba­ro­que mu­sic of Die­te­rich Bux­te­hu­de. This ye­ar, he was in­vi­ted to con­ti­nue his re­se­arch of pu­re mo­ve­ment and its re­la­ti­on with mu­sic and gi­ven full ar­tis­tic free­dom to de­ve­lop a new pie­ce du­ring a short re­si­den­cy in Bonn.

2016 Into-The-Field Fes­ti­val Program
www.bonn-dance.net/into-the-fields-2016

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