New York manufacturer of fine dance apparel for women and girls.
Click here to see a sample of our products and a
list of web sites for purchasing.
With Body Wrappers it's always performance at its best.
Go back to Flash Reviews
Review, 4-24: Encounters
Tanz-Miniatures from Wolfl and Neuer Tanz
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2003 The Dance Insider
(For more than 12 years,
the Dance Insider has been the leading English-language source for reviews of the European dance scene. Help the Dance Insider return to Paris and increase its coverage of European dance by finding us investors. For more information, e-mail publisher Paul Ben-Itzak. This Flash Review was first published on April 24, 2003.)
France -- Sure, I kept re-inserting noise-muffling bits of wetted
toilet tissue in my ears to save my hearing. Sure, the constant
quick black-outs and lights back up were giving me an eye-ache.
Sure, the repetitions were at times exasperating, and sure, I was
watching the clock. But by the end of "Greenspans Aktentasche,"
VA Wolfl's 2001 tour-de-force not-about-Alan Greenspan's briefcase
dance on the astonishingly and specifically virtuosic Neuer Tanz
to open the Rencontres Choregraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis
last night, the only reason I was watching the clock was to be sure
I made the Last Metro, for I had been transported into Wonderland.
I did make the Last
Metro, but breaking news has left me with less than an hour this
afternoon to Flash this watershed work of dance theatre -- not enough
time to display before you all the intricate miniatures, on individual
bodies and in ensembles and in the often divided cavernous MC93
stage. But you've got only two more nights to see this spectacle
of specificity -- it repeats tonight and Friday -- and if you're
reading this anywhere in France, I'd advise you to hop on the TGV
and get your butt to Bobigny.
In 'Greenspans,' Wolfl,
who trained with Oskar Kokoschka, has created -- with the invaluable
aid of his focused and rigorous cast -- an opus that singularly
justifies that yes, there is a place in dance as in the other arts
for sequences that confound and for almost endless repetition, if
it can only enter a Zen state in its construction and be delivered
by interpreters who take you there.
How do they do that?
Let's take just the virtuosic Izaskun Abrego Olano, a multi-talented
star to make even the most versatile Pina Bausch performer cry.
Olano begins the spectacle as part of a Yamaha duo -- the keyboard,
not the motorcycle -- in tight red-sequined dress and on high heels,
her dark hair fastened in a long pony-tail. Just when you're about
to scream at the repeated short sequence of notes interrupted only
by booming organ jolts which made me start out of my seat every
time -- in other words, when you're asking WHERE'S THE MOVEMENT?
-- Olano contracts over the keyboard and starts playing it with
various parts of her body.
Later, in one of several
repeated ensemble sequences which rely more on timing and synchronization
than you at first realize, Olano keeps bumping into a person when
she crosses the stage, her shoulder jerking back, triggering a contraction
which in turn causes her to rise on her feet. At first you herald
the instinctive reaction to contact. But when she goes through the
same motion even when there's no one there to run into, you realize
it's integral to her own body control and how she's mastered its
reactions. And -- and this happens throughout the 100-minute work
-- just when you've become exasperated (not by watching her, but
by the repetition of the group passage in which this happens), after
bumping into someone she stops (before now she's only been briefly
glancing over a shoulder at the person who impeded her), turns,
freezes, and catches everyone in a "you bumping into me?" glance,
and you understand why they all tremble.
In between, she rattles
in Spanish, she sings solos and duets from (Richard Strauss's) "Rosenkavalier,"
and in her spare time, Olano trundles over to the keyboard, now
at the lip of the stage, to start up a pre-programmed snatch of
Bach. (Snatch because no one I spoke to afterwards could identify
A star is born. A movement
is validated. But they're all good: Christine Bai, Armin Biermann,
Laila Clematide, Assaf Hochman, Annerose Schmidt, Dominique Wenzel,
Judith Wilhelm "and," as the program puts it, Jurgen Grohnert, Jennifer
Jones, Walter Nagat, Thomas Schneider, Johanna Peine, Andrej Klahn,
and VA Wolfl.
choreographed by VA Wolfl on Neuer Tanz, continues tonight and tomorrow
night at MC93 in Bobigny, and will be performed next month in Germany.
For more on the festival, please visit its web
Go back to Flash Reviews