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Art must pose questions, but a well posed question holds the answer. Sasha Waltz’s question, created in the form of «Gezeiten» in 2005, holds in it a possible answer to the German discussion about multiculturalism and Leitculture that reached its highest political and philosophical point in 2010.
«Gezeiten». Photocredit © 2005 Gert Weigelt / Schaubuehne am Lehniner Platz
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«Apocalypse now» – that is how Sasha Waltz’s «Gezeiten» («Tides») could have been called in order to give a more precise meaning to the messages that were built into its foundation. This is a conceptual theater where the actor’s movements are the conductors of the choreographer’s general view on the unchangeable world that is doomed to go in circles. The choreographer penetrates into the most deep emotional and physical zones of the dancers in order to reveal people’s helplessness in the face of a catastrophe.

Impossibility of life in all its hypostases is strongly perceived due to the revealed - in the very beginning of the performance – hypothetical, pre-earth perfection when every human had a living God in them. The actors, acting as if they are hypnotized, are floating in a slow cadence to Bach’s music – the moment of the catastrophe – this is the moment of returning back to the time when there was no division of humans into men and women, when the androgynous image was known as the only possible one because only the androgyne can be the whole person. Things that happened afterwards were the consequence of the cosmic downfall when humans were divided and the world became polar – the world of the strong and the weak, the healthy and the sick, of those allotted with power and those doomed with dependent existence.

Men and women in everyday clothes are slowly walking across a shabby room that somehow greatly resembles the metro station in Brooklyn that I arrived at on my way to the performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music: the same falling plaster behind which you can make out traces of emerald paint (artist Thomas Schenk). The stunned people are moving through this space encountering on their way only chairs («a world of chairs») that at the next moment are recognized as obstacles, which can be thrown away or use as stairs in order to climb up somewhere – but where? The thunder intensifies and the people turn into a gang that picks its enemy, taking their fear out on it. The total deconstruction of the stage area is perceived as the punishment that struck the people for the lost faith.

Inspired by the desire to reveal the suffering soul and the body during tragic events and natural calamities, Sasha Waltz and her sixteen dancers display their own nightmares, as well as, «the nightmares of the European House» which looks insurmountable among real fiery columns and smoke. The bodies of the dancers overflow the habitual borders of dancing and become the elements of an irrational substance that is both shifting and shifted.

Modern dance is a language that can express both the philosophy and the ideology of the present day – everything that we need to go further ahead not only in the art, but in what we see as our life, in the understanding of its meaning.

«Gezeiten». Photocredit © 2005 Gert Weigelt / Schaubuehne am Lehniner Platz

When today we are talking about bringing together all of the stage arts, developing the whole interdisciplinary tools, we realize that a new type of actor is evolving - one that masters unbelievable concentration and skills to immerse into the role both psychologically and flexibly - almost acrobatically, because the modern stage areas are built like complicated constructions that move, spin, swing open like after an earthquake. From under their apocalyptic interior, as if from the circles of Hades, the actors emerge in Sasha Waltz’s performance. Her experimental performance is an art where the actor’s coordination on the stage, their flexibility are becoming more and more challenging. This can be conquered by the experiences in the inter-genre zone, when it becomes hard to define what we are seeing – theatre or dance, but definitely it can be called a sizzling genuine art.

Ever since Schiller’s time the German theatre has been studying the mechanism of the social conscience and national self-consciousness (Коварство и виолончель). Following the disappointing years of the 90s, multiculturalism became the flip side of the national myth problem. At this time, the artistic directors of Schaubühne, Thomas Ostermeier and Sasha Waltz, carried out an artistic project «The National Identity». The theatre declared its willingness to re-comprehend, redefine and deconstruct the national stereotypes and poorly understood multicultural practices. Sasha Waltz’s «Zweilаnd», performed in Avignon, raised those questions on the genuine theatrical material. «Gezeiten» approaches this problem ab ovo.

During the time when Polish theatre, according to Alena Karas (Theatre, 1, 10, 2010), is breaking free of the «Peoples’ Christ myth», the German theater realizes the possibility of breaking free of the «Christ’s Murderers myth» and redefining the ideal model of national identity and democracy in a context that is more profound than the one being set by the tragic twentieth century. «What is needed in Europe is a revitalized political class that overcomes its own defeatism with a bit more perspective, resoluteness and cooperative spirit. Democracy depends on the belief of the people that there is some scope left for collectively shaping a challenging future.» is echoing Sasha Walts’s voice philosopher Jürgen Habermas in October, 2010.

Mayia Pramatarova talks about Sasha Waltz's «Gezeiten» at the BAM © 2010 post.scriptum.us
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Среда, 23 Май 2018
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