The Shift Of Focus Tanzhalle Wiesenburg, 1 July 2022
By Yen Lee
The audience walks into the space through a linear aisle, bringing something discernible along their way from the garden. In the upstage, daylight comes through a huge glass, through which slight rain can be seen taking on the garden the whole time.
As the audience mounts the soft cushions and fragrant tatami, they can already see the performers in the space.
They can see white panels in different sizes: some hanging, some anchoring onto bricks on the sides of the stage, or leaning onto walls.
This performative exhibition quietly unfolds. Six performers slowly cease to curl on the floor, navigating themselves with ease towards a form where they become all in contact with each other, through individual touches and catches of the torso, head and limbs of the performer Przemek Kaminski. The performers emanate something in unison, yet this unison is composed of their independence.
Przemek leaves the contact to the floor. It appears as if he floats above the soft tatami; comfortably and constantly, he sinks into a private collection of mini translucent mattresses around his body.
As the group dissolves. The people shift and allow more distance among themselves.
From a short distance to the audience, our performers start with a habitual approach. They lower their heads to bend over as they gradually pull off the shirt from top. They keep their fronts towards the floor, presenting the scapular areas; the bones and skin stretching and squeezing, pushing or being pushed, until the whole scene turns into some practical breaking out of cocoons.
From time to time one sees hands and arms outside the fabric, folded trousers leaving the movement of the limbs to be seen in contradiction to the dark fabrics that cover other parts of the bodies. If the performers partner up, they form different shapes with their body structures; Many body parts can be regarded as independent organisms beyond the human body structure, yet the unusual combination of them can result in curious imagination and interpretations.
Beneath the holds onto the panels, an accumulation of illogical amount of arms piles up, as if it were to address a reminder about the potential of nature, the potential of the body (parts) and their power or their own will; the hands and arms pull together, reach out, then rest on each other, and form this peculiar extension of arms.
The performers move in such a natural mood. It is simple yet with such strong awareness that it can touch upon the word ritual.
All movements seem to fall in balance among horizontal, vertical, and sagittal planes in space.
A similar level of balance appears in the way they take charge of the ascendant ropes on both sides of the stage: they pay genuine attention to the others, to their control over the panels, yet they remain the concentration with their own handling manners.
Performer Jan Lorys circles the rope around his body from the front right to the left-back pelvis; having the final control in his hands, he activates the panels. As the rope slides through his fingers, the panel dances with performer Manuel Lindner; the huge kite-shaped panel sinks and tilts, lands on the upstage center; the shifts of panels reform the space and suddenly make their own presence more noticeable.
The resting arms on the panel introduce an urgency and establish a new chapter where performers Aya Toraiwa and Jan Lorys launch into their soli with fluent force and resistance.
The weight and speed of the panel bring out the necessity of movement; there are parallels between the panels and movement of the performers- our kite flyers, who tend this relation by offering attention to both the directions and the kinetic impulse of the panel.
Effortlessly, the panels shift, slide, fall and spin – they embody the abstract images rectangular shapes can relate to. Kites, windows, doors and sheltering roofs. These panels definitely have imaginable connotations. These panels are definitely presentative of the shapes they own.
Hands rise from the laps; each moving in the dark towards other ones.
This time, different sizes of pairs of hands meet and develop swiftly into an ovation in the audience.
This twice looping structure of the performance, lasts each time for 1 hour and allows me to notice the smiles that happen in the same parts of the choreography; with these observations I asked myself also twice, how should I behave towards the joy they own, in their personal interpretations towards certain images or phases of this trip. As some of them definitely can not resist smiling without planning.
They experience their movement and space, under those circumstances, at which they share and trust in those forms they meet, in being and becoming what they think it is.