AND THEN THEY PROBABLY FLOAT AFTER ALL
The dance company of the Gerhart Hauptmann Theater in Görlitz moves into the third dimension
Boris Michael Gruhl
"Alpha 1" by Dan Pelleg and Marko E. Weigert transports the Görlitz ensemble to other spheres.
When it gets dark in the Görlitz Theater, we see a film. In a construction of metal bars, symmetrical arrangements in an oversized cube space without walls, within which an order like that of a star crystal attracts the gaze, people move in a bottomless state of lightness of being. It is like an optical illusion when the film "comes true", the projection disappears and what could have been considered a fiction is now truly on stage. Just that architecture of lines, animated by the six dancers of the Görlitz Company moving on it, between it, and in it.
"ALPHA1" is the name of the new production for whose concept, staging and artistic direction the heads of the company, Dan Pelleg and Marko E. Weigert, are responsible. Together with the dancers, they also created the choreographies of this floating dream theater in the stage design by Till Kuhnert between the immersion and the stage sky of the theater.
These explorations of an imaginary landscape, as good as floating between hellish depth and heavenly height, in which there are very rare touches of the ground, are followed by the audience in palpable amazement, ever-increasing enthusiasm, multiple applause in between and much joyful cheering at the end. And this despite the fact that it is the second performance. Even a sunny Sunday afternoon could not prevent the interested people of different age groups from seeing the latest production of their dance company.
And there is a lot to see in this production with the very different, always very atmospheric music, for which Stef-fen Ciplik is responsible. Be it compositions for cello and laptop, a piano piece by Arvo Pärt, a chanson by Edith Piaf, Irving Berlin's evergreen "The Say It's Wonderful" in different variations. Or be it, for great pleasure, original tribal music from Africa, in which the dancers conjure up the animal magic of the jungle.
Otherwise, moving pictures of the whole company alternate with soloistic scenes, synchronously worked duo passages with daring, actually already circus-like attractions. Balances, even jumps, curious sounding out of the heights and depths and again and again dreamy images. For example, when the members of the troupe sway like children rolled up in cloths stretched between the rods to the sound of live guitars. But then again and again there is great seriousness, the pause when a dancer has reached the top and remains for moments in an uncertain posture, as if it were a matter of taking the very last leap.
All in all, it is probably a great, serious play, a change of vibrations, the wink may well be followed by a tear. But everything in such a wonderful, natural, unobtrusive way. Not for a moment does the impression arise that the audience is to be overpowered. No, it is just this great lightness to sound out the measure of the movement. And the vibrations of the great friendliness soon reach the audience, at the latest when the construction drives right up to the front, to the ramp, and almost towers over the first rows of the par-ket.
At some point the boundary is crossed, the separation between the theater and the stage, and with it comes the audience's friendly willingness to block out the construction of metal bars, to consider it invisible, and to dream along with the dancers: the dream of floating, of flying, of overcoming gravity.
That's how high the dance wants to go. And at the very end, like a greeting from heaven − or from the dance Olympus − a hatch in the stage ceiling of the theater opens and the rope ladder falls out. But it is not yet so far, it is still necessary to dance further, here on earth, on the boards that mean the world, and where always more could happen, of what is possible between heaven and earth, than our school wisdom can dream of.
Leila Bakhtali, Lital Ben-Horin, Nora Hageneier, Mami Kawabata, Laura Keil, Beatrice Panero, Niko von Harlekin, William McQueen, Arkaitz Soria Pereiro, Fernando Baisera Pita and Ruslan Stepanowa thankfully let us share in their dreams of dance in the third dimension.