Tsunami at the Görlitz Theater

On Saturday, a new dance piece premiered at the Gerhart Hauptmann Theater: „Aqua“

Sächsische Zeitung/letter to the editor
Friedemann Dreßler
Bach ripples from boxes. Not the Christmas Oratorio (identifier "WO"), rather Bach (Creek in German) splashing, water (H2O). I land in the second theater balcony, recall the elapsed culture week and think: "What can still come?"

. A European meeting center opens in Zgorzelec and gathers Poles, Germans, French from three generations. Modernist art is discovered, dusted off and revealed in the Kaisertrutz. Both events move people and media far beyond national borders. A cultural ripple as in the year of the Görlitz Capital of Culture application.

Now I am waiting for the premiere of "Aqua", the fresh program of the Dance Company. The third peak in three days or rather a shallow? An ankle-high water surface, a dancing pool, wetland in the stage space. My lookout is worthwhile. Second balcony, front row - praise the late purchase, I think, and sink into a whirlpool... A fisherman fishes water bottles, a mermaid emerges. This comes as little surprise. But what follows is the dancing mastery of the element. The company tested the suspension of gravity in Alpha 1. Now follows a cascade of images. Moist and joyful associations and slippery possibilities result in lively scenes. Dance theater lovers are subscribed to aesthetic elegance and artistic power. You don't have to have taken back school to pay respect to these characters.

What the dancers from Görlitz reach in "Aqua" are new shores. Obvious links of thought are choreographed in a cryptic way. Brilliant to look at, the company plays with water, light, reflections in formations, in pairs, soloistically. Costumes set accents, drench, and yes, the inevitable nude act seems natural as rarely. Without pause, the scene surges, free of applause, as it compulsively makes every scene an act on TV shows.

Meanwhile, interpretation proliferates in the viewer's mind like blooming waterweed. I see penguins, wading birds, elephants at the waterhole, recognize children on the slide and the swimming world championships. Those who were looking for Swan Lake have rebooked anyway. The music level is well dosed: Rock songs, Caribbean sound, swing, rap, soundscapes and also classical music offer an acoustic tide change where low tide threatens. Humorously, the umbrella becomes the shower, the cleaning Caribbean girl the bandleader. The waves beat high, the visitor stays dry. But for the interpretation there's the free swimmer pass, and my fantasies get a surfboard.

Only the building engineer suffers over 100 minutes. Water in construction was always a gamble, and so the expert conjectures the theatre technicians gagged in the basement. When the screening back wall effectively shatters in the finale and "Aqua" stops, the pent-up enthusiasm breaks out of the auditorium, and the happily drenched artists are flooded with applause. Only then does the technical disaster threaten the theater. In the moment of success, the dancers do what soccer champions do in front of the fan curve: the "Diver". A wave against will spills over the edge of the pool and stage and finally into the orchestra pit. I feel the triumph of unreason. For six minutes, a small, damp provincial theater near the tsunami races with longing for more and the vastness of the sea.