PEOPLE, BOXES, TENDERNESS
„the butterfly defeect“ with the dance company of the Gerhart Hauptmann-Theater
Boris Michael Gruhl
These are the old questions: Where do we come from, where are we going, where are we right now, do we manage to get on alone, or better in twos, threes, in a group. Who shows us the way and what if we still miss our way. Everybody has his box to carry, it can be huge or very small, it can be empty and hollow or contain something of what keeps us alive, and our little goldfish too. Everyone has a goldfish, at least that is the image at the beginning and at the end of the dance theater evening in the Görlitz Theater, with which the two new directors of the company, Dan Pelleg and Marko E. Weigert open their first season. Oversized boxes stand like menacing, massive columns in front of the back wall of the large, empty stage. Behind them, the dancers go their separate ways. They are bent over, carrying a precious and vulnerable burden in water-filled plastic bags on their necks. These are the goldfish that, by our standards, swim so aimlessly through their small or large water worlds, looking amused with the most beautiful elegance. If goldfish could fly, they would be butterflies, and since humans neither live in water nor can fly freely, they have to live with their "butterfly defects".
One of these lively little fishes, which seems to swim through life completely without direction, will be with us for the duration of the performance in its glass, always visible at the left portal of the stage. At the end he gets a companion, or a companion, without a goal in twos, amused fish in the water.
Between these scenes of the beginning and the finale there is a rapid and always humorous dance of three dancers and four dancers with the crates, against these bulky monsters, on top of them and underneath them, crosswise or in temporary symmetries. The dancers get between the crates, assemble them into a shelter that quickly collapses. The inanimate material becomes barricades that cannot withstand the onslaught of the living dance. Sometimes the boxes become the constricting walls of a street canyon. The dancers try in vain to follow the contradictory directions of a navigator's voice and are always most alive in the emotions of their movements when chance brings two, three or more of them together. These are the moments of butterfly-lit happiness in chaos, the occasions of very tender encounters, of flashes of success in what is actually a quite normal sequence of failure in the everyday dances for the right direction in the dance of life. In addition, music from far away, which is also quite distant from us, lyrical folklore from Sweden as a further metaphor for the fact that it is the unusual and unexpected signals that can determine our paths. In a little more than an hour, the company dances through its choreography of the confusions between the boxes, against whose hard matter the strength of the vulnerable, errant bodies of dancing people asserts itself, with great presence and wide-ranging movement reper-toire.
Dan Pelleg and Marko E. Weigert dance themselves in their choreography, which they already brought out in 2002 with the Wee Dance Company in Berlin's Sophiensaele. Now, in a new adaptation, with Simone Rabea Döring, Steffi Sembdner, Nora Hageneier, Rafael González Fresnedo and Niko von Harlekin, they make their debut as dance directors of the Gerhart Hauptmann Theater Görlitz-Zittau. This debut is something to be proud of and sets an important course for the further development of Germany's easternmost dance theater, whose future work is eagerly awaited.