With the dance work “Eye, Lash!” Kat Válastur returns on stage after almost seven years since her last performance in a solo work. In a landscape made of flowers, metal tiles and water we witness how the choreographer and performer embodies different female archetypes and personas. The French medieval mystic Marguerite Porete, the character of Monkey, the daughter in Tarkovsky’s film Stalker, or the figure of Lady Jane Gray portrayed in a painting by Delaroche, materialize in this ‘operatic’ confession about the construction of the self and identity. Kat Válastur dives into her idiosyncratic kinetic archive and uses her imaginary and visual language to explore the kaleidoscopic experience of a female artist in contemporary times. With the help of the spirits of women of the past and present who have been oppressed, marginalized, abused, burned or decapitated she transforms the space into a zone, an enclosed world and potential home of magical power, charged with female transcendence and spirituality.
Concept, choreography, performance: Kat Válastur /Light design: Martin Beeretz /Assistance light: Vito Walter /Music-Sound design: Stavros Gasparatos /Assistance sound: Reei Metz / additional sound design and sound engineering: Vangelis Tsatsis / Set design: Ulrich Leitner / Stage sculpture: Ursula Linke /Costume: Kat Válastur, Werkstattkollektiv /Dramaturgical Advisor: Maja Zimmermann /Assistance choreography: Tamar Sonn /Production management: Sina Kießling /Touring & distribution: Nicole Schuchardt (HAU Hebbel am Ufer) /Film Director: Ilaria di Carlo /Cinematography: Nadja Krüger/1st AC / 2nd Camera: Ethan Folk /Editor: Sofia A. Machado
Production: Kat Válastur/Co-production: HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin) and December Dance (Concertgebouw & Cultuurcentrum Brugge)/Funded by: Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe, NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ Co-production Fund for Dance, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media / Residency support: Ménagerie de Verre within the framework of the studiolab
…However, Válastur does not construct these figures as sacrifices. Movements that appear to be externally controlled become self-confident poses of strength. Again and again identities are constructed and deconstructed through dance. Everything stays in motion. Válastur makes it possible to physically watch the metamorphosis of her characters. It doesn’t matter whether you know their background story or not.
It’s impressive how the dance performance, music, stage design and lighting design of “Eye, Lash!” interlock and create new moments of tension over and over again. In addition, the camera work ensures a change of perspective and close-up views that would be impossible live, and also bring out the reflections in the dark water on the stage.
Lennart Garbes ( 2021)
…What is also fascinating about this piece is that Kat Válastur succeeds in finding access to our present from mythology and archaic images and rituals and also from post-apocalyptic science fiction ideas. Her fluid figure is a woman of the present, flooded with memories of women from the past and visions of possible women of the future.
Frank Schmid ( 2022)
Choreographer Kat Válastur returns to Portugal and demonstrates the power of condemned women