OH! DEEP SEA — CORPUS II

“Oh! Deep Sea – Corpus II” is inspired by the encounter of Odysseus with the Cyclops, the one-eyed giant. The heroic body is faced with the monstrous other, and reveals in the confrontation, the limitations of its own physicality.

By focusing on minimalist movement, the choreography provokes an act of seeing, in which the interplay of omnipotence and impotence, of self and other, of passive observation and active witnessing, unfolds.

But where exactly does the monstrous lie hidden; is it inherent in the otherness of the perpetrator or in the own-self of the victim? And what is the role of the impartial observer? The continues duplicated orbit of the two performers reveals a condition in which the performers as they try to reflect each other, become the alibi of an act which is executed in front of our eyes.

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Choreography: Kat Válastur/ Dramaturgy: Nikos Flessas/ Set and Light: Ulrich Leitner/ Musik: Arik Hayut/ Costumes: Benjamin Klunker/ Special costumes: Aggelos Mentis/ Set designer’s assistant: Laila Rosato/ Choreographer’s assistant: Ioannis Roumeliotis/ Press and production: Björn Frers-björn & björn/ Performed by Yohei Yamada, Kat Válastur/ Supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin and HAU Hebbel-am-Ufer

“So wandern beide unabhängig voneinander durch den Raum, starten ihre vom Mittelkörper ausgehende Wellenbewegung neu, und doch scheint ein geheimer Energiefluss sie zu verbinden. Auch die den Vorgang illuminierenden Lichtstäbe „wandern“ mit. Was indes wie bloße Wiederholung ein und derselben diffusen Abfolge um Balance ringender Körper wirkt, variiert an den Orten im Raum.”

IM KAMPF MIT DEM ZYKLOPEN, Volkmar Draeger (2011), tanznetz.de

“Für mich sind Tänzerkörper ‚heroische Körper’”, sagt Kat Valastur. “Körper, die sich ständig im Wandel befinden und ihrer Umwelt deshalb oft schutzlos ausgeliefert sind.” Ihr Faible für Helden zeichnete sich bereits vor zwei Jahren ab, als die griechische Choreografin ihre Auseinandersetzung mit der Odyssee begann. “Was mich an Homers Geschichte so fasziniert”, sagt sie heute, “ist die Frage, was zwischen den Zeilen steckt.”

Tanzende Zyklopen, Elisabeth Wellershaus (2011), tanzraumberlin.de

26 - 28 APRIL 2011HAU Hebbel am UferBerlin

Why am I still choosing choreography as my way of expression in art? I persist on the body as a medium through which I try to express myself. Not myself as an identity, but myself as someone setting questions upon what makes the identity profound. I believe that what makes an identity profound, is the performing body. I consider the performing body to be in an extremely exposed transitional state, thus I call it the “heroic body”. I don’t only want to show its vulnerability by exposing it, but most of all its coherence, its continuity through art, sociology, history, and mythology with the inner springs of existence. The action I have to fulfill by the process of choreography arises directly from the above.

That is why the choreography itself must maintain a constant process of revealing the heroic body. On the other hand the heroic body itself offers further possibilities upon which the choreography can build a unique language. These possibilities are provided by the basic structure of a body – its skeleton, muscles, figure in reaction to conditions, thoughts, emotions – leading to a body marked by an internal personal rhythm and the desire to narrate. That is why the use of any other language is insufficient.

It is almost impossible to clarify the dynamics of my movements by using words. In my work, form should be able to have different interpretations, based on the dynamics which assign to it. I am trying to give movement a form that will allow it to contain the ambivalence within a human body. Given that choreography is for me the only obligation of the self towards what is considered the self, the more I disfigure things, the more consistent I can be towards the tendencies of this encounter. My goal is to give these tendencies the human grace that characterizes them.

The body in the choreographic process, trying to reach perfection, remains incomplete. A body in the process of transcending cannot be but a tragic body. Knowing that, I choose to praise it. This admission leads to (my) truth and informs the structural elements of my work. This admission is my only way in the process of achieving a subjective critical thought. The “only way” doesn’t correspond to limitation of choices but rather to the realization of the limit. I try to reach a point of consciousness in which my “system” (as creator and creation) can find itself in an arena of conflicts and possibilities.

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