“STRONG-BORN” is the literal translation of the name Iphigenia. In her new work, Kat Válastur takes inspiration from the sacrificial story of “Iphigenia in Aulis” and the ‘anastenaria‘, an archaic ritual of Northern Greece, and channels them into a dance that aspires to transform a demand for sacrifice into a rebellious resistance against it. The movements of the three female performers are determined by sound-making elements attached to their bodies and the resonating interplay with a circular wooden platform. Along with the percussionist Valentina Magaletti the seemingly sacrificial ritual reveals a sonic female force against disposability and into empowerment.
Concept & Choreography: Kat Válastur / performed by: Noémie Ettlin, Xenia Koghilaki, Noumissa Sidibé / Music & Live Performance: Valentina Magaletti / Lighting Design & Technical Direction: Martin Beeretz / Lighting Design Collaboration: Vito Walter / Sound Design & Surround Mixing: Vagelis Tsatsis / Choreographic Assistance: Michalis Angelidis / Stage Design: Ulrich Leitner / Stage Design Collaboration: Leon Eixenberger / Costumes: Marie Gerstenberger / werkstattkollektiv / Porcelain & Wooden Objects: Nina Krainer / Porcelain Pieces Collaboration: Mercedes Bonzai / Porcelain Pieces Made at: Ceramic Kingdom, Berlin / Scent Design: Klara Ravat / Video & Editing: Ethan Folk, Nadja Krüger / Dramaturgical Advice: Filippos Telesto / Production Management: Marina Agathangelidou, Mascha Euchner-Martinez, Sina Kießling / Touring Management: Mascha Euchner-Martinez / Distribution: Yann Gibert
Production Kat Válastur / Co-produktion Tanz im August / HAU Hebbel am Ufer / Funded by Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Capital Cultural Fund
Surprising Kat Válastur
Another surprise was how great the new piece by the Berlin choreographer Kat Valastur was. Her “Strong-Born” is nothing less than the reinvention of dance ritual from a feminist perspective, the reinvention of a dance that is at once archaic and contemporary. The Greek myth of Iphigenia was one of Kat Valastur’s sources of inspiration for her piece, which will cause a sensation thanks to its beauty in harmony and thanks to the variety of movement forms.
Frank Schmid / rbbKULTURE
…Kat Válastur’s “Strong Born”, an ode to female strength performed by three young Amazons, veritable goddesses of body percussion was hardly less powerful. Equipped with resonance objects from head to toe, they create one layer of sound after another. “Strong Born” is a stunning movement concert.
Dorion Weickmann / Süddeutsch Zeitung
Kat Válastur was inspired by the myth of Iphigenia for her piece, but she does not want to tell a story of sacrifice; instead, she celebrates female solidarity. Her choreography is a captivating interplay of movement, sound and rhythm. The fabulous performers wear porcelain sound elements on their wrists and upper arms, above the knee and below the belly button. They create clacking sounds with beating movements that are softly cushioned. Sometimes they tap their wrists on their arms or thighs, sometimes they discover each other’s bodies as a source of sound. When the percussionist Valentina Magaletti appears shortly before the end, the tension increases again. “Strong-Born” is almost a training in empowerment – and at the same time a very precisely worked choreography.
Sandra Luzina / Tagesspiegel
Residency at the Cité Internationale des arts, October 2023-January 2024-Paris