Dita Eglite on the first two days of NEW BALTIC DANCE ’12

05/04/2012

The International contemporary dance festival “New Baltic Dance’12” program was opened on May 2 with the Norwegian performance Omega and the Deer.” It was conceptual and convincing in details contemporary dance performance with many of typical features of the genre: contemporary music, dancers singing, video projections used in set design, dancers possessing wonderful technique, separate episodes includes nudity etc. Unfortunately the story is so topical that it is unpleasant to identify with the life on stage. Norwegians (choreographer Ingun Bjørnsgaard) tell about contemporary emancipated and self-sufficient women. Twilight on the stage with bright lights on the dancers makes to think that more likely what we see are some projections of instincts or subconsciousness (lights design – Hans Skogen). Even if the space created by set designer Thomas Bjork has a real table, has fragmented video projections of landscapes on the wall of planks, but the presence of the wood is created by strings made of green leafs hanging down and swinging. Among those strings in the front of the stage is also a long bright orange rope, raising associations with suicides. So dramatic events won’t take place, however there is no other way to describe contemporary relationship model between men and women. I suppose it is not so easy to find reasons for the fact that women want to be so dominant, so militant, so being able to do everything and to decide everything, though it looks not only comic but also disgusting. One thing is clear: the society consists of men and women. It’s not by chance that the three women and three men searching for the contact among them dance in the performance. They are searching for their couple and at the end all six of them freeze in unnatural postures lit by one lighting object.

Another dance performance on the opening day is Danish – Aline not alone. First I read the title as Alone not alone. May be that’s because of the mentioned „trips” between ballet and street dancing, worries and satisfactions, light and darkness…So about trips in one’s own experience, about a women who will always be able to adapt to the most various situations and circumstances. Through her body dancer Aline Sanchez Bonne also demonstrates the broad possibilities of her body – from gracious „swan” on point-shoes till pulsating sensitive southern temper to the Latino rhythms. Dancer tells her life, she dances; she plays musical instruments and also sings. Her playing and singing is accompanied by two musicians in the background. This performance by Danish choreographer (Palle Granhøj) and dancer Aline fits well in still topical story telling in the stage arts. And personal stories can always address us well. Sometimes it even seems that there are too many „words”, but it is hard to stay distanced when seeing real tears in dancer’s eyes when she talks about very private and intimate things, for example, when she mentions her mother and father.

Story telling continues on the next day as well, in the second shows of the same Danish dance company – Granhøj Dans. „A Portrait of Anne Eisense – I want it all to be so well” is a personal life or arts story of artist Anne Eisense. While watching the combination of Anne’s energetic movement, perfect singing and untraditional music playing around, at and under the instruments, I remember that usually we talk about universal actors in the context of musicals. We expect from them excellent skill in acting, well trained voice and nicely moving body. However this, third performance in turn, proves that also the performer in contemporary dance knows how to do everything. Moreover – most of them have good sense of humour. I can only admire how easy the dancer manages to combine singing and energetic moving while implementing new and again new „tasks” or „research objects”: there is a witty piano playing in half-sleeping pose and bending in many ways under the keyboard. There is a wonderful „dance” with tied legs; associatively rich is the scene where Anne plays herself as cello (touching with bow different body parts and imitating „sound”). Anne Eisense is a girl-orchestra. Though in the real life this kind of action when you want to sit on several chairs at the same time is pointless, because you cannot do anything really good. It creates discomfort but at the same time also hazard to try again and again.

First two evenings, when warm and sunny Vilnius meets the dusk, work by French choreographer and video designer Fabrice Guillot „Cette Immense Intimité” was seen on the façade of the Contemporary Arts Centre. Aerial dancing performed by Olivia Cubero is mixed with video projection, creating the effect of virtual space. The movements of Olivia are light and flowing as it is possible in rubber robe. It is interesting to watch how her dance merges, continues or contrasts with digital arts. Still not for a second I cannot stop thinking about her bare toes – how it is possible that they don’t get bloody while „inhabiting” concrete wall… This free event in lively urban environment of Vilnius attracts the attention of by passers and that possibly works as a good advertising for the whole festival.