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ONCE UPON A TIME, IN THE POST ANTHROPOCENE

“Nerven” by Yolanda Morales as video-stream from Lichthof theatre, Hamburg



Elements of human movement are interlaying with butterfly, termite or animal patterns, aiming to perform us a new sensitive creature which can flow from one state to another.


  • "Nerven" by Yolanda Morales Foto © Steffen Baraniak
  • "Nerven" by Yolanda Morales Foto © Steffen Baraniak
  • "Nerven" by Yolanda Morales Foto © Steffen Baraniak
  • "Nerven" by Yolanda Morales Foto © Steffen Baraniak
  • "Nerven" by Yolanda Morales Foto © Steffen Baraniak

By Anna Semenova-Ganz

Imagine yourself a fish, which releases its scales and you see the skin of an elephant under it, which is dissolving and reveals the wing of the butterfly under it, which disappears and reveals another creature… Such pulsing multispecies hybridity fills the body of every dancer in the performance “Nerven” by emerging Hamburg-based Mexican choreographer Yolanda Morales.

The performance starts with the words the woman speaks in Spanish, that divides the audience in two parts: those who understand Spanish and those who perceive the language as an aesthetic tool. Although the performance was shown in digital format and there was an opportunity to display subtitles, the choreographer made the choice not to and adjusted the certain optic: as if we are invited to some unknown ritual where everything has meaning and sense, but we don’t know what exactly. The work starts on the clean floor, where squares with some biomorph patterns alternate with the soil on the floor which will be moved during the work creating unique landscape, covering and revealing the patters, just the same like the bodies will do.

In the fictional world of Morales, set in the Post Anthropocene, where future and past are all the same and everything we know is absent, new bodies explore the potential of empathy to create the system of sensitive relations, new species, new kin. The choreographer mentions Dona Haraway as the reference and starting point for her work and following Haraway she tries to reconfigure the relations between the earth and all its inhabitants. This plastic research on multispecies movement is the key ontological proposal of the work which it is scaled both on the group level, through the collective type of movements, where all four bodies present as one, and on the level of every single body which embodies few patterns at the same time, performing hybrid creature though the human body. Elements of human movement are interlaying with butterfly, termite or animal parts, aiming to perform us a new sensitive creature which can flow from one state to another.

Badiou wrote about the paradoxical possibility of the dancing body to change positions of the earth and the air, when one passing into the other. This happens in “Nerven” with its multispecies embodiment as well. The performance activates imagination, the necessary skill for every dancer, and for the spectators who travel in that fictional and visionary landscape that Morales invites us to.

It would not be a complete review of the dance-performance in 2021 without mentioning that the premier took part during the lockdown in Germany and the work was shown online as video stream, without live audience. Unfortunately, the piece lost a chance to create with the audience that very somatic resonance, which is the core of the movement research and the method behind the work. However, the camera came closer to the dancers, and digital audience experiences the close ups of the mimic and micro-gestures, which are important semiotic part of the performance. Not every dance performance can be adapted to video format easily, luckily – as the choreographer mentioned – she has not changed anything in the choreography of the work to make it more suitable to video.

Veröffentlicht am 14.03.2021, von Gastbeitrag in Homepage, Gallery, English Reviews

Dieser Artikel wurde 494 mal angesehen.



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