Von Anna Semenova-Ganz
Imagine a performance, where all the methods it is based on are declared at the first minute. Those methods are the rhythm, the sound and the content, which were taken from a poem and translated into choreography. Watching the solo performance “Lyrical Ping Pong” the spectator gets all the tools to decode the message, but is it possible to make a back-translation from the choreography?
In her formal research work the dancer and emerging Hamburg choreographer Véronique Langlott uses the text of invisible but indirectly present poem as a notation system for her dance, as a score, which assumingly is very strictly fixed, although we can only assume that relying on the technique of the performer’s body, which is pretty precise and convincing. The invisible poetry is filling the whole piece, which aims to structure itself on every new level bringing new criteria. One may notice that there is serious research work behind the choreography. The compositional relation of the movements is based on the deconstruction of three declared elements borrowed from the poem, together they create a collage from the movement and the text. It’s all about translation there and back, between the text and the dance, the chorographer bares her devices and makes the methodology visible or, at least, makes us to think that it is visible.
Two weeks ago Veronique was honored with the jury prize at the festival “Hauptsache frei” for her older work “Restructuring”, the choreographic Bauhaus, where she explored relation of the movement and the form. In her newest “Lyrical ping pong”, which is more like choreographic Dadaism, she widens the horizons of her research to the language. She feels herself much more free than in the honored “Restructuring” determined by the form, this time she experiments with the alphabet, she zooms in and out at the letters and the words and meets obstacles, which nobody else may see. She jumps through the whole verses and that makes their absence more present and turns the whole work to be more layered and unpredictable.
Her dance falsely seems to be readable once you know all the codes the dancer uses, but instead of making direct translation, she creates new senses, balancing on the semiotic gap. The code she uses to translate the poem into dance is not the same we would use to translate the dance to the poem. More precisely – back translation is impossible in the limits of saving the sense. So, the dance here is an information generating action, based on artistic potential of the language. Here I should add: ‘And of the choreography too’, so the piece doesn’t look like an evening reading. The premiere took place in a theatre and not in a library, so, I suspect that the significance of the dance is still here.
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