eSeLSCHWARM Foto Ozelot (Joanna Pianka): ImPulsTanz - Emmanuelle Huynh / Plateforme Múa "Archeologia" (Heidi Horten Collection, 3.8.2023)
It's been a week since this year's Vienna’s biggest dance festival ended. Maybe it was just me, but it seemed like the entire city was in a festival fever this year, first with Festwochen, and then with ImPulsTanz and Kultursommer. Being as trendy as fashionistas, eSeLSCHWARM couldn’t miss the festivals either. Lia, Nasenbär, and Tanuki had come to see the ImPulsTanz program.
Lia kicked-off ImPulsTanz for eSeLSCHWARM - and it was one of the strongest starts we ever had. The network of difficulties posed by Luiz de Abreu and Calixto Neto to a body, a black body, and a nationality with national histories. O Samba do Crioulo Doido asks, "Is the black body still capable of reimagining itself within the national holes?" Samba may be the only answer to reenacting the subjectivity that has been robbed.
miramar by Christian Rizzo and ICI—CCN Montpellier Occitanie, which Nasenbär was thrilled to watch, was another performance that was able to dance with the most political and moral concerns. Towards the end, a chain of barely visible bodies rolled seethingly towards the audience, and Nasenbär was struck by the thought of the thousands of dead who sink to the bottom of the sea at the EU's external borders.
Nothing makes more sense than for those frightened by the queer body and disgusted by the butt to first dare to see it. Harald Beharie’s Batty Bwoy forces the spectator's gaze - particularly those foreign to non-normative sexualities - towards the ass, and reinforces the agency of this body-dispositive.
In the piece Quartiers Libres by Nadia Beugré we were able to witness the artist dealing with the most unthinkable chaos, which she could fiercely navigate. From a useless microphone - which doesn't stop her from singing - to asphyxiating audio cables around her neck - which she transforms into her tool of movement - we are invited to assist Beugré in the challenges presented.
Tanuki in turn had a learning journey by visiting all three performances by Trajal Harrell. Signature style slips from a mouth: fashion and vogue are constants in Trajal’s oeuvre. One might call fashion and vogue Trajal's vocabulary, tools, tactics and strategies, but this is not enough to describe the surprises and richness of their presence in his works. By layering and wearing unconventional attire, clothing becomes a metaphor for the complexity of politics. Normal objects like pillows are transformed into clothing and make individuals into furniture. Vogue changes the mood of the pieces with its dynamics and life embracing philosophy. These movements breathe life into performance, theater and its surroundings.
We got a bonus from Ozelot, she attended two performances and created a photo documentation! Enjoy:
P.S.: ImPulsTanz is an incredible city festival which offers a flexible program that focuses not only on stage, but also on giving dancers and everyone else a platform to connect. Parties of all sizes create an atmosphere of celebration. The free program “Public moves” is amazing and significantly activates the city and its residents. I visited a few performances at Volkstheater, where ticket prices range from roughly 12 to 62 Euro, and the audience in the stands appeared to be mostly privileged: white, middle-aged, and middle-class. This is just my view and I'm not attempting to draw any definite conclusions. Although it’s not the festival administration’s job to approach politicians to ask for social justice, more flexibility in the way discounts are given might help to diversify the audience. Truth be told, some people of the mentioned audience were not receptive enough to allow the performances to affect them; they left the theaters preterm, didn't applaud at the end of the show, and talked while the acts were going on. The selection of the works is excellent; the dance explores the possibilities of what dance may be and uses dance to confront social and political issues. I only wish that less economically privileged individuals could see these pieces as well.
Text & Posts: Jameli Qairli (Tanuki)
Photos: Joanna Pianka (Ozelot)