Behind wafts of mist, against backlighting a group becomes visible, or rather a tangle of bodiless legs. Electric tones that are increasing to an ever louder pulsating beat circle around the scene. The tension is breathless and gloomy. A nervous twitching runs through the limbs of the amorphous pack. Without any real fixation, the hyper-tense bodies are focused on each other, reacting to and with one another, and yet like set on “autopilot”.
What you see is a cluster of twitching and trembling bodies on constant alert – paralyzed for short moments, then again explosive and extensive.
Each individual as well as the collective body reflects the affects and effects of the technological, ecological and political state of a world in the age of the Anthropocene. Everything – the space, the sound, and the movements of the individual – seems to have conflated into a diffuse threat to which the bodies react with an instinctive and reactive tension. In constantly changing constellations, a compulsive play of closeness and distance, community and indivi- dualization, the horde is trying to fathom out this threat anew.
From the twitching to a free flow of muscles and tendons, a mysterious hybrid being is gaining center stage, is seemingly tangible but never approachable. The thereby unfolding idea of freedom arises in the bodies themselves.
HYBRIDITY is the third part of a work cycle in which the ensemble around the choreographer Rafaële Giovanola has developed different scenarios that show our human body exposed in a radically changing world. As in the previous successful pieces “Momentum” and “Vis Motrix”, the CocoonDance Company once again draws inspiration from external body techniques in its search for the still ‘unthought’ body.
The starting point is the encounter and blending of two very different cultures of movement: Thai boxing on the one hand, which has been practiced in Thailand for centuries, and, on the other hand, the romantic ballet of the early 20th century. Both forms of movement are part of the cultural heritage, still influencing the traditional body images in Asia and Central Europe. They could hardly be more contrary. On the one side the choreographic ideal of the immaterial, ethereal body, on the other side a full- contact martial sport.
In order to be able to study the material as authentically as possible, several work phases took place in collaboration with Isabelle Fokine, the granddaughter of Michail Fokine and manager of the Fokine Estate Archive, who advises ballet companies worldwide on rehearsing the choreographies, as well as with Priest West, a German kickboxer and former World and European Muay Thai champion.
by and with Fa-Hsuan Chen, Martina De Dominicis, Álvaro Esteban, Tanja Marin Friðjónsdóttir/ Susanne Schneider, Anna Harms, Frédéric Voeffray
choreography Rafaële Giovanola
composition Franco Mento nach Motiven der Komposition Hybridity von Jörg Ritzenhoff
light / space Boris Kahnert, Peter Behle
costume Mathilde Grebot
coaching Ballett Isabelle Fokine
coaching Muay Thai Priest West
outside eye Susanne Schneider, Tanja Marin Friðjónsdóttir, Leonardo Rodrigues
dramaturgy Rainald Endraß
production managemanet Daniela Ebert, Neele Renzland
management Mechtild Tellmann, Groundworkers
coproduction Ringlokschuppen Ruhr Mülheim, Théâtre du Crochetan Monthey, Hessisches Staatsballett Darmstadt and Wiesbaden, in frame of Tanzplattform Rhein-Main
in cooperation with Hessisches Staatsballett and Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt and supported by Theater im Ballsaal Bonn, Malévoz Quartier Culturel.
funded by Fonds Darstellende Künste, Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, NRW Landesbüro Darstellende Künste e.V., RheinEnergieStiftung Kultur, Bundesstadt Bonn, Pro Helvetia, ThéâtrePro Valais, Loterie Suisse Romande, Conseil de la Culture État du Valais