«Close Up 2.0»
The concert pianist Cécile Thevenot performs hers and Thierry Zaboitzeffs compositions at the grand piano.
Five female dancers - bodies in concert - enter the stage, creating a physical dialogue with the pianist's performance, thus embodying and externalising the interior sounds and texture of the music.
Fantastical lemur-like creatures - distorted, constricted and oppressed - invade the concert pianist’s perfect harmonic world, so that even the artificially encapsulated world of high culture, where the pursuit of perfection doesn’t leave any room for doubts, cannot escape from the tension of everyday cares and worries. Nightmarish realities and fears, but also a shadow of the desire for freedom, appear as incarnated thoughts and feelings. The five dancers’ moving bodies - sometimes individually, sometimes in pairs, sometimes a seemingly inextricable agglomeration of extremities - constitute and articulate the physicality and motivations of strange, otherwordly creatures. Are they the pianist’s alter egos or dark suppressed aspects of her soul? While she is playing, these beings become her fellow antagonists and collaborators. They are suffused by the dense, mighty live music and then are driven or tortured, hunted or released, by the sounds around them. They resist – and they react.
Since beginning work as a choreographer, Editta Braun, along with her company, has in the series of “LUVOS” productions (1985, 2001, 2012, 2015, 2017) again and again generated fascination and irritation in the perception of human bodies in movement. Unconventionally used in surprising constellations, images and perspectives, torsos and limbs in movement metamorphose into unexpected pictures of life, never seen before, which, in a certain sense, appear to be wholly abstract from human beings. This approach to the human body is currently used by other choreographers, yet it has be invented originally by the collective Vorgänge many years ago.
Editta Braun about the feminist aspect of Close Up 2.0:
„I think that nowadays women’s rights are more and more in danger, even in our European societies. Many different, global crises overlap each other, we are the middle of epochal changes and challenges. And, very frighting, I observe a lash back to conservative, pre-democratic values, also in Europe. We women have to talk about that, we have to fight. And as I am artist, my only weapons are my artistic works. Theatre and performance is my Agora, my speakers’desk, my arena. I am a feminist. So it is clear that in my work I talk about feminist topics. In my way, with my means. Close Up 2.0 brings five female dancers and 1 pianist on stage - they fight, struggle, suffer, are light and heavy, happy and sad. Woven to each other by a deep complicity“.
Thoughts of one of the dancers of Close Up 2.0:
„When I watched the piece on the video, from outside, I was tracing a particular feeling which I had when I saw the first rehearsal without me. This feeling is somehow of being straightforward, undressed not just from clothes but from defence mechanisms, from pretending to be strong, balanced and unhurt. Like an allowance to expose the fragile and hidden inner insanity, let it surface and carry through. It makes me think of the way women sacrifice their pride, ambitions, feelings in order to bring agreement or peace. The sacrifice that women are capable of, although they are hurt and mistreated."
"What do the bodies remind me? The description of the show says lemurs. Perhaps... Moving mushrooms? Hardly. And then, I remembered a creature from Estonian literature and animations who seemed to fit perfectly. Poku. Pokus are silent and fast, strange but friendly, coy but comical. Exactly like the bodies next to the eclectic soundtracks of Cécile Thevenot.
When the mere idea of postmodern esthetics, eclectic and sometimes dissonant pinao music, contemporary coreography and the pokus meeting is intriguing then being witness to the reality of such situation exceeds everyone's expectations and hopes. At least it did to my expectations."
Kaisa, 30: "It's their third production I've seen and they still keep me surprised. Very powerful"
Mart, 41: "Beautiful! That's all. No more words needed."
Iiris, 16: "How special human body can be! How capable of... everything!"
PUBLIC REACTIONS on the previous version of this piece
Visually, the effect of limiting the movement to hide parts of the dancers' bodies is both absorbing and unnerving. The richness of the imagery brings to mind Hieronymus Bosch's human limbs, that protrude angularly from eggs and other creatures: Braun has most viscerally brought to life the deformed and fragmented leftovers of a psyche. [ ... ]
The final encounter and touch (between dancer and musician) is satisfying, and clearly points towards a less constrained future. A gloriously tongue-in-cheek (or butt cheek on keys) piece of surreal dance invention. (TV Bomb 01.02.2016)
The body shapes created over 70 minutes by these four dancers – with lighting designer Peter Thalhamer – are extraordinary; Thierry Zaboitzeff's music is as thrilling as Gokcim's performance. And like all the best work at Manipulate, Close Up raises profound questions about the familiar shapes around us and how easily those perceptions can be disrupted, even as it also leads the pianist into an unsettling encounter with forces in her music of which she is barely aware, until they literally come to nudge her in the back.” (The Scotsman, 06.02.2016)
Across an hour, the initial impact dwindles, but the sheer stamina of the performers – and the spurt of ensemble bopping when Michael Jackson's Billie Jean hits the keys – remains strangely fascinating.“ (Herald Scotland 02.02.2106)
How does a dance performance and a piano concert find common ground? A pianist and a choreographer are looking for ways...(and) Surrealist Salvador Dali would have really enjoyed the result (....) The star of the evening is 27 year old pianist AyseDeniz Gockin who has gained international recognition with her inventive interpretations which link wildly different music styles. (....) a most harmonious and technically successful performance. An essential part (of the production) is provided by the outstanding lighting design of Thomas Hinterberger. (Verena Schweiger, Salzburger Nachrichten, 17.10.2015)
A temperamental pianist, faceless creatures from the shadows, and the sounds which bring them to life: The impressive interaction between sound and movement fascinates the audience from the very beginning. Turkish pianist AyseDeniz and the dancers of the editta braun company tell a story with gestures, movements and dance, which becomes even more compelling because not a single word is spoken (...) Among other things the fascination of this piece arises from the space it creates and the questions it poses, questions which only can be answered in the individual imaginations of each audience member (...) Editta Braun's latest work creates a lot of space for an audience's fantasy to run riot. Most definitely it leaves a powerful impression. (Claudia Maria Kraml, DrehPunktKultur, 16.10.2015)
The piece's intention - that through her playing the tragic situation of the protagonist enters the hearts of a carefully listening audience – is, without a doubt, fulfilled. You would need to have a heart of stone not to be touched.
(Josef Irgmaier, pianist and composer, 16.10.2015)
While musician and music ensnare each other, vexing cratures emerge. They are genderless, as their touching nudeness suggests. They slink, they crawl, they slide around the piano. They seem to adore the unsuspecting pianist, to want to be close to her. Puffing, snuffling and snorting, they nestle and roll around and up to the piano (…) The arc of suspense linking the musician's structured creativity and the seeming random movements of the teeming creatures around her challenges audiences to respond emotionally to this contradictory and indivisible interaction.
(Barbara Neuwirth, writer)
An alien landscape, a grand piano, a pianist. The musician concentrates, she plays. She moves herself and her audience. The landscape starts to move. It glides, it is alive. Body parts are exposed, a knee, or is it a little face? Life is awakened by the music, with the music. Mysterious creatures, monsters or aliens emerge. They shake, they flounder, they stick close to each other, seemingly astonished to be alive. They start to explore their world and each other. Staying close to the grand piano they become stronger and more confident as the music ebbs and flows around silence. The way that life outlives even the greatest silence we will all come to face. (Barbara Klein, stage director/theatre director).
arrangement, composition, live-piano: Cécile Thévenot
dance, movement research: Sandra Hofstötter, Anna Lis, Martyna Lorenc, Anna Maria Müller, Sonia Borkowicz (Katja Bablick)
dramaturgy: Gerda Poschmann-Reichenau, photos: Bettina Frenzel
production: Austrian Ministry of Culture, City of Salzburg, Region of Salzburg, tanz_house Salzburg, co-producers: KosmosTheater Vienna, ARGEkultur Salzburg, manipulate Festival Edinburgh, Posthof Linz, Tallin Treff Festival, klagenfurter ensemble
technical requirements: stage size min. 10m x 9m, grand piano tuned, black dance floor,
curtains, good light- and sound equipment; one extra day of set up needed
After studying musicology at the Université de Bourgogne, Cécile Thévenot graduated at the Dijon Conservatoty (D.E.M.), passed her licence (piano) at the Music Academy of Turku (Finland) and in 2015 the Diplome d'État as a pianist at the Cefedem de Lorraine in Metz. Turned towards New Music, Improvisation and Experimental Music. In the collective Générale d'Expérimentation (Dijon) collaboration among others with Didier Ashour, Lê Quanh Ninh, Sylvain Kassap and Didier Petit. Concerts in France, Belgium, Finland, Estonia and Germany. Increasing focus on performing arts, collaboration with the sculptress and video artist Lucile Hoffmann, the marionettist Perrine Ferrafiat and the sound sculptrice Stefania Becheanu.
Anna Maria Müller - dance, choreographic assistant
Born 1980 in Salzburg, Mag. phil., dance education at the Arts Educational School (London), University Vienna and Anton Bruckneruniversity Linz. Since 2005 freelance dancer, choreographer. Founds 09 the Pilates Studio Innsbruck. Since 2006 member of editta braun company.
Martyna Lorenc - dance, research
Born in 1987 in Poznań, Poland. MA cognitive science (UAM Poznań), BA dance&pedagogy (Bruckneruniversity Linz). Engagements: Georg Blaschke/M.A.P.Vienna, David Zambrano, Rosalind Crisp, C.O.V. Company Off Verticality. Own choreographical works (Beton, Alien drive), video works and research (phantomsbeyondthebrain.blogspot.hu.
Sandra Hofstötter - dance, research
Born 1975 in Vöcklabruck, dancestudies at Bruckneruniversity in Linz. Engagements: Cataracts, Rose Breuss, Stephan Rabl, Kraud&Ruam Theater; Choreography i.a. for the integrative TanzkollektivKuk in Linz, dance classes for children and adults, member of Tanztheater Helix.
Katja Bablick - dance, research
Born 1982 in Bavaria/Germany. Graduated at Bode School Munich and studies dance in Berlin. BA for Contemporary Dance and Pedagogy at Anton Bruckner University in Linz. Teaching and dancing in Austria and Germany. Since 2015 instructor for Moving- and Dance Pedagogy.
Ania Lis - dance, research
Born in 1984 in Poland, graduated 2003 from National Ballet School in Bytom. BA & MA in Contemporary Dance at Bruckneruniversity in Linz, Austria. Worked with Xida Dance Company/Charlotta Ofverholm, Catherine Guerin, Oleg Soulimenko, Frans Poelstra, Theresa Ranieri/Amy Raymonds, Cie. Dance Identity/Liz King, Cie. Off Verticality/Rose Breuss/Johannes Randolf, Stadttheater Klagenfurt, Landestheater Linz.
Thierry Zaboitzeff - composition
Born 1953 in the north of France. Founder and composer for the Avantgarde-Rock- Formation ART ZOYD, touring world-wide. Since 1995 solo and group-formation projects. Freelance composer and musician for film, dance, theater, events. Publishing of 28 Albums.