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ecotopia dance productions: press clippings Helena Waldmann - vodka konkav
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HELENA WALDMANN

VODKA KONKAV

HELENA WALDMANN: VODKA KONKAV
A whole history of irrealisation, of moving into image, and medialisation - going back to the Platonic ambivalence of the shadow - can be read in this staging: the shadow image that the body projects onto the surface as a two-dimensional contour irrealises its internal lineature and corporeality; the mirror image that irrealises the actual body in its momentary aspects allows its simultaneous multiplying as image; and the video image that makes the image in time independent of the body irrealises it in the midst of its immediacy and allows the multiplication on the body-image over time. Hallucinations, becoming ever more independent of the body, appear on an external umbrella: shadow images on a surface, mirror images in a mirror, video on a projection screen.
Johannes Meinhardt, ballett international tanz aktuell 8/9 97

A LOOK INTO A SOT'S HEAD
Identical figures in white pants, the upper parts of their bodies naked show up through mirrors, moving perfectly synchronised and within admirable control over their movements. Like fish the twin Giuseppe and Michele seem to glide on their backs through the blue, like lizards they clining to the wall of a space, of which none can tell, what is up and what is down. Herbert Cybulska's lighting design radiates in impressing tender turqois, blue, green and orange, leaving traces for the dancers, helping them to find their way through this labyrinth of thoughts. Anna Saup's video installation helps to the virtualisation of stagerealities, by putting shadows to the real bodies, with faces on their own, or by creating multiplied spirals, which all of a sudden freeze. Waldmann visualizes the unspoken conditions of every theatreevent and by doing so, she deprives the theatre goer of his share. She literally disappoints people by fragmenting the seductions we're all so used to, by showing the process behind it. vodka konkav is a miraculous travel through theatre wonderland, which gets to your head to really stay.
Gerald Siegmund, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 26. Juli 1997

NICHTS IST, WIE ES SCHEINT
Neue Blicktechniken im Theater
... und das ist das Geniale der Bühneninstallation von vodka konkav, daß hier nicht ein Guckkasten bespielt wird, vielmehr wird hier endlich einmal konkret erfahrbar: die vierte Wand. Alles, was sich dahinter abspielt, können wir nur im Spiegel sehen. Hier kommt dem Betrachter plötzlich die ganze Geschichte der Bildtechnik entgegen, angefangen von Platons Höhlengleichnis bis zur Virtualität einer Computersimulation. Das Wahn-Sinnige dabei ist, ganz wörtlich genommen, daß sich die einzelnen Quellen nicht identifizieren lassen aus denen sich dieses Bild im Spiegel zusammensetzt: Da sind die beiden Tänzer (Giuseppe und Michele de Filippis) auf der Bühne, ein Zwillingspaar zudem, deren Bewegungen im Raum als zweidimensionale Abstraktion auf der Spiegelwand jegliche Schwerkraft verloren haben. Schwerelos schweben sie von rechts nach links, oben und unten durchs Bild, spiegeln und vervielfältigen sich und verwirbeln immer auf's neue die eigene Präsenz in einem Spiel aus An- und Abwesenheit. Hinzu kommen Videoprojektionen, die in einigen Sequenzen wie Schattenbilder der Tänzer wirken, ein andermal deren Bild überblenden und zusätzliche verschiedene, farbige Lichtquellen, die aus unterschiedlichen Richtungen die Plexiglasscheiben beleuchten. Diese Überlagerungen erzeugen Live-Bilder, wie wir sie noch nirgends zuvor gesehen haben und wie sie rein technisch in keinem anderen Medium als dem Theater denkbar wären.
Kathrin Tiedemann, Freitag 32, 1. Aug 97

SO CLOSE AT HAND - SO FAR AWAY
As clear as every sentence is spoken, as strange and rambling is what is said there, as exact and right to the point the movements of the two dancers are, as boundless is the space, which is created by multiple angles or refractions in combination with the pre-produced video-pictures. In the most beautiful parts the performance artist, her lighting designer Herbert Cybulska and the video-artist Anna Saup are developing deeply touching distant-view-perspectives, some kind of 3D-animation within a real theatre stage. The artificiality of the computer-pictures is taken away a little by the strong presence of the dancer's bodies. Even though one can never be sure, what part of the action behind the partition is real, now, what part of it is pre-produced or computer generated anyway.
The connection of all those different elements, being supported by a jungle kind of Club-music once in a while makes you feel like cyberspaced rotating shadow tangled body climbing legs and curvatory.
Dirk Fuhrig, FR 26. Juli 1997

DELIRS OF A SOT'S HEAD
A drunkard in the name of God, Venichka, who's sent through an obsessive delirium by the author Jerofejev in his poem Moskov-Petuchki is measuring each and everything in terms of alcohol.
Easy to imagine, that in his itself seemingly drunken report many things get mixed up and together; the fixed line betwen reality and imagination gets blurry.
Also easy to imagine, that this poem must find the interest of Helena Waldmann . The Frankfurt performance -artist, who, in cooperation with Schlossfestspiele Ludwigsburg, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Francfort and Pumpenhaus Münster now showed her production vodka konkav for the first time in Ludwigsburg, always likes to be involved with fierce and refined affairs of phantoms, delusive and deceptive realities.
Helena Waldmann never allows a straight forward view upon things happening on her - for the first time in years - traditional stage. She leads and focusses our view via five big mirror-like glass pieces, which are hung up under the ceiling, so that no one ever has the chance to see the two dancers 'live' while they are dancing. Lighting and filmprojections are mixed in such a perfect way with the multiplied reflections with the dancer's images, that one can make no destinct statement of what exactly was to be seen on the stage until the very end. How many men are dancing behind the shelf? Are they dancing at all? Or are we watching a perfectly made up video-clip to which DJ Tricky Cris composed a live soundtrack by using jungle rhythms and the voice of the actor Thomas Thieme, who recorded the text of Jerofejev's poem beforehand?
Helena Waldmann transferred this delirious story out of a boozer's head with high aesthetic and technical knowledge in a great effort as an event for the stage and the spectator's eye. Sound, lighting, dance and film can stand each for itself and are yet woven together to a 'Gesamtkunstwerk', which makes vodka konkav a fascinating production to see.
Andrea Kachelries, Stuttgarter Nachrichten 28. Juni 97

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