SAO PAULO DANCE COMPANY
|CHOREOGRAPHY, SET, COSTUMES||MARCO GOECKE|
|MUSIC||BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976), SIMPLE SYMPHONY MIESKUORO HUUTAJAT, "H.Y.V.Ä." UND "SININEN JA VALKOINEN"|
|WORLDPREMIERE||APRIL 16, 2013, MOVIMENTOS - FESTWOCHEN DER AUTOSTADT, WOLFSBURG|
|LENGTH OF PERFORMANCE||20 MIN|
|ON STAGE||8 DANCERS|
In Peekaboo, the German choreographer Marco Goecke deals with the act of hiding and revealing in an exciting way. The title refers to a childish game well known to children: the person peeks, hides his/her face and suddenly reappears and says, ‘found’ or ‘boo’. In the work, Britten’s symphony combined with the sound of the Finnish choir Huutajat, shows contrasts: while talking about fantasy, it brings out the fears and loneliness of each dancer. The cast alternates in solos, duos, trios and ensembles, the movement is fast and accurate and the performers mysteriously appear and disappear from the scene. “Everything is a matter to be lost and found”, says the choreographer.
Heads behind hats
The question of being and not being, the line between being visible and disappearing has always interested choreographer Marco Goecke. In “Peekaboo”, his latest creation for the Sao Paulo Companhia de Danca, which will open the Movimentos Dance Festival in Wolfsburg upcoming April, he deals with hiding and visibility in a very playful way. The title refers to a well-known game for little children: hiding his face behind something the player makes believe a kid that he has disappeared, coming back only when he shows his face again after saying “Peekaboo”. Thus we immerse in a world in which the artist’s childhood soul is revealed, with all its phantasy, lightness and jokes, but also its fears and nightmares. Hats appear as a playful but also uncanny and dreamful element, hiding in their most inner what makes them move.
The musical basis for “Peekaboo” is „Simple Symphony“ by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976). Britten has composed this piece at the age of twenty recurring to a score written at the age of nine. In contrast to many other composers who dismissed their early attempts later as youth follies, Britten was proud of his draft and commented the four movements of his creation – with a tone of British understatement – as „not too uninteresting“. Accounts of his friends and relatives witness that Britten had saved quite a few attributes from his childhood to his adulthood. These included emotional releases as well as his passion for games, jokes, rhymes and costume as well as his love for food from his early childhood that had to be cooked for him especially when he was ill or depressed.
Goecke combines Britten’s symphony with the sometimes rather harsh sounding Finnish choir “Huutajat”, a company of thirty men who are shouting in a way that their parents might have forbidden them when they were kids. Has the lightness of Britten’s early work disappeared in the adulthood, a phase of life which transforms music into shouting because the poetry of childhood has been forgotten? The question remains open. Goecke's choreography, with its enigmatic language of oscillating but very precise movements and its combination of different acoustical experiences, seems to perform the tension between phantasy and disenchantment. On the other hand, however, it seduces us to listen to the child in ourselves. Nadja Kadel