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PLASTIC AS AN EXPRESSIONIST PAINTING
Nothing is allowed to follow, with tranquility, the course of its nature in the eighth choreography of Viladança Dance Group- Headhunters- presented until tomorrow at Vila Velha Theater. There’s always an abrupt cut, am unexpected re-start, a horrible razor that, at all times, threatens the characters yet, at the same time, hypnotizes the audience’s eyes.
This shows that the research done by choreographers Cristina Castro (Brazil) and Helena Waldman(Germany)was successful. This investigation had as its initial goal the symbolic representation of wigs , the idea of cuts and losses ,which can be seen as metaphors of human life. A feeling of incompleteness permeates the performance.
Headhunters shows a clear approach to visual arts that can be observed in the rich wardrobe designed by Adriana Hatomi, in the beautiful sceneries signed by the choreographers and in the creative lighting by Fábio Espirito Santo and Herbert Cybuska. In fact, the list of merit for the technical aspect of the work would include a dozen other names which can’t be mentioned in a single comment , but whose work was clearly essential in the creative process.
From the research of the topic to sound editing (the precise work of Kico Povoas) one can observe a complete overlapping of image, sound, and aesthetic conception. It’s difficult to distinguish what, in the light, suggests the movement, or what, in the scene, originated in the conception of the scenery. For instance, the transition from video to dance is made with rare subtlety , a real challenge in performances of this type.
The fragmentary move, synchronized within short spaces, demonstrates the choreographers mastery of the elements of the dance-theater, which add value to the still irregular performances of the group. A powerful work, full of expressive images and a constant, incisive rhythm.
Sandro Lobo Correio da Bahia, 25.10.2003
HEADHUNTERS – A PROPER THEATRICAL EVENT
Helena Waldmann’s new piece, “Headhunters” has a lot to do with cutting. It has also to do with the cutting off of old ponytails. The scene with the screen, whose frame is decorated with luxury springs, are nearly the only moments which bear any familiarity to Waldmann’s earlier pieces. Instead of flattening out the stage like in “Gluecksjohnny” or “Vodka Konkav”, this time Waldmann impressively uses the entire depth of the stage and with it creates a kind of ritual. The bodies of the dancers not only leave an impression on the retina of the audiences’ eyes but also their bodies get involved. With kind of trance inspired shaking movements, four of the eight dancers lift themselves slowly from the floor of the stage of the Burghof theatre in Loerrach, where the piece had its’ world premier. Stuck between the legs, rising gradually from the floor, a huge bundle of hair as a symbol of growing strength and power appears. On the left side of the stage, on the cable, hangs a figure with a green Tutu type of skirt on, which turns out to be a streak of a wild mane of a man, which lies under her on the floor. She opens her legs in the air like scissors, and later she will cut the hair off of his head like Delia once castrated Samsom. “Headhunters” moves us with amazement and surprises us with images. “Headhunters” has really become a proper theatrical event: “Grand Guignol” and archaic disguises with all the tricks of the theatre.
Gerald Siegmund ballet-tanz 11/2003
THE REBEL IN DANCE AGAINST THE NORM
What nearly appears to be the dominating theme is a head, to be cut and styled in a hairdressing salon, which pops up again and again on a screen on the first level. On a higher level, on a huge stage, hanging from a strong cable, are creatures romping about that have animalistic features, but which at times are faceless and gather together in small groups. The happening is complimented with Brazilian drum rhythm and wins with it nearly cult character.
It is similar to a furious rebel against violence, which comes from outside, excited, lively, sensual and aggressive. Traditional hair, oversized, shimmering, overlong appears always in danger, threatened by them, which break on them or from huge scissors that could cut off the hair. Everything vibrates in front of massive strong images, with a clever choice of light and colour, peculiar and fascinating at the same time. It all comes together in tragic-comical dance scenes: The creatures have admittedly unbelievable vitality, but their liveliness appears to be in danger, their erotic disturbs and reduces. A strong picture at the end, how the the figure from high up on the cable gives instructions to the others on how they should move. They obey, silent and speechless, caught in oppressively strange circumstances – although shortly before they had bubbled over in exploding movement. The parable over the dealings with their own roots leaves a lot open, images fall powerfully into the audience, intensive and distraught. They want conflict and pose questions about human’s identity and lifestyle.
Oberbadisches Volksblatt 13.9.03