Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Stomping on the dancing floor - Hatto Fischer

Dance is like writing in the air. The body leaps across the stage or else rolls and then shrinks together to become a mere embodiment of someone holding onto the legs to keep out the cold. Since Pina Bausch has innovated as well the 'dance theatre', dance is no longer restricted to a worldless performance. Rather it can be integrated into a theatrical performance as was the case during the 'MEGAPOLIS' piece shown at the Schaubühne in Berlin during May 2010. Some of the dance movements reminded of West Side Story. It was a similar, i.e. urban setting. Either individual or group dances showed how characters of such a scene in-between bridges and skyscrapers evoke associations of curiosity as to how the urban drama will play out. There is the AIDS infected teenager phoning home to realize the father is no longer listening or else the Brazilian guy with the Afro-like hairstyle shows off both body and strength by becoming more than just a dancer. He climbs up walls, jumps off the bridge, slams the body into concrete walls and becomes in the process a policeman who swings his baton to underline his authority.

Dance performer of Megalopolis / Schaubuehne, Berlin with Lisa Stybor, 6th of May 2010

If light sweeps over these dancing figures like a shade, then the frightening aspect is this sudden cast of doubt.

Lisa Stybor has captured the figure of dance through the painting technique called calliography. It makes one wonder if there is an invisible trapez on which the dancer moves through space.


Lisa Stybor

Once dance becomes a performance, movement is translated into a crucial question as to what can be contemplated upon? Dance critic Jadwiga Majewska suggests dance performances reach out to touch upon new human experiences. At the same time, they come upon familiar limitations or even borders. One of them can be described in such drastic terms while wonderung if the 'power of boredom' can ever be overcome?

But then dance can be also something else when thinking about the dancing floor as a public space in which in the USA the country hoe-down is sung and feets are stomping as if in a stampede. What Siegfried Kracauer described as the link between the Can-Can dance in Offenbach's operettas with girls storming to the front of the stage and soldiers running into certain death in the war.

There is as well a linkage in North America between people who have experienced a real stampede of the buffaloes and how everyone ends up dancing in the barn. Naturally in the times of the Great Depression can also be recalled by the film: 'They shoot horses, don't they'. It depicts another form of dance: a competition between couples, and may the last couple which stays on its feet, win the much desired money prize. Only the organizers fail to inform the participants that the winner has to foot the entire bill of the event, and thus ends taking away merely a small consolation prize.

The poem may express something of that flavor of our times. Rather than leaning towards a Tango and meaning in 'Argentina', there is a stomping around the floor to retell the myth of Ariadne and Thesseus by Christine and Paul on October 12 and 13, 2011 and this underneath the Acropolis in a house in the Plaka. They do so for charity reasons. The proceeds of the entry tickets shall go to an organization in India helping to take children caught in trafficking and other sorts of vicious cycles of poverty off the street. The theatre where the performance took place contributes as well its share of the proceeds (50%). Amazing is that during a financial crisis hitting Greece badly, these dancers go out and give it not only to their audience  but to those kids on the streets of India.

Stomping on the dancing floor

No one seems to know the norm

no one understands a thing

even though the times ring out loud

what is happening on stock markets

and in the basement of bigger companies

when states stutter, spout and leave behind

a paper trail of ever growing deficits.


Shortcuts are out of question,

a quick solution not in the offering

and a turn around to undo the mistake impossible,

while the demand to lower the deficit

hurries on austesity measures without justice.

Galloping news overtake the lady as a tramp

while swinging times compare more with oil

washed ashore after another desaster has struck

to leave the environment exposed to such neglect.


A man stamps his feet as the dance gets into full swing.

He forgets for the evening what awaits him outside

once everyone leaves the night club and go to their cars.

In the parking lot no signs of relief are shown from turbulent times

which sweep up those who have left behind relatives

and a life in Europe to follow the American dream,

There is in Rotterdam the departure point to leave for the land

where everything is supposed to go upwards, upwards

till enough money allows a decent living without worries

save for the neighbor who may not greet anymore so often

since he got through in court an ugly divorce to keep

the children while she has to live like the fugitive in the streets

now emptied of ancient dreams about the wild and the tamed

to go onto the dancing floor before the stock market crashes down.


Hf 29.5.2010 / updated 14.10.2011



^ Top

« Dance | Dance of the Vulture »