Photo by Heiko Marquardt
The True Face
The True Face – Dance is Not Enough happens at Ballhaus Ost, March 12-15.
Berlin-based choreographer Christoph Winkler continues his jumbled reflection on dance and politics, happily inspired by four endearing dancers. Part of a loose trilogy, The True Face – Dance is Not Enough follows Taking Steps, which dealt with lifetime learning, and Dance! Copy! Right? on copyrights.
We begin in Cairo, June 2013. Protesting against expanding censorship, the National Opera dancers perform Zorba the Greek in the street. We watch the Youtube video. “But they danced in jeans, and that’s not even a ballet, that’s a music hall!” objects Chris, to which Luis answers: “That’s not important. What matters is the crowd’s awareness.” “But can you defend an art if you don’t perform it properly?” The dancers come from the US, Canada and Burkina Faso. They have mixed feelings and the evening’s theme is disclosed: how can you be political as an artist?
As the show proceeds with imitations of US feminist pom-pom girls and South African agitating dances, where women show their breasts to get attention, a statement is made: political art should not only represent the world as it is, it should awaken the will to act... as demonstrated here by a somewhat ironic rendition of Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up”.
Winkler likes political debates, pop culture and revealing his dancer’s personalities. That’s where the magic happens: despite the confusion that emerges from that slightly superficial mish-mash, we spend a nice time with the four men. They share their perspectives generously, provoke and entertain.
The True Face – Dance Is Not Enough Wed, Mar 12-15 | Ballhaus Ost
Originally published in issue #125, March 2014.