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Mum’s rite to dance

Moooom! Dance performance troupe She She Pop bring their actual mothers on stage for a performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring through video. The maternal interpretation hits the stage of HAU 1 Jun 10-12.

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Taking Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring as a framework, She She Pop performers invite their mothers on stage for a stirring dance.

“We went together to a party. I did everything to prevent her from dancing. I asked myself why. I guess that would have meant she is autonomous and free,” recalls performer Johanna Freiburg.

At that point a mother appears on a huge screen, holding a vacuum cleaner. Playing their own role, the She She Pop performers use the theatre as a sheltered space where another kind of dialogue can happen. The perfect place to talk with their mothers – not directly, but by showing them filmed on video screens.

Relying on Stravinsky’s themes, performers on stage and mothers on screen deal with the question of sacrifice: yes, two of the four mothers did abandon their jobs for their families. No, their children wouldn’t do that anymore.

Yet the real emotion of the evening lies in the indirect encounters between the mothers’ and children’s bodies. The performers, in a danced ritual that follows the complete framework of Stravinsky’s piece, imitate their mothers or laugh at them and run around them to pay them homage. And play with their image, showing the mothers by turns giant, dominant and sublime, when they look at you with a mature, self-confident look; trapped, when they are forced to pose with imaginary babies; or so fragile, staged as taking a nap.

Thanks to the live video collage, the children’s faces merge into their mothers’ to create a touching image that subtly rends the proximity and distance characteristic of a mother-child relationship.

“I’ve never thought I could dance with my mother,” confides performer Berit Stumpf during a post-performance talk. “We kind of made a utopia happen.” A utopia in the form of a ritual that seems to be giving these mothers their autonomy and freedom back.

SHE SHE POP – THE RITE OF SPRING Jun 10-12, 20:00 (English surtitles, Jun 11-12) | HAU 1