ORLANDO- scrapped



// Premiere: 15th May 2009, Opera, Bonn

// in co-production with THEATER BONN / Theater im Pfalzbau Ludwigshafen / The Manning Camerata Chamber Orchestra, London

// Funded by: Kunststiftung NRW / Landschaftsverband Rheinland / Ministerpräsident des Landes NRW / Le Conseil de la Culture Etat du Valais


Like no other piece, “Orlando Furioso” by Ludovico Ariosto is suited for dance and movement. The action comprises countless interlaced narrative strands – with emotions such as love, jealousy, disappointment forming the main themes. All these plot lines have their source in Orlando, who changes from unhappy lover to raging lunatic. Without their bravest hero, however, the Christian armies fear their defeat by Muslim troops. Thus, Astolfo undertakes a journey to the moon to retrieve the wit Orlando has lost.

“Orlando Furioso” is a labyrinth of possibilities which – as the title “scrapped” suggests – are insistently condemned and discarded. This is a beginning without end and an end without beginning. “The frenzy of Orlando” is a universe as such, which you can travel crisscross, enter and leave and in which you may lose yourself.” (Italo Calvino).



Miquel Barcelona, Patrick Entat, Volkhard Samuel Guist, Martin Inthamoussú, Juan Luis Matilla, Maura Morales, Vicky Pérez Miranda, Zufit Simon, Bärbel Stenzenberger, Eric Trottier, Yoshiko Waki /// Singing: Susanne Blattert /// Music: Jella Linnert, Matthias Höhn, Jörg Ritzenhoff /// Choreography / Direction: Rafaële Giovanola /// Musical direction / composition: Jörg Ritzenhoff (according to motives of the opera "Orlando" from George Frederic Handel) /// Set and costumes: Frank Chamier /// Lighting design: Marc Brodeur /// Video installation: Axel Largo /// Dramaturgy / Concept: Rainald Endraß



Handel Festival Halle 2010
"For the terror of love, for the immediate or aloof reflexion of the body, beautiful images have been found. However, they appear and disappear again in an accidental manner, as if one would glimpse through a sketch-book. (…) The manner, in which the dancers repeatedly announce the “next version” of the story, emphasizes the impression of a labyrinthine revue, in which everybody is their own Orlando - and in which the heavy dreams are relinquished by the “restless legs syndrome, i.e. the involuntarily twitching legs. Within the dance-focus of the Handel-festival, this is the production most distinct from all expectations, for aesthetic variety, however, it makes an important statement."
Andreas Hillger, Mitteldeutsche Zeitung


"Dance performance on a high level (subline) – Rafaële Giovanola’s production follows Ariosto’s convoluted story nor does it show protagonists that act straight-line. Eleven dancers develop fields labyrinthian way of telling. This staging does neither offer any Ariadne’s thread through the of force with changing centres, at a loss between a fluctuating geometry and physical high-tension. The music, by composer Jörg Ritzenhoff (Bonn) quotes Handel’s opera “Orlando” and undermines the ideal baroque musical bliss with sophisticated sound refractions. (…) The sensitive choreography succeeds brilliantly in revealing the artistic personality behind every individual dancer behind every abstract sliver of thought and every moonstruck relic of wit. Thus, this co-production between the theatre Bonn and the independent dance company CocoonDance has proven emphatically that dance in Bonn is not just an item of purchasing productions, but can be developed in Bonn itself."
General-Anzeiger, Bonn


"Using a modern language of movement, an extraordinary dance piece has been created that works with narrative elements but does not retell the story. Rather, choreographer Rafaële Giovanola descends into the souls of her protagonists to search there for their motivations to act. (…) In terms of the dramaturgy, the production masters the balancing act between yesterday and today through tying in with historical (including musical) themes. Jörg Ritzenhoff’s peculiar composition reverts to Handel’s opera “Orlando”, but sometimes applies disturbing sizzling noises to the scenes, such as radio interference. The successful premiere of “Orlando Scrapped” by Cocoondance Bonn has added a further highlight to the festival “tanz nrw 09”."
Bonner Rundschau/Kölnische Rundschau


"The beginning is the end and, in their individual movements, the dancers of Cocoondance Bonn are losing themselves in both. Invisible energies tear at the limbs, at the same time fascinating and acrobatic, sensual and disturbingly unfamiliar, until a desperate scream can be heard repeatedly out of this madness. Orlando Furioso, a.k.a. the mad Roland, is losing his mind. (…) The dance performances are accompanied by three musicians and mezzo-soprano Susanne Blattert, a member of the ensemble of the Opera Bonn. A convincing mixture by choreographer Rafaële Giovanola and composer Jörg Ritzenhoff. Modern, digitally mixed sounds and piano, violin and clarinet swirl about electronically, hot and wild, leaking into and around each other. Between them, the baroque singings strike surprisingly harmonically. Modern, too, is the production of the dance performance of the protagonists; experimental, untextured, unrestrained and sensual. The dancers meet, challenge each other, fight, search for each other and push each other away. There is an emotional dependency that finds its expression in innovative choreographies. Just sometimes, the performance is lost in sentimentality. However, the spectacle is heartbreaking. (…) Shown as one production of the festival “tanz nrw 09”, “Orlando scrapped” is a labyrinth of possibilities which – as the title “scrapped” suggests – are insistently condemned and discarded. This is a beginning without end and an end without beginning. An atmosphere which – even if some of the audience will lose the thread of the plot – will be truly expressed with every gesture."


"Cocoondance, under the direction of choreographer Rafaële Giovanola, offered an altogether exceptional evening of dance within the series “Highlights of International dance” in Bonn. (…) Almost as if her ecstatic choreography wanted to show the uncertainty of renaissance man after the breakdown of the culture of the middle ages, she takes dancers and audience into the disorientation of an outlandish “counter world”. This unreal world resembles an enchanted castle or, even more so, an intricate labyrinth."
Hardtberg Bote


"The dance performance conjures vividly a chaotic, collapsed world. (subline) The colourful chaos of Ariosto’s world that is split into numerous plot threads, is topped by Giovanola’s choreography. Nearly everything here is “scrapped”: not just the epic correlation has been disrupted, but also the unity of the protagonists. Insistently and virtuosically, and with a visionary language of movement, the eleven dancers of Cocoondance, in their search for Roland’s wit, undertake the journey to a paltry moon that projects the shattered condition of their souls. (…) Like a spell from another world, Susanne Blattert joins them, baroque and shining golden, sometimes voicing an aria from Handel’s “Orlando”. Ritzenhoff’s music, too, is based on themes of this opera, but he transforms and defamiliarizes his composition electronically in the direction of music of the spheres. This circling of the dancers among themselves – aimless, astrally - is sometimes enervating. Indeed, the evening shows some lengths despite the straightforward duration (80 minutes). Nevertheless, we have to take the hat off to the way in which a collapsed world is once more assembled to the unity of an artistic performance. Thus, the applause at the end was merited."
Kölner Stadtanzeiger