PIECES OF ME
7 dancers / stage: 15m x 10m x 5m – no seating / duration: 1 h
ABOUT THE PIECE
// Premiere 17. October 2013, Theater im Ballsaal Bonn
// Preview „Version Raccot“ 10. October 2013, Atelier-Théâtre du Raccot, Monthey (CH)
// Funded by: Kunststiftung NRW, Ministerium für Familie, Kinder, Jugend, Kultur und Sport des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Bundesstadt Bonn, Théâtre-ProVS, Le Conseil de la Culture Etat du Valais, La Loterie Romande, Migros-Kulturprozent
Pieces of Me is an unusual performance, offering a specific conception of space to the audience, sensuous and thrilling impressions and strange perceptions. That is because Pieces of Me should be read as an invitation to the audience not to look at this performance from the outside, as spectator, but to step over the threshold, to step directly into this work, and to experience it from the inside. In this „in-between-space” (Bhabha, 1994), which audience (and performers) enter, everything starts to move („pratiques d'espace“, Certeau, 1990), and reality and fiction blend.
After all, Pieces of Me is not really a piece – at least not in the customary sense. It is (but) one piece about a piece or, literally taken, several „pieces“ of a piece that in reality does not exist, and that only becomes fantastic and real through the audience and by support of its paratext. Like all recent performances by the Bonn ensemble [CocoonDance], Pieces of Me aims at further develop Dance as a narrative mode, and thus it is geared to „bonus material” of DVDs in structure and composition. These „accessories“ (Genette, 1989) in additional and background information form the proper piece and at the same time provoke a meditation about how to produce and to receive Dance.
BY AND WITH
Stéphanie Bayle, Fa-Hsuan Chen, Álvaro Esteban,
Werner Nigg, Inma Rubio, Susanne Schneider, Andi Xhuma// Choreography, Direction: Rafaële Giovanola // Dramaturgy, Concept: Rainald Endraß // Text: Inma Rubio, CocoonDance und Ensemble inspieriert von Texten von Bastien Fournier, Vaslav Nijinsky, Elfriede Jelinek, Frank Bidart // Music: Jörg Ritzenhoff // Set design: CocoonDance, Marc Brodeur // Light design: Marc Brodeur// Costumes: Gilvan Coêlho de Oliveira // Video installation*: Michael Maurissens, Inma Rubio // Literary advice:Bastien Fournier// Assistance: Marcelo Omine// Training: Marcelo Omine, Elena Martino, Vera Sander, Douglas Bateman, Kojiro Imada // Management-P&Ö-Arbeit: mechtild tellmann kulturmanagement
“Shurely one of the highlights this season in dance in Germany: PIECES OF ME – CocoonDance.” (TANZzwebköln)
“'Pieces of me'” is no longer anchored to a place or person; it calls for us to bear witness and hides behind its apparent disclosure of thoughts and actions." (Melanie Suchy, The GERMAN DANCE PLATFORM Catalogue – Artists Portraits, Hamburg 2014)
„For many years, choreographer Rafaële Giovanola and dramaturge Rainald Endrass have been exploring the conditions and possibilities of narration in Dance. Inspired by the interactive „bonus material“ of today's DVD’s, they reflect on different perspectives of perception. Thus, the accessory parts become the main work, the audience navigates through story fragments while the main story remains hidden, a fiction. The spectators move around the stage and thus constantly view the piece from another angle. Black characters are „painted” on the edges of the white dance floor and evoke Peter Brook’s „empty space“ and various other topological ideas of the 20th century, while the geometry of the space oscillates in the changing light (space and light design: Marc Brodeur), to which Joerg Ritzenhoff’s sophisticated soundtrack is adding continuously new dimensions. (…) The spectators perceive themselves as questing co-actors, who can invent their own drama from the fragments of the performance. … „Pieces of me” is nonetheless a tantalizing piece, even if it deals mainly with the mechanic fragmentation of experiencing art and its production. Prolonged, positive applause after an arduous hour that revealed how much hard physical work the dancers invest to create imaginative works of art.” (Elisabeth Einecke-Klövekorn, General-Anzeiger, Bonn, 19.10.2013)
"'Pieces of me' asks about the duality of perpetrator and victim, has no ready-made answers, but offers fragments instead that only connect to become a mosaic in the perception of the viewer.
To achieve this, Giovanola develops the idea of an open area without fixed seats. The audience shall find their own perspective from which to observe the dance by wandering around. She combines dance, text, music, video, and, thus offers a state description of our contemporary world. A metal frame is repeatedly repositioned on the white primed scene, thus creating subspaces and pushes the dancers ever forward. Isolated, they draw their course in a heat-up sculptural language of movement by torsion, body waves and lanky fidgetiness. They dance only short solos, come to a dead stop, leave traces in the room, and give the accord of the individualistic isolation in a diffuse society. Even encounters do not result in linked processes, but wear out in repetitions.
One woman wants to give commands, another drowns her word, from the mouth of a third, the liberating “love you” drips infinitely tediously after the “I”. Whether the supine are victims, the walking are the offenders or whether everyone is both at the same time, remains open. In wild attacks, the excellent dancers can unwind their aggressions towards the end, and you love to watch them."(VolkmarDraeger, Neues Deutschland, 21.05.2014)
"Hardly a DVD today can do without bonus material. “Pieces of me" supplies many such extras through which the audience may navigate. In the end, everyone has watched their own movie. Yet, the dance is the main thing. In the Uferstudio, a white rectangle is highlighted. On its margins are written catchwords of Peter Brooks', Derrida’s spatial theories. The audience is allowed to walk around the pitch to view the dancers from different perspectives. Spanish dancer Inma Rubio strides across the geometrical space, changes direction, tilts and breaks out. How she breaks her movements, on which she herself comments, multiple times, is amazing. In her high-heeled shoes, she becomes the resolute director who forces the dancers to constantly reposition themselves by use of a partition. Dispersed gestures announce suppressed emotions. Excerpts from the works of Elfriede Jelinek, Nijinsky, Bastien Fournier open a wide field of associations. The mood darkens increasingly, a ruthless male trio sniffs out specific experiences of violence. Fa-Hsuan Chen, blindfolded, stammers a declaration of love. The fragments do not connect to become an evident whole. “Pieces of me " is about the fragmentation of perception, the dissolution of the self. Due to the highly concentrated dancers the piece nevertheless developed a strong allure." (Sandra Luzina, Der Tagesspiegel, Berlin, 24.05.2014)
„The shift of focus, the change of perspective is one of the most important tools of „CocoonDance“, the dance company residing in the Ballsaal that, thanks to their choreographies and their dramaturge are enabled to dance magnificently intellectually. This is realized because of Rafaële Giovanola and Rainald Endrass and their solo performers, who brought their latest performance „Pieces of Me” to the stage, accompanied by the space music of composer Joerg Ritzenhoff. They do not regard „Pieces of Me“ as a complete piece, but more as fragment, from which continuously new fragments can be composed, as if assembled from mixed-up colored glass shards. … The audience, who usually sit motionless in their seats, are moving around the stage during the performance. This motion of the audience overlapped the dance on the stage – which was like a big white playing field – which was then additionally superimposed by a movie. This could be called the DVD-effect.” (Heinz-Dieter Terschüren, Bonner Rundschau, 19.10.2013)
"Basically, the piece is overloaded, but not difficult. An eye-catcher." (Melanie Suchy, tanz/ kultiversum 5/ 2014)
“Ensemble CocoonDance very impressive in the Heeder - The Bonn ensemble CocoonDance is one of the intellectual responses in North Rhine-Westphalia to the contemporary challenges to the art of dancing. Untiringly, the company works on new narrative techniques, artistic approaches. Rafaele Giovanola (choreography) and Rainald Endrass (dramaturgy) walk on a sloping way in "Pieces of me": They are guided by the structure of DVD-bonus material with additional out-takes, production notes, different starting points and interviews. The fragments provide a piece of their own making. The guest performance in the Fabrik Heeder within festival tanz nrw 15 showed that the unusual approach works well. (…) three men and four women, all outstanding performers, are walking, dancing, talking, and fighting violently. … To accompany this, composer Jörg Ritzenhoff has created a synthetic sound carpet. Distressingly spherical and pulsating, his music propels the action forward. This forces one to concentrate. 'Pieces of me' is an impressive, but also, arduous change of perspective." (Bettina Trouwborst, Westdeutsche Zeitung / Krefelder Zeitung 27.04.2015)