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Trashy

“Triple”
Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference
Forum Ludwigsburg
Ludwigsburg, Germany
January 21, 2023

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2023 by Ilona Landgraf

 1. E.Supple and M.Manning, “All For One” by R.Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023 © T.Schermer Last weekend, the Cologne-based troupe Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference toured the Forum Ludwigsburg. The American-born Siegal founded the company in 2016 in Munich. He also serves as its artistic director and has choreographed nearly all of their repertoire. The triple bill in Ludwigsburg combined twenty-or-so minute-long pieces created between 2014 – 2021.

In a recent interview, Siegal revealed that “All For One” is a “reaction to the modes of digital spectatorship that emerged during the beginning of the pandemic.” The piece premiered online in fall 2021 with a set (an organ made from tall tubes of light arranged in a cylindrical semicircle) designed, perhaps, to appeal to an online audience. In Ludwigsburg, the murky illumination often hid the eleven dancers in twilight that obscured their pants, skirts, and bustiers (decorated with bulky silver folds that resembled supersized shreds of paper).
3. M.Manning, L.Zou, and C.Sorzano; “All For One” by R.Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023 © T.Schermer2. E.Supple, “All For One” by R.Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023 © T.SchermerSome men sported black, silver-rimmed briefs and erotic leather bondage gear. By my count, Markus Popp provided five pieces of techno music. The first flooded the stage with a deafening torrent of squeaks and hisses; the second’s repetitive percussion hammered my ear drums; number three reminded me of a slot machine going into hyperdrive. The rattling noise of the fourth made me wonder about the impact that dissonant decibels might have on the nervous system. It must be devastating – and, fittingly, the final composition sounded like a hangover.
The dancers, in an attempt at looking snappy, sexy, and cool, kick their legs and jump and strut between the light tubes. Ultimately, though, they faded against the cacophony of light and music, and I failed to discern any connection between the rhythms and the dance.

4. L.Zou, E.Supple, and ensemble; “Metric Dozen” by R.Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023 © T.Schermer5. N.Martinéz and J.R.Dean, “Metric Dozen” by R.Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023 © T.SchermerThe single bang that started off “Metric Dozen” (2014) came like a shock. Suddenly, the auditorium was pitch-black. Sharp spotlights opened on the dancers as they posed or stepped about.
The piece employs a metric dozen dancers – ten! – decked out by Alexandra Bertaut in white socks, black briefs, and black long-sleeved tops embellished with glitzy two-toned sequins. Accompanied by a nervous electronic pulsing (music by Lorenzo Bianchi Hoesch) that later crescendoed into car-crash-like clangor (I hoped for a subsequent moment of silence – to no avail), the dancers step backwards and forwards as if bound to an invisible rectangular grid. They thrust their hips suggestively, 7. M.Manning, N.Martinéz, M.Chavez, M.Vomastek, and E.Supple; “Metric Dozen” by R.Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023 © T.Schermer 6. N.Martinéz and ensemble, “Metric Dozen” by R.Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023 © T.Schermersway their bottoms, and athletically kick their legs. Arms swing through the air until locked in edgy angles. Some of the dancers wait in the half-dark watching an erotic pas de deux before marching across the stage. Whether treading in place, scuttling to and fro, or undulating their torsos like snakes, their movements appear mechanical and meaningless. As the atmosphere turns to a sullen red-light milieu, a woman forces sex from a man on the sidelines.
Lighting designer Gilles Gentner finally pulls the plug, switching the light abruptly off.

8. L.Gil, N.Martinez, and C.Sorzano; “My Generation” by R.Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023 © T.Schermer9. I.Sanford, E.Supple, S.Lammer, N.Martinéz, and M.Vomastek; “My Generation” by R.Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023 © T.SchermerJust like the previous pieces, “My Generation” starts with sudden music and eye-catching lighting – this time a catwalk made of light. The music is by Uwe Schmidt (AtomTM) assembled from electronically distorted pop songs and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream…”. The twelve dancers living out this dream wore colorful sporting tricots (including the tricot of Kazakhstan’s Astana club). Costume designer Bernhard Wilhelm also sewed shorts from the tricots – though his design was so baggy that the dancers looked to be wearing diapers. That did nothing to stem their athletic bragging, though.
11. C.Sorzano and Evan Supple, “My Generation” by R.Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023 © T.Schermer 10. M.Manning, “My Generation” by R,Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023 © T.SchermerOnce again we’re presented with a succession of acrobatic leg kicks, brawny leaps, and stilted poses. Pelvises thrust like rubbery battering rams; arms punch the air, and ecstasy lights a fire under their mechanical routines. The lighting is garishly green and yellow, and later fluorescent blue – cheap entertainment, but who cares? Let’s run free! Let’s have fun!
The sole highlight was a karaoke solo by Nicolás Martínez, who whizzed across the stage in a musical (and sexual) frenzy. Siegal would have done best to end “My Generation” here, but it dragged on with an uninspired group routine accompanied by the monotonous singsong “Ich bin meine Maschine” (“I am my machine”). That idea, it seems, is a good summary of his understanding of the art form.
12. C.Sorzano, I.Sanford, and M.Manning; “My Generation” by R.Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023 © T.Schermer

Links: Website of Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference
“Triple” (Teaser)
Photos: Some photos show a different cast from an earlier performance.
1. Evan Supple and Mason Manning, “All For One” by Richard Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023
2. Evan Supple, All For One” by Richard Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023
3. Mason Manning, Long Zou, Clara Sorzano; All For One” by Richard Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023
4. Long Zou, Evan Supple, and ensemble; “Metric Dozen” by Richard Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023
5. Nicolás Martinéz and Jemima Rose Dean, “Metric Dozen” by Richard Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023
6. Nicolás Martinéz and ensemble, “Metric Dozen” by Richard Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023
7. Mason Manning, Nicolás Martinéz, Martina Chavez, Madison Vomastek, and Evan Supple; “Metric Dozen” by Richard Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023
8. Livia Gil, Nicolas Martinez, and Clara Sorzano; “My Generation” by Richard Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023
9. Ian Sanford, Evan Supple, Sean Lammer, Nicolás Martinéz, and Madison Vomastek; “My Generation” by Richard Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023
10. Mason Manning, “My Generation” by Richard Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023
11. Clara Sorzano and Evan Supple, “My Generation” by Richard Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023
12. Clara Sorzano, Ian Sanford, and Mason Manning; “My Generation” by Richard Siegal, Richard Siegal – Ballet of Difference 2023
all photos © Thomas Schermer
Editing: Jake Stepansky

Neumeier’s Call for Peace

“Dona Nobis Pacem”
Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier
Hamburg State Opera
Hamburg, Germany
January 05, 2023

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2023 by Ilona Landgraf

 1. A.Martínez (He) and L.Giesenberg (Photographer), “Dona Nobis Pacem” by J.Neumeier, Hamburg Ballet 2023 © K.West John Neumeier’s latest choreography for the Hamburg Ballet, “Dona Nobis Pacem” (“Give Us Peace”), is meant to be the crown jewel of his fiftieth season as artistic director of the company. The eighty-three-year-old Neumeier had originally intended to resign in July 2023, but chose to extend his contract for another year in order to ensure the smooth transition of his named successor Demis Volpi, currently the artistic director of the Ballett am Rhein. There are one and a half long years until then – and perhaps Neumeier will renounce his statement that “Dona Nobis Pacem” is to be his last new creation. (more…)

Frothy

The Nutcracker”
Ballet of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre
Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre
Moscow, Russia

December 30, 2022 (matinee)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2023 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Ensemble, “The Nutcracker” by Y.Possokhov, Stanislavsky Ballet 2022 © K.Zhitkova This winter, the Stanislavsky Ballet replaced Vasily Vainonen’s 1995 “Nutcracker” with Yuri Possokhov’s – not a brand-new rendering, but an adaption of the “Nutcracker” that Possokhov created for the Atlanta Ballet in 2018 (new designs included). Since its premiere in Moscow at the end of November, tickets have been in high demand. Given Possokhov’s good work on the Bolshoi Ballet’s “Nureyev” and an “Anna Karenina” for the Joffrey Ballet & the Australian Ballet, I was curious what approach he’d take to this iconic ballet – and it was clear within seconds that he had given this Nutcracker a strong update.

Sergey Rylko’s dazzling videos hurl us through flurrying snow to a spinning astrological sign. From there, a golden ram gallops off towards and through a faceless white town, flying in low over rooftops, an ice-rink, and a carousel. We land at the workshop of Drosselmeyer (danced by Jonah Cook, a former principal of the Bavarian State Ballet and the Zurich Ballet), who is heaping presents onto a sleigh together with his nephew (Andrey Kirichenko). Drosselmeyer’s wall-sized astrological clocks, their faces rotating mysteriously, are presumably tools that control the ticking of the universe. (more…)

A Teaser

“Diaghilev. The Dress Rehearsal”
New Tretyakov Gallery
Moscow, Russia
December 2022

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2023 by Ilona Landgraf

1. M.Larionov (1881-1964), Sergei Diaghilev, 1920 – 1930; paper, black ink, pen, 27 x 20 © Tretyakov Gallery 2. Unknown artist, poster for a performance of the Ballets Russes 1927 © Tretyakov Gallery Sergei Diaghilev’s name is nearly synonymous with the art of ballet. Well-versed in both arts and business, he succeeded not only as a writer and curator, but indelibly as the founder and cunning impresario of the Ballets Russes.
From 1906 onwards, foreseeing political and cultural paralysis at home in Russia, Diaghilev shifted his activities from St. Petersburg to Paris (and later to other European metropolises). Though his first venture (an exhibition of Russian paintings at Paris’s new Salon d’Automne) earned him laurels, he soon turned away from museums towards the ballet stage. The Ballets Russes became the core focus of his life – and it’s because of them that the western art of ballet was reinvigorated. As Stravinsky stated, “it is to [Diaghilev], that we owe the recent development of choreographic art in the entire world.” (more…)

Transcendent

“The Nutcracker”
Bolshoi Ballet
Bolshoi Theatre
Moscow, Russia
December 29, 2022 (matinee and evening performance)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2023 by Ilona Landgraf

1. V.Bessonova (Colombine), “The Nutcracker” by Y.Grigorovich, Bolshoi Ballet 2022 © Bolshoi Ballet / M.LogvinovAfter meeting him at a guest performance with Les Ballets de Monte Carlo six years ago, the Bolshoi’s Semyon Chudin suggested that I see their “Nutcracker” in Moscow. Year after year, one thing or another has prevented me from getting to the Bolshoi at Christmastime. Finally, this year, it happened: on the edge of New Year’s Eve, I watched a matinee and an evening performance.

The Bolshoi’s “Nutcracker” dates back to 1966 – qualifying it neither as trendy nor hip by today’s standards. Perhaps Makhar Vaziev, the company’s artistic director, has kept it in the repertoire for a number of reasons: out of respect for tradition; out of respect for the ballet’s choreographer – Yuri Grigorovich – one of the company’s formative figures; and out of respect for the crowd-pleasing nature of the piece that leads to sold out performances now as ever. (more…)

Dreary

“Consagracíon” / “Polvo, palabras, sombras, nada”
Danza Contemporánea de Cuba
Forum Ludwigsburg
Ludwigsburg, Germany
December 17, 2022

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2022 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Ensemble, “Consagracíon” by C.Béranger and J.Pranlas-Descours, Danza Contemporánea de Cuba 2022 © A.IzquierdoDanza Contemporánea de Cuba – a contemporary ensemble from Cuba – is in the middle of a tour of Europe. After performances in France and Switzerland, the group presented a double bill in Ludwigsburg, Germany, last weekend. I expected exhilarating Latin American pyrotechnics infused with burgeoning Christmas spirit. However, the two pieces – “Consagracíon” (2018) and “Polvo, palabras, sombras, nada” (2021) – spoke quite a different language.

Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre du printemps” has provided a spark for choreographers throughout the ages. Nijinsky’s pioneering version augmented the music’s primeval power, as did some of his colleagues’ later works. Many “Sacres”, though, have turned out to be fairly insignificant entries to the canon. Though it’s true that the strength of a performance can depend on its venue (or on the perseverance that is needed to stomp the energy out of the ground), the Ludwigsburg Forum’s stage was not the reason that “Consagracíon” gained its momentum slowly. (more…)

Enchanting

“The Nutcracker”
Hungarian National Ballet / Hungarian National Ballet Institute
Hungarian State Opera
Budapest, Hungary
December 10, 2022 (matinee + evening performance)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2022 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Ensemble, “The Nutcracker” by W.Eagling and T.Solymosi, Hungarian National Ballet & Hungarian National Ballet Institute 2022 © V.Berecz The Dutch National Ballet has in its repertoire a gorgeous “Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by Wayne Eagling (featuring no less beautiful designs by Toer van Schayk), which premiered in 1996. It seems that from that moment on, Eagling has been spellbound by the “Nutcracker”. The version he created in 2015 – tailored to the Hungarian National Ballet – is his fifth take on the fairy-tale. For Budapest’s “Nutcracker” he collaborated with the company’s artistic director, Tamás Solymosi. I saw a matinee and an evening performance.

From the moment I noticed the cupcakes and Gugelhupf on the Stahlbaum family’s Christmas buffet, I knew that Eagling and Solymosi’s production would be just so: a treat based on a traditional recipe but refined with local additions and updated techniques. The original recipe by Vasili Vainonen is from 1934 – and his “Nutcracker” premiered in Budapest in 1950 to great acclaim. (more…)

Encompassing

“Romeo and Juliet”
Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc Rijeka
Forum Ludwigsburg
Ludwigsburg, Germany
December 03, 2022

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2022 by Ilona Landgraf

1. M.Matarranz de las Heras (Juliet), M.Pastorini (Romeo), A.Salle (Tybalt), and V.Chou (Mercutio), "Romeo and Juliet" by J.Bubeníček, Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc Rijeka 2022 © F.Tutek-Hajnal This season, the Forum Ludwigsburg has attracted an audience by offering an alluring variety of dance. Two weeks ago, it welcomed the Maribor Slovene National Theatre. This weekend, the Croatian National Theatre presented Jiří Bubeníček’s “Romeo and Juliet”, which premiered this April at the company’s home base in Rijeka.

While the quarrelsome Capulets and Montagues vociferously bumped heads in Verona’s marketplace, I thought back to a performance in which Bubeníček himself danced Romeo. Back in 2014, the Belgian Stijn Celis choreographed “Romeo and Juliet” for the Semperoper Ballet, tailoring the leading role to Bubeníček. The ballet was meant to be a feature for the company’s most prominent male dancer, but turned out to be disappointingly banal. Michele Pastorini’s performance as the title’s hero of Ludwigsburg felt like a depiction of how Bubeníček might have wished to dance the role himself. (more…)

Disappointing

“Autumn Matinee of the Heinz Bosl Foundation”
Ballet Academy of the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich / Bavarian Junior Ballet
National Theater
Munich, Germany
November 27, 2022

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2022 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Students of the Ballet Academy of the University of Music and Performing Arts, “Exercices” by J.Broeckx et al, Heinz Bosl Foundation 2022 © M.-L.BrianeMost ballet schools present their work to the public once a year. Munich’s Ballet Academy performs twice, in spring and fall, usually joined by the Bavarian Junior Ballet. I saw the first of two matinees that this time – contending with an international symposium on dance training held at the Academy almost simultaneously – primarily featured the Junior Company. Ivan Liška, former artistic director of the Bavarian State Ballet and current AD of the Junior Company (since its founding in 2010), moderated the program. (more…)

Jittery

“A Wilde Story”
State Ballet Hanover
Opera House Hanover
Hanover, Germany
November 20, 2022

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2022 by Ilona Landgraf

1. M.Chelucci (The Art of Writing), “A Wilde Story” by M.Goecke, State Ballet Hanover 2022 © B.Stöß2. C.Francis-Martin (Oscar Wilde), “A Wilde Story” by M.Goecke, State Ballet Hanover 2022 © B.StößMarco Goecke recently added the German magazine tanz’s “Choreographer of 2021” award and the 2022 German Dance Prize to his collection. Last month, he presented a new ballet at the State Ballet Hanover, which he has helmed as artistic director since 2019. “A Wilde Story” plays with the life and work of Oscar Wilde. I was curious to see whether or not the story was, in fact, wild.

The evening opens not with Wilde, but with a bare-chested Michelangelo Chelucci, who jerks open and closes off his muscular torso, arms plowing through the air. His feet scurry zealously this way and that as he elegantly lifts his black, floor-length skirt. A glance at the program book reveals that Chelucci personifies the art of writing. Behind him, black-clad dancers hustle from one side of the stage to the other, comic figures in fast-forward, shaking their fists. Their steps stir up dust that gradually blurs our view of the grainy facade of a stately gray mansion (set and costumes by Marvin Ott). Though the pulsing rock of The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight Tonight” suggests otherwise, we’re in Victorian England. “Believe in me,” they sing – but at whom does this line aim? (more…)

Refreshing

“Peer Gynt”
Maribor Slovene National Theatre
Forum Ludwigsburg
Ludwigsburg, Germany
November 11, 2022

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2022 by Ilona Landgraf

1. M.Isailovic (Peer Gynt) and ensemble, “Peer Gynt” by E.Clug, Maribor Slovene National Theatre 2022 © SNG MariborEdward Clug, the artistic director of the Slovene National Theatre’s ballet company, is currently creating a new “Nutcracker” for the Stuttgart Ballet – but, in the meantime, his own Maribor company has joined him in nearby Ludwigsburg. This weekend, they toured the Ludwigsburg Forum with Clug’s 2015 take on Henrik Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt”.

Ibsen’s happy-go-lucky peasant’s son Peer is quite the ambiguous figure. It’s easy to dismiss him as a narcissistic slacker and gascon. He never misses a chance to womanize or to seek trouble as he gads about Norway’s mountains. The splendid future that he imagines in his fantasy fails to become a reality. The wealth that he gains abroad does not make him lucky at home. His dream of becoming a crowned king (or emperor?) materializes, but only as an inmate in a Cairo madhouse. Old and feeble, he returns home in an effort to save his own soul. Only in the very last moment does he realize that he would have been much better off staying with his early love, Solveig. But why are we sympathetic to Peer rather than disliking him? (more…)

Haunting

Artur Babajanyan, Arshak Ghalumyan, Arman Grigoryan, Vahe Martirosyan, Arsen Mehrabyan, Tigran Mikayelyan:
“Forceful Feelings”
118 pages, colored and b/w photos
confident Markenkommunikation Winterthur / Switzerland
October 2022

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2022 by Ilona Landgraf

1. H.Spoerli, T.Mikayelyan, V.Martirosyan, A.Grigoryan, A.Mehrabyan, and guest dancers, Forceful Feelings, photo by courtesy of T.Mikayelyan © T.Mikayelyan“I can’t do this.”
Thus opens Forceful Feelings – a book by six Armenian-born dancers: Artur Babajanyan, Arshak Ghalumyan, Arman Grigoryan, Vahe Martirosyan, Arsen Mehrabyan, and Tigran Mikayelyan. This sentence heralded the disbanding of their company – the Forceful Feelings of the title – spelled out by their oldest member, Tigran. This was July of 2019, minutes before the curtain rose on a performance at the Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Malta. It was the last show Forceful Feelings would ever perform. The book, compiled by their mutual friend François Chappuis, assembles individual memories that trace back the paths that led to this finale.
The six boys, as they call each other, have a lot in common. Each of them was trained at the Yerevan National Ballet School and pursued a career in the West. Each of them struggled, some to the point of questioning whether a career in ballet was worth it at all. No one gave up. They were supported in their work by their close friendships (from boyhood) and the unvarying support and guidance provided by their parents. Artur’s father, for example, did not allow his son to quit after failing a few exams: “It’s okay to drop out. But not this way! Prove one thing before you quit: prove to them that you can dance. Don’t let them decide that. It’s not the circumstances that choose your fate – it’s you.” Artur took the challenge, throwing himself into the training – and it paid off. In 2003, he had already trained in Zurich. (more…)

Unpalatable

“The Sleeping Beauty”
Vienna State Ballet
Vienna State Opera
Vienna, Austria
October 24, 2022 (livestream)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2022 by Ilona Landgraf

1. J.Carroll (Catalabutte) and ensemble, “The Sleeping Beauty” by M.Schläpfer and M.Petipa, Vienna State Ballet 2022 © Vienna State Ballet / A.TaylorA few months before the premiere of his “Sleeping Beauty” with the Vienna State Ballet, artistic director Martin Schläpfer stated that he did not intend to alter Petipa’s original – that he was not creating something “a bit Schläpfer and a bit Petipa”. There are already enough of these blended works in the canon; instead of adding another, he preferred to stick with the original. Back then, though, he did not have a detailed vision for his production. So – how did his version finally turn out?

I’ll make one thing immediately clear: Schläpfer did not deliver a radically new take on the fairy tale. The three-acter still unfolds at court, includes the key characters, and follows the well-known storyline. Florian Etti’s modern and unsophisticated set includes an open yard looking out on a king-sized garden of red roses. Nestled among the twigs is the crib of the newborn Aurora, her birth an airy dream. (more…)

Galvanizing

“Romeo and Juliet”
The Australian Ballet
Arts Centre Melbourne / State Theatre
Melbourne, Australia
October 18, 2022 (livestream)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2022 by Ilona Landgraf

 1. A.Harris (Lady Capulet) and S.Spencer (Juliet), “Romeo and Juliet” by J.Cranko, The Australian Ballet 2022 © J.BusbyEach of the three livestreams I’ve watched from the Australian Ballet so far have proven that the company’s standards are high. The most recent – John Cranko’s “Romeo and Juliet” – left me flabbergasted. I’ve seen Cranko’s 1962 version a few times, since Stuttgart Ballet (where the largest part of his oeuvre was created) regularly revives the star-crossed lovers’ tragedy. It’s a pillar of their repertoire. But compared to the work that the Australian Ballet delivered in Melbourne, Stuttgart’s performances pale. From the first moment that the first maid set foot in Verona’s marketplace, it was clear that the Australian Ballet was performing on an entirely different level.

Artistic director David Hallberg, who co-hosted the livestream together with Catherine Murphy, was correct in noting that “we look good on screens all over the world tonight”. Dance, set, costumes, lighting – everything was perfect. (more…)

Sensitive

“North Korea Dance”
Eun-Me Ahn Company
Forum Ludwigsburg
Ludwigsburg, Germany
October 15, 2022

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2022 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Ensemble, “North Korea Dance” by E.-M.Ahn, Eun-Me Ahn Company 2022 © J.-M.ChabotLast season, Eun-Me Ahn Company’s visit to Ludwigsburg fell victim to COVID-19. This October, the South Korean troupe made up for the cancelation by offering two performances of “North Korea Dance” at the Forum Ludwigsburg.
The Seoul-born Eun-Me Ahn studied dance in her home country and in New York. After returning home, she took the reins at the Daegu City Dance Company, Korea’s first national contemporary dance ensemble. In 1988, Ahn founded the Eun-Me Ahn Company, which has been a regular guest on western stages.
Little is known about dance in North Korea. To change this and to explore the common roots of North and South Korean dance, Ahn consulted the internet. Based on the dance videos from North Korea available online, she created her own interpretation of the neighboring country’s dance culture. The final product: a ninety-minute revue-like journey through time. (more…)