A rough translation of the text in 'Solo'

Sarma 1 Mar 2003English

item doc

Contextual note
This text is a transcription and translation of Martin Nachbar‘s performance ‚Solo‘ in Tanzfabrik Berlin on 5 and 6 April 2003.

Part 1: Bad Time for Doubters. Choreography, slash, improvisation, slash.

In fact, the knee is something that doesn’t exist. There is a lot of material around and in the knee: Thighbone and shin, two crossing ligaments, the menisci, joint liquid, the capsule, aided by tendons, the patella. But the joint itself remains without any matter. It only exists, as two concrete objects, the thighbone and the shin, meet. All the other elements only serve to connect these two objects in a mobile fashion. The meeting point itself, the very joint remains empty – or rather: absent.

Next is the violin piece “Dance” by György Ligeti.

Part 2: The Art of Barefoot Dancing. Subjunctive, slash, indicative, slash.

Dance would run in my veins. It would flow in my body and my heart would give the rhythm or the beat or the time. In any case, each of my muscles would be geared to dancing. At each moment, I could get up and put a dance on the floor. My feet would know every step, my knees the plié, my hips the sway and my head would be full of ideas. I would imagine new choreographies all the time.

In rehearsals the neurons would give the commands to the muscles, which would move my bones. Inside my body, my organs would sway back and forth and give weight to my movements. The contortions of my body would produce unseen images. The steps of my feet would suddenly change direction. And the gestures of my arms would speak a language without frontiers. I would move all the time. In the studio, on stage, in the world.

I would give one performance after the other. I would be known beyond my country. No border would be closed for me. I would get to know regions and people that I wouldn’t even have seen on photos before. But nonetheless, my art would be understood everywhere. After each of my performances I would get to talk with the people. We would converse about my work, their lives, about art, dance, politics.

Sometimes these meetings would even develop into some kind of friendship. But I would never have time. The next show would call already, or the next rehearsal or a training or home. The only person really close to me would be my sister, or my composer, or my best friend. Back from my trips, we would sit until late at night, drink wine, smoke cigarettes from the duty free, look at the photos from my trip. We would talk about arts, dance, politics.

Once I would come back injured. During a performance or crossing a street, I would have fallen badly. The ligaments of my left knee would have torn, or the menisci of my right. Anyway, they would operate me right away. But the hygienic standard of the hospital would be bad. First, the scar would get inflamed and then the whole knee. I would have to take strong painkillers and pass my days and nights totally dazed. My tongue would be so heavy, that I couldn’t speak properly. My arms and legs wouldn’t obey me anymore. This state would last a few weeks, or months or days. Eventually, I would be released from the hospital. But only at my own risk, as I would still be so dazed that somebody would have to support me to the taxi, and the taxi would not be allowed to exceed a certain speed, as I would have gotten dizzy by too much of it.

Driving in the taxi, I would think of the beginning and of my first classes in my hometown. I would think: Dancing would have been a present to me back then. Dancing would have not at all meant saving, it would have meant wasting – wasting of time, space, energy, power, fantasy, creativity, money, productivity… and before I would realize, I would be already busy again with new choreographies. In a left turn – the taxi would take it slowly, so that the cars behind us would start to nervously honk – I would close my eyes and imagine how I started. I would the studio at dawn. It would be quiet. I would lie on the ground and start to roll across space. Suddenly I would hear the squeaking of tires. The taxi would accelerate and immediately brake again. My head would abruptly be thrown to the back and then to the front against the driver’s seat. These involuntary movements would mix with the imagined ones in my head. Surprised and as in a reflex, I would touch my knee. In the same moment, the taxi would turn sharply to the right. My body would fall to the side and my head would end up in the lap of the person beside me, who would not move a centimeter, having closed the seatbelt. The car would leap into the ditch. There, it would hit the ground so badly that it would overturn despite of the low speed. This movement would be too much for me. While my body would fly around in the taxi and get smashed against the seats, doors, dashboard and roof, I would have the feeling to not be myself anymore. I would loose orientation. The moment would slip away from me. The taxi would come to a still. I would open my eyes and would see how the driver would get out and open the door for me. With great pain in my knee, I would get out of the taxi.

End No. 1:

End No. 2: He – that is to say I – he gets out of the taxi and realizes that his performance is over.

End No. 3: