Reconstruction Revisited

Programme note 1 Oct 2000English

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Contextual note
This text was written for the program of the BDC performances of "affects/rework" at CND, Paris, in autumn 2000.

The work on the reconstruction of the three dances „desire“, „hate“ and „fear“ of the Dore Hoyer’s „Affectos Humanos“ started almost exactly one year ago. Somebody, trained in all kinds of contemporary techniques, has taken a voyage through German Ausdruckstanz or, to be more precise, through the version of German dance, as Dore Hoyer had developed it.

To take this voyage, I have worked with Waltraud Luley, an 85-yerar old dance pedagogue, living in Frankfurt. This old lady taught me how to dance the dances of Dore Hoyer, of whom she was a good friend before Dore Hoyer took her life in 1967. This encounter with Waltraud Luley was crucial not only for the dances. With her, I have met a very special person whose life experience and great knowledge of dance has given me insights into both life and dance, and how those two are intertwined at times.

At the same time, I would have never made this reconstruction, had it not been in collaboration with Tom Plischke and Joachim Gerstmeier. The thinking we have done together creates a context in which a reconstruction becomes interesting to me.

Tonight is the result of these streams of work. In its course, my skeptical attitude towards reconstruction has been revisited a lot of times. Still, I don’t see myself as a guardian of a tradition. The production of the illusion of a past is not my interest. The precise work I have done might have the taste of an archivist at work. But it is not the generation of the same which I search. Instead, I have been looking for a new way of dancing by using dances which were made and danced some time ago.

This way, I dance this reconstruction in a field of tension. I don’t think that the questions put up by this field will ever be entirely answered. The contradictions I have experienced throughout the work, including the performances, will not resolve and should not resolve, as it is for these contradictions that I have taken this challenge.