hold your lovers

Depending on whom you ask, you will hear different answers to the question of what the aim of the meeting of the last few days was. For some it was about becoming more confident on stage and richer in practical experience. Others wanted to finally bring their discussion of certain topics to their peers and engage in exchange, and for others again, the most exciting and important thing of the past few days was coming into contact with young people from the apple orchards of Normandy to the skyscrapers of Frankfurt to the cool banks of the Danube in Budapest.
Today, however, everyone gets a piece of what they came for: the last day is coming up, when we want to present our work of the last few days to the group and celebrate each other properly for once. Aylin gives us the necessary energy boost for the exciting finale with a small but nice dance lesson. We wanted to know what the participants took away from the workshop and asked Lisa. She told us: "What's remarkable about Aylin's teaching style is that she makes you dance without letting you know that you're already dancing. You're just moving along with her and at the end you're like: 'Wow, I just learned a new dance move!' It also helped not only the group dynamic but also some people individually who were able to ease up by noticing that nobody was judging them. The dancing created trust in ourselves and in the group."
The afternoon belongs to the final preparations for the presentation in the evening and so it happens that we are all sitting together in anticipation in the auditorium of the Monsuntheater at 6 pm. Half nervous about our own performance and half curious about what our new friends have been working on.

Performance Group with Emilie
“Performance & Presence”

There is a pile of folded pieces of paper on the stage. All kneel down and take notes. Then the group sits down at the edge of the stage in two rows facing each other. The leader who sits in the audience calls out loudly "one". One person stands up, she falls down, again and again she falls down. The fall looks painful, but the person always gets up easily.
‘Two’ is called out. Everything is improvised. But the whole process is nevertheless, or perhaps because of this, very flowing and energetic. It's like a flow of thoughts, all these performances one after the other. They say different things, merge into each other unintentionally. They are all short-lived but intense, as our thoughts often are. They have a clear message and yet they are abstract. And they are full of humor: there is much laughter in the audience. The second part of the performance goes like this: One person says what the upcoming performance is about, then they perform. Here three of them:
This is a performance about the person you love the most: Four people stand up. Two walk towards each other. They look each other firmly in the eye, then stop walking. They just look at each other. The other two walk around confused, sad, desperate. In the end, one runs backwards against the other. Will they be able to find each other, will they be able to hold on? This is a performance about an ending friendship: Two people stand next to each other. They look at each other from time to time. That feeling when you have nothing more to say to each other. All that comes out of their mouths is „hmmm“ and „puh“ and again „hmm“. There is laughter and clapping in the audience. This is a performance we all do something together: The group lines up at the back of the stage. Everyone comes forward in their own movement, one as a chicken, one crawling on the floor. They do something together without doing anything together

Performance Group with Flo
“Performance & Music”

Welcome to the public discussion of the play! The group "Performance & Music" takes us into an interview with a fictional director after his premiere. We as viewers get involved in this setting. How did the director process the struggles of ethnic minorities and gender relations in his ancient Shakespeare production? No answer from the stubborn director, he remains dry, everyone can feel the awkwardness. A young performer from the audience loses his temper and shouts "This is bullshit!" Then, a sudden change of scenery: deep red light and rock music make the room tremble. Drums and electric guitar sound cut through the air, distorted faces everywhere, everything is extreme. Performers rush across the stage, intertwine their bodies into each other, they look like desperate figures in a Hieronymus Bosch painting from the 16th century. This apocalyptic scene seems bizarre yet sensitively choreographed. Like in a hypnosis, we are drawn into the spell of this tableau. Excess collides with vulnerability, the sight on stage almost hurts. The people up there just let everything out, the effort of the last days and their deepest sensations. We are redeemed by a monologue excerpt by Kae Tempest. Lined up as a choir, the young mouths speak together: "Hold your lovers. Hold their hands". Then Black. Light again: "Are there any questions?"

“Performance & Dance”

The last of the three performances this evening does without language. The focus of the young people is on the movement of their bodies and faces. In keeping with this, the first image consists of a choir-like formation in which the conductor turns her back on us. The group stares spellbound at the choirmaster's outstretched hand and reacts with their facial expressions to every little movement. For example, an outstretched finger translates into a squinted eye, a circular finger swing an eye roll, and a fist causes all the cheeks to puff out. This creates an interesting and bizarre singing without tones, but with a lot of expression.
During the presentation of the next results, two people each react to each other through movement. They bend over, touch each other, join hands and run away from each other. At the end, they briefly reveal what we have seen. Coffee and milk, sticky honey and hot tea, oil and lemon or the moon and the sea.
Then the stage is filled with all the participants of this group and in pairs and to calm techno beats they enter into an extended embrace in which they walk around the body of the other, hold on to it, catch and feel each other. For some couples, this experiment turns into a kind of anti-embrace in which, despite all the closeness and familiarity, no touching takes place.
The movement collage ends similarly to how it began: In a crowd that revolves around itself, tightly intertwined. One sees a tangle of arms and hands reaching for each other. Again and again a face appears and at regular intervals this small epicentre remains in frozen silence until the searching and finding begins again. The group shows impressively how much (more) can be expressed without language, as the production of stories is left to the imagination of the viewers themselves. They have managed both to elicit narratives from their own bodies and to become part of a large body that restlessly and beautifully produces images.

text by carla pugnat, flo rieder & emilie willner

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