2017 BANSHEE RAGOUT

BANSHEE RAGOUT
*ein TOTEN/TANZ/STÜCK*

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Das mittelalterliche Motiv des Totentanzes stellt ein Paradox dar. Sind es nicht eigentlich nur die Lebenden, die tanzen können? Und ist der Tanz nicht eine Tätigkeit, die in besonderem Maße Leben und Lebendigkeit symbolisiert?
Was haben also Tod und Tanz miteinander zu tun?
Mit diesem Paradox setzen wir uns auseinander und versuchen, es zu verkörpern und den Tod tatsächlich ‘zum Tanzen’ zu bringen.
Wer weiß, vielleicht tanzt unser Tod schon mit uns.

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The medieval figure of a dancing Death embodies a paradox. After all, isn’t it the living who dance? Is dance not often seen, in all its dynamic ephemerality, as an expression and celebration of life itself? What are the connections between dance and death?
We take this abstract figure and attempt to inhabit the paradox ourselves. We search for multiple ways to draw these issues into our bodies and the situations we compose for them.
Who knows, maybe our death is dancing with us already.

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Choreography, dance: Joshua Rutter, Irina Demina
Composition& live music: Pelle Buys, Mark Leyrer
Light: Henning Eggers
Dramaturgic assistance: Angela Guerreiro

Supported by
 Kulturbehoerde_engl
With kind support of PEM Theater an den Elbbrücken, Hamburger Sprechwerk, Tanzfabrik Berlin, Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz Berlin.

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Videolink to the performance (75 min):
https://vimeo.com/204884414 (password: totentanz)
Premiere: 09.02.2017, Hamburger Sprechwerk, Hamburg
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Dance of Death (Totentanz, Danse Macabre) is an artistic genre of late-medieval allegory on the universality of death: no matter one’s station in life, the Dance of Death unites all.

Banshee Ragout is a 75 min long dystopia investigating the concepts that find themselves within the semantic field of death-dances. The medieval figure of a dancing Death embodies a paradox. After all, isn’t it the living who dance? Is dance not often seen, in all its dynamic ephemerality, as an expression and celebration of life itself? What are the connections between dance and death? Banshee Ragout attempts to inhabit the paradox, reflecting on the phantasma of reversibility of life, death and art.

This journey to nowhere weaves together a variety of strategies: the physical enactment of medieval representations of Danse Macabre, an analysis of death choreographies of German expressionist dance pioneers Mary Wigman, Kurt Jooss and Harald Kreutzberg, as well as contemporary doom metal and drone music, somatic exploration of the dying experience, and finally, experimentation with body fictions and cognitive imagery.

These ghosts of the past, fragilities of the present and dystopias of the future float and swirl in the loving embrace of a massive swathe of flowing black plastic, itself machined from the oozing bodies of our ancient forebears. The performers busy themselves channelling these ancestors both material and artistic, attempting to embody the paradox of a dancing death.

What are the connections between dance and death?
Who knows, maybe our death is dancing with us already.

Photos: Danny Merz/SOLLSUCHSTELLE
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