A baroque profusion of sensations
Modify (2004) was one of ZOO/Thomas Hauert’s finest productions and is just waiting to be rediscovered. As always, ZOO has generated dance from ‘guided improvisations’. The dancers seek out the friction that arises between freedom and constraint. This method allows the body to ‘speak’ and the group dynamics to be effective, as well as distilling meaning from form. Thomas Hauert believes that this generates an idiom of movement which is often richer and more complex than one based on predetermined concepts.
In Modify the group works to music that acts as a compelling external force. The music selected is Schnittke’s Psalms of Repentance and Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks and Water Music. These works were chosen for their intrinsic musical qualities and their beauty but also for what they symbolised; the first might refer to religious power and the other two suggest worldly power. The photographic rear wall of the stage is by Manon de Boer. It depicts a room with a bed, the scene of the most intimate and most existential experiences, as well as an abundance of objects collected over a lifetime, and as many memories.
The photograph, which is all enlarged and gives an impression of great chaos, and the highly impressive music for the six dancers on stage, combined with the colourful lighting design by Jan Van Gijsel and costumes by Jeremy Dhennin and Laurent Edmond, create a baroque profusion of sensations. The whole expresses a desire to overwhelm the spectator with information, to disorient him and swamp his mind, thereby inviting him to approach the work more intuitively.
concept, direction Thomas Hauert | originally created by Thomas Hauert, Martin Kilvady, Mark Lorimer, Sara Ludi, Chrysa Parkinson, Ursula Robb | choreography and dance Thomas Hauert, Lisa Gunstone, Martin Kilvady, Sara Ludi, Chrysa Parkinson, Mat Voorter | music Alfred Schnittke, Georg Friedrich Haendel, Aliocha Van der Avoort | lighting Jan Van Gijsel | visual Manon de Boer | costumes Laurent Edmond, Jeremy Dhennin | production ZOO vzw (Brussels) | coproduction Kaaitheater (Brussels), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Tanzquartier (Vienna) | support Government of Flanders, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie, Pro-Helvetia. and SACD (program "1500 hours to dance") | thanks to Stuk-Kunstencentrum (Leuven), P.A.R.T.S., Rosas, Needcompany, Thierry Lewyllie, Mark Leys, Denis Laurent, Mat Voorter, Samantha van Wissen, Pascale Gigon, Christiane Dhennin