JOURNAL is a process diary, monthly digest of choreographic work as well as containing reflections, dialogs, notes and contemplations. It subscribes itself to diverse formats and forms, changing as it goes along, and shaping itself out of the requirements of the moment at hand.
To the Inside

Between two choreographies of Nacho Duato, Staatsballett Berlin performed a marvelous Kylián’s quartet titled Click-Pause-Silence. It was premiered on 11th of November 2000 by Nederlands Dans Theater; Lucent Danstheater Den Haag.

Music structure that holds a choreographic line is a reconstructed composition of J.S. Bach; Präludium No. 24 in b-moll from Das Wohltemperierte Klavier. Kylián and his composer Dirk Haubrich together deconstructed this musical piece, separating it in to the fragments and then building it again to the new whole.

In many ways, this structural gesture regarding the music is already a programatic idea of the choreography; almost autonomous fragments that are capable of reconnecting themselves perpetually to create some new and unexpected relations. Moderate, almost analytical tempo of the work envelops in several frames allowing diverse scenography decisions to logically come together, in a graduation of a thorough dynamic. Each element of the work is therefore in an equal importance scale; dynamic of the image is dispersing itself in to the balanced portions of signs that are emerging gradually; tempo, gesture and form, alienation of the distant positioned screen, fragmentation, loop, deconstruction. Thoughtfully shifting viewer’s gaze on to and in to the different elements that are enveloping in front of our eyes, Kylián succeeds to immerse us in contemplation about heroism of a singularity. Singular meaning here: structured around one’s own position, articulated within itself, communicating an inner form unexchangable. Meticulous and thorough choreography builds the singularism further and opens it to the unexpected spatial and relational solutions.

The timespan that the piece occupies is not longer than 20 minutes. Nevertheless, emotion of time seems to be much larger and deeper. This inner innuendo of time channels apart in to diverse layers, allowing different elements of the piece to reveal themselves to the outside and to the inside. This towards the inside motion of the work, this development from the outer to the inside is finding its conclusion in an intriguing moment when the front side of white dance floor is being suddenly lifted a bit, creating an interruption within the stability of the usual scenography, a break in line, an emerging of a volume. “The inside of the envelope is yet another outside, developed (or de-enveloped) otherwise, full of folds, turns, convolutions, and adhesions. Full of invaginations, small heaps, and conglomerations.” as Jean-Luc Nancy would say. Along those lines, Click-Pause-Silence possesses multitude of perspectives, inner and outer, the ones that we are observing and the ones that we are betting on, in a certain sense, the ones that we think autonomously further; while the dance is unfolding and after its end.

A memory that remains is fractured. Talking about it afterwards will bring all kinds of focuses; for some it was bright elusiveness of Bach, for some it is about double vision of projected images, for some (like for me) it was all about the voluminosity of elements. A gaze is allowed to slide, connecting fragments in any possible order and in every order they will convolute to the coherent whole.

Performed by Ilenia Montagnoli, Olaf Kollmannsperger, Vladislav Marinov and Federico Spallitta, the material side of the work offers a challenging framework for calm and contained performativity. Solitary choreographic pattern, eremitic even in relations of a duet or a trio, requires a large portion of expressive moderation: movement articulations in their thoughtfulness that are at the same time alert and vivid. Ilenia Montagnoli masterfully rises to the astringent environment, whereby Kollmannsperger, Marinov and Spallitta would still need a bit of austere execution, steadier in its formality.

Kylián’s work, that often combines form with gestuality, reaches here intriguing asymmetries where movement is understood simultaneously as a dynamic gesture and a flow of form and momentum. Diverse singular lifts and entangled contacts are deepening the proposition of this movement architecture. Exactly that commitment to the formal thoroughness of the movement constructs particular emotional transfer, nostalgia on the brink of a breakdown, sadness that explodes towards the inside, within. Click-Pause-Silence unravels as a digestion of dense moments, structural contemplation that is necessary to render scattered intensities in to some kind of inner building that holds the pattern of time in its place. Recapturing and reoccurring, convoluting and enveloping, as a procedure that enables reading of a meaning of singular presences that are difficult to categorize and grasp on their own.

Staatsballett Berlin embarked with this work within the evening to the challenging contrapunct to Duato’s certainly much more expressionistic position, and that with a great result. Always rooting for more of sophisticated neoformalism I concluded the evening reminiscing with friends about the legacies of Tanztheater and its diverse impacts and readings that are to be found in today’s ballet landscape. Not to be entangled in categories, there are certain flavors of particular era that are inevitably marking a tone of the whole. In this case, we were pondering about the flavors of the 2000s, that feel emotionally to close to consider them as archival past and rationally far enough to start to formalize them more precisely.

Published: 11/06/16

About Jiří Kylián’s ballet CLICK-PAUSE-SILENCE, performed by Staatsballett Berlin, on 4th of January 2016 at Staatsoper im Schiller Theater Berlin. Written by: Marjana Krajač