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Review: THE VASE by Tanzweb Wuppertal



a critic by Klaus Dilger/Tanzweb Wuppertal (translated into English)

Ariel Dorfman’s “Purgatorio” by the “Compagnie OFEN” by the Pina Bausch dancer Michael Carter and the former Michelle Anne de Mey and Wim Vandekeybus / Ultima Vez dancer Gala Moody in the dance work “The Vase” in Wuppertal at die börse.

Four chairs, a table and the floor, covered with a thin layer of ash, before which a table, packed with a laptop, light control, microphone and sound system, along with a sampler pedal playing sound loops.

The barren experimental landscape signals something processual, long-lasting, and yet incomplete, which has already been deprived of every sustaining and life-giving thing these people must have lost, presented in a space whose inhospitableness has little hope for “the woman” and “the man” as Dorfman calls his” Purgatorio “protagonists.

The Chilean author, who received worldwide attention mainly through his drama “Death and the Maiden”, which Polanski filmed with Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley in 1994, reaches back to Euripides’ myth “Medea” in his play “Purgatorio” Had killed their two sons after Jason had left them. She replied with this deed to the worst that could be done to her by the mistress with the worst of what she could do to him.

Dorfman asks, with reference to Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno”, as well as Carter and Moody in “The Vase”, whether and how there can ever be a salvation through forgiveness.

Dorfman is a master of dialogue, observation, surprising twists and tensions, the smallest details, and the sensualities that are their own. His language, even in the most shocking and terrifying moments, and its content, must still be regarded as miraculous.

This also applies to Gala Moody and Michael Carter in their dance, especially at times in the work where they rely solely on the language of the body and the dance. With the finest nuances, they succeed again and again in letting hope grow, that the familiar and trusting gestures, movements, touches lend to the memory of life again. But this hope proves to be a renewed, desired tormenting of the other. It is an endless seemingly infernal game of longing and love, guilt, and denied forgiveness, which Moody still mastered a little more masterly than Carter. After an hour or so, this hell slowly escapes from the spectators’ eyes and lets them disappear in the dark. We can finally guess the woman’s enigmatic smile ….

A lot of applause for the grandiose performance of two wonderful dancers, the proportion of Sasha Budimski’s composition, which gets under the skin.

– Klaus Dilger (Tanzweb)



The Vase