"This is an Invitation"
Chireography and performance: Netta Weiser
Performer:Magnús Hallur Jónsson
This is an Invitatiion explores the intersection of
Supported by: Sophiensaele - Dirty Debut #4 SLEEP
About Sleep by
THIS IS AN INVITATION by Netta Weiser promises in its proposal reaching sleep in and through the performance of different relaxation techniques: “The aim is to reclaim our right as spectators to fall asleep during a performance. We wish to empower sporadic acts of falling asleep at the theater and promote sleep as a legitimate and even preferable way to experience a performance.” This amusing and deeply political suggestion of collective sleep marks the end of Dirty Debüt’s #SLEEP and I have to smile about the ironic gesture in the programming itself: No lullaby is promised, but an invitation to refuse, to emancipate oneself from the collective order of attention and alertness that live performance seems to demand and give, as if inevitably. On the left of the stage, a man is sitting on a chair, in front of him a microphone. Sometimes, his reading voice is almost a whisper, but mostly a calm and steady tone that reminds me of ASMR videos that always make me aware of how differently people find relaxation. He is reading instructions from Boris Charmatz’ collective choreographies. I focus on the body of the dancer who appears in an on-going and responsive dialogue with his spoken words, attentive and alert to the apparent task of (re-)enacting them. A male voice ordering and choreographing a female body. Initially, she follows the instructions as minutely as possible, and maybe there is in this initial slow phase and pace an invitation for the participants to observe and to themselves re-enact to get there, reach relaxation and sleep. In later moments of the performance, the pace of his slow speech and her increasingly fast movements drift further apart. He stays in his tempo, while her body seems to follow its own rules, capacities, shapes more and quicker, in an almost erratic and dynamic way breaking out of the order to perform, acknowledging, here too, what always remains a dancer’s/performer’s/actor’s approximating yet emancipating interpretation of specific instructions/texts, insisting instead on being its own thing in between. Uncontrollably and very much so perfectly controlled, her whole body shakes, and wakes, clearly resisting his spoken lullaby.
A Poetics of Dissociation But Like Casual?
"The piece begins, in true workshop fashion, with an atmospheric soundscape played from a phone (the mini-jack cable that connects it to the sound system has long become a true icon of so many somatic practices). A performer reads, in his most soothing ASMR voice, the instructions for a choreography by Boris Charmatz, Levée. Another performer, Netta Weiserherself, is performing these movements, either as demonstration or practice or perhaps both. These texts and movements are adapted from video tutorials that were produced in the context of the Tempelhofer Feld participatory mega-dance-event at the Volksbühne opening in the Fall of 2017, though they were translated into English and toned town to a more narcotic sound. Also – if I'm not mistaken – what in the videos is done by one single person, talking and dancing, is here distributed onto two performers, further dispensing the conceptual integrity of Levée. "