Narziss Echo works with micro movements in body and voice and lyrical text. Its substance and material are affects and relations: looking, listening, speaking. Almost in direct contrast to Festung / Europa (2015) where we used very heavy wall elements we work now with waves and impulses – light, sound, nerves; whereas in Festung / Europa a chorus of 28 people was literally carrying the piece it’s in Narziss Echo the single body, the single voice and their technical doubles and extensions who are performing; and while in Festung / Europa the audience was grouped and enclosed it is singularized and detached in Narziss Echo.
The fine and airy connections of gazes and spoken words and the exposure of single bodies make Narziss Echo a fragile piece. Its fragility lies in the very character of the material (micro movement, atmosphere of the voice, lyrical words), in the role of the audience (who is exposed and participating but not interacting), in the spatial and sensual separation of the two performers and in the relation to their respective technical doublings (the interplay of what is live and what is recorded/on video); all of these aspects, elements and strings together make the performance and whether or not all of them find and engage in the right rhythm is the challenge and the risk of the piece every time it is presented.
Narziss Echo | stillshot
Narziss Echo is precarious and in an almost naïve manner does not protect itself; every little lapse (too slow, too fast relative to what is needed right here and now) in the performance, every technical sound or video problem, every movement and reaction by an audience member can derange it. – But: This risk, this radical unprotectedness and openness to contingency is the piece. It’s a piece that can easily break, fall apart, become vain: the moment when Narcissus recognizes himself in the mirror, the deadly catastrophe of mere superficiality and shallow looks-like-something-but-is-nothing belongs to the piece. It can happen that the piece falls into a vain abyss of identification and sameness. But it can also happen that it relates differently to this moment of narcissist disaster and allows to surf on the flat and slippery surface of the spring. In this piece it is not only the dancer who incorporates Narcissus and who can thus fail but everyone, including every single audience member, and everything, including technical stuff, contributes to and participates in the rhythm that is needed to create the right surface tension for drifting (this interplay of elements and in-betweenness of the performance is btw the reason why we call our pieces „space choreographies“). The spring in and of this piece is the rhythmical tension of gazes, movements, voice, words, the permeability of audience and performers, bodies and technical equipment. In this airy arrangement lies the danger to collapse into narcissist pretentiousness as well as the chance to experience narcotic intensity.
During the development of the piece the monologue transforms itself into a language cosmos. It is no more a timeline marked by pauses as spaces in-between but it’s the spatial qualities as such becoming more and more present and create something new. This new is a cosmos consisting only of language spoken and sung; as opposed to the ancient idea of a cosmos it is not a given order that guarantees stability but a space that continuously originates anew from different positions. It is the space(s) and the spacing in-between and beyond stability and instability, continuity and disruption we are trying to find and create.
Narziss Echo | installation shot
This cosmos consists of a voice, of language spoken and sung but it is neither text nor sound, neither music nor literature as such we are producing; we try to open the space(s) in-between sound and meaning. So, although this cosmos carries songs and lyrical poetry parts, it is not a concert and it is not a reading you are listening to. It is only language we are working with (and not sound material of all sorts…) because we want to change the perspective from a space opened by language (an imaginary space, created e.g. by a story) to spaced language. We need this reduction and focus on words only in order to achieve a twist from story to space by using the same means: The cosmos created by language is not one that is merely being told, but it is here and now in the space of words and the words in space. This cosmos is not about a story, it is not about a dialogue; neither is it about physicality as opposed to meaning; and although there are more fragmented zones and more linear ones deconstruction and liquefying is not our main goal; neither is alienation of pre-existing sounds what we are working with (we record and then change very little, we don’t use effects…). Instead of or beyond fragmentation and linearity, beyond solid and liquid we try to think of the possibilities of aeriform movements; instead of or beyond deconstruction and alienation and thus working on the meaning and identity of words or sounds we want to space them. This asks for another practice, not only of making but also of listening to it and being in it. We don’t know it – we try it.
It is the mythological Echo, our preoccupation with her, that led us to such a space. The cave she turns into, the pure resonance she is, the voice that only answers and thus transforms enabled us to think of an Echo not as a poor and paranoid chamber of always the same but as a rich and full cosmos. Finally, all the material we produced during our long engagement with the myth, all the different words, tunes and rhythms we found in response to her: the melancholic, the somnambulant, the demanding, the sad and the desperate, the longing and the fulfillig… are building, forming and moving the narcotic Echo space of this piece.
In the myth there is no development; but there is transformation. This change without progress is essential to our artistic search for working with time as space, our interest in making pieces with a beginning and an end but beyond narration.
Charlie Fouchier | Narziss Echo at imagetanz Festival, Vienna | March 2017
The myth of Narcissus and Echo (as it is told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses) deals with the relation of image and word, look and voice; love, pain and death, unity and separation are in this complementary and impossible relation between two senses. Although famous as the myth of self-relation par excellence it confronts us with otherness and alterity: Narcissus falling in love with someone he does not recognize as being himself until the moment when he realizes that the image does not speak; Echo transforming the words of others into her own and becoming the space of transformation as such: a cave. The myth of Narcissus and Echo echoes Plato’s allegory of the cave by transforming it from a place about vision, knowledge and exit into a space of sound, love and reception.
For Narziss Echo – linking only the names, leaving the relations between them open to all directions – we take the myth in its spatial and relational aspects: Narcissus as centre, Echo as being everywhere; Narcissus as vision and reflection, Echo as sound and resonance.
Narziss Echo consists of movement and voice. Inspired by Caravaggio’s Narcissus (1597–1599) and its tension between attraction and levitation the dance is centered on the look: looking on oneself, looking outside (horizontal), looking upside (vertical), looking at others; at the same time looking and being looked at, (not) getting in (eye) contact. Looking is a way of relating to oneself and to others and this relation is choreographed and exposed in the movement. It is so not only on the side of the dancer and his looking/being looked at but also on the that of the audience who is looking at the performer but also looking at itself: The elliptic space and the distance between the chairs expose the audience members and make them visible for each other.
The corresponding element in the monologue is the pause. The rhythm of speaking is organized on the pause as space and not as a break-up and interruption. The monologue pauses in moments when the text opens up in all directions – nothing and/or anything could come now, the pause gives space. Thus the monologue relates to others: it is not addressing the audience, it is not directly speaking to it but it is giving space to it.
Both, the solo and the monologue, are traditional ways of aesthetic self-relation. In Narziss Echo they are exposed in their respective qualities of being relations to others. They do not enter into a dialogue between each other but rather create different spaces of contact with and resonance of/for the audience.
In the beginning and in the middle the performance is transformed. The solo becomes an image, two videos frame the choreography; they show the dancer moving in two different spaces. As part of the piece the video image is not an image of space, it is an image in space: it opens up another space, an outer space right here in the installation to which it belongs.
Narziss Echo, Modellansicht
EINE RAUMCHOREOGRAPHIE VON MORITZ MAJCE UND SANDRA MAN
»Nach ihrer letzten Arbeit Festung / Europa setzen Moritz Majce und Sandra Man mit Narziss Echo ihre Suche nach einer anderen Art des Zuschauens fort. In einer interdisziplinären Raumchoreographie mit Elementen aus bildender Kunst, Tanz und Theater benutzen die beiden Künstler den Mythos des Narziss als Quelle für ein Wechselspiel aus Hören und Schauen, das über Selbstsuche und Identifikation hinausgeht.« (brut Wien)
Narziss Echo, Stillshot
Spätestens seit Trump globalisiert sich das Um-sich-selber-Kreisen des Individuums, der Narzissmus als totaler Selbstbezug ist die symptomatische Krankheit der Gegenwart. Der Mythos von Narziss ist das Porträt eines jungen Mannes, der sich in sein Spiegelbild verliebt und daran stirbt. Er ist auch die Geschichte der Nymphe Echo, die nur antworten kann. Sie verliebt sich in Narziss und wird von ihm zurückgewiesen. In ihrem Schmerz verwandelt sie sich in eine Höhle, in der jeder Klang widerhallt. Zum Narzissmus gehört die Echokammer.
Resonanz und Reflexion, Blick und Stimme, Wort und Bild, im Mittelpunkt und überall sein sind die Bezüge eines Mythos, den wir als Quelle für ein Wechselspiel aus Hören und Schauen verwenden. Der totale Selbstbezug löst sich auf, zwei Sinnesräume öffnen sich.
RAUMCHOREOGRAPHIE: Moritz Majce + Sandra Man RAUM: Moritz Majce TEXT: Sandra Man STIMME: Christine Börsch-Supan TANZ: Charlie Fouchier
Choreographie gemeinsam mit Charlie Fouchier
Komposition gemeinsam mit Christine Börsch-Supan
Eine Koproduktion von Moritz Majce + Sandra Man mit imagetanz/brut Wien und Tanzfabrik Berlin. Mit freundlicher Unterstützung der Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien (MA 7) und des Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin (HKF).
Dank an Nir Vidan und Enrico L’Abbate für die gemeinsame Arbeit am Tanz und an E35 Shop (www.e35shop.com) für das Outfit für Charlie Fouchier.
Premiere: 16. März 2017, 19 Uhr (Theatersaal Bohemia)
Weitere Aufführungen: 17. und 18. März 2017, jeweils 19 Uhr
Online Ticket kaufen
brut Wien • Karlsplatz 5 • 1010 Wien
Tickets: 16 € / 12 € / 8 € • www.brut-wien.at • (01) 587 87 74