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 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.