Press comments

“It’s not just the blood that boils.”

WAZ Essen, 15.02.2011
Dagmar Schenk-Güllich

Poetry through and through. It was about life itself, a combative life that made the blood boil again and again... There was a new performance by the Folkwang Dance Studio of “Sanguis” (blood), a choreography which the former Folkwang pupil Urs Dietrich created twenty years ago for the FTS, and which he now created a new performance of, working as a guest choreographer with the ensemble.
It was a premiere to be admired, with a twirling ensemble having increased in size from ten to sixteen dancers. Endurance, bellicosity and fire were dominant elements. Nonetheless the setting was dominated by a poetic spirit, a certain minimalism and strictness. Black clothing, noises from nature, and booming Bach music on the organ underlined the inexorableness of these battles between the sexes, as well as the group conflicts and ritual acts relating to battle.
This new version has become “more complex”, says Urs Dietrich. It is true. The scenes interlock. What remains in the memory of the observer is the remembrance of a great surging. The dancers surge through the air, they roll on the floor covered with sand, and their clothes and manes wave. It is all very vivid, very exciting and sometimes – rarely – also very quiet.
Such as when a woman attracts a man and clearly encourages him. Folkwang humour and hidden meanings are also expressed. When the pairs move like marionettes and the virtual threads on which their members are hung are finally cut through.
Urs Dietrich also succeeds in creating impressive images for the beginning and the end of life: a lifeless body is covered with white cloth, and the rhythmic surging of the blood through the arteries hums through the room. So the choreography begins. At the end it is quiet. A woman carries a light onto the darkened stage, and a group of people embracing each other withdraws to be alone. The audience celebrate the wonderful dancers and the choreographer.

“Rousing intensity”

Werdener Nachrichten, 18.02.2011

Rarely has dance been so comprehensible, and hence been an experience to share so intensively, as the new production of “Sanguis”. Playful, malicious and scheming, they all play at manipulation, and the last fighter remains mistrustful. The impressive finale of the dancers ended with candlelight, gathering together the superb ensemble, and then this final glow died down. Next there came a long applause and many curtain calls by which the sell-out crowd admiringly expressed their appreciation for this performance.
The loud roar of the surf, and tonnes of sand on the stage. The audience were given a heartfelt welcome to the Neue Aula hall. Even while looking for their seats, the visitors were brought into the right mood.
The choreography then began immediately. The first impression was created by a cross of light on the sand-covered floor. Harmony – chaos – ambush – arguments. A hand was pulled away at the last moment, with impressive perniciousness. The dancer fell backwards like a tree, Eastern fighting techniques were made noble in dance, and the interplay of man and woman in a pas-de-deux was of an intoxicating intensity. There were rare moments in which the spectator could feel the interaction of the dancers, but also many in which the choreography proved to be very strong, as well as the lighting techniques and the stage design, which displayed Far-Eastern aesthetic reticence. Only in one scene was there a repetition of what had been shown; this would not have been necessary with the wealth of invention displayed.
After their naked birth in the half-light, the sexes were distinguished by their costumes. Sports jackets and erotic dresses with tights and boots created their own contrast in black. Prostrating themselves and then standing up again, these were marionettes pulled by strings and those whose strings had been cut. Johann Sebastian Bach and David Bowie also provided a stimulating musical contrast.