Wave to Dachshund

New pieces by the Folkwang Tanzstudio

tanzjournal 4/03
Andreas Meyer

Mixing dance and media art is not a new idea, but it can still provide surprises, as the Essen-based Dance Studio (FTS) proves with its latest production. „Prallen. Tanz - Komposition - Medien” (Bumping. Dance - Composition - Media) is the title of an evening in two parts that is the result of a co-operation between the FTS and the Institute of Computer Music and Electronic Media. The first part, „Auch Georgien liegt am Meer” (Georgia, too, lies by the sea) was developed by media artist and composer Dietrich Hahne, the second, entitled „Der Hahn ist tot” (The rooster is dead) by FTS choreographer Henrietta Horn. What is unusual about the project is that both artists integrated media „foreign” to their field into their art for the first time - Hahne using dance, Horn film. The results could not be more different. „Auch Georgien liegt am Meer” is about remembrance. We see a couple, she is wearing a red dress, he a suit. Film sequences showing past holiday idylls are projected onto the stage which is draped in white, and the other dancers who all wear white. Italy, Denmark, dunes, waves. Gradually, the couple become part of their own memory. In the middle of this choreography they wear white like the rest of the company, turning into a moving projection surface and being sucked into the film. At the end memory spits the couple back out. The woman in red is standing in front of the blurred shapes of the film. The problem or - depending on your perspective - the advantage of this piece is that film clearly predominates. The music, also composed by Hahne, is brilliantly adapted to the images.

NRZ, June 9, 2003

Dagmar Schenk-Güllich

The première of „Prallen“ just took place in the Neue Aula. The Folkwang Tanzstudio presents an evening in two parts that boldly plays with new tools.

The computer is the main tool used in both pieces. But the result is not the kind of art where you see this at first glance. On the contrary, it is an excitingly human evening. “Auch Georgien liegt am Meer” is the title of the first piece in which composer Hahne was influenced by Ingeborg Bachmann’s poem „Böhmen liegt am Meer” (Bohemia lies by the sea).

Cinematic scenes are manipulated. Faces and figures from Hahne’s vacation float on the enormous screen in the background. Against this backdrop, Henrietta Horn’s company moves in strict formation. Arms are swung to the point of exhaustion; the dancers throw themselves on the floor. At some point everything is bathed in red light, then in green light. The grand computer-generated sounds roll over dancers and audience alike. Music, movement and sound drive each other forward. Choreography and composition have been combined with a sure instinct for dramatic effect.

A wonderful dance programme:
Henrietta Horn presents the extremely funny „Der Hahn ist tot”

WZ, June 7, 2003
Bettina Trouwborst

The new piece by Henrietta Horn, director of the Folkwang Dance Studio, is called “Der Hahn ist tot” and is as light as a feather. Its first performance took place in the new Folkwang auditorium together with a piece by media artist and composer Dietrich Hahne. One hardly recognizes Henrietta Horn, still one of the most promising young German choreographers. This is not because she works with video for the first time. Until now, she stood for pure dance in the proven Folkwang tradition, presenting quiet, musical, and concentrated pieces. This time she stages a colourful „domestic comedy”. Sheer high spirits transform the excellent company into a chicken run. The artist shows astonishing comical talent as a director - even though sometimes the piece balances on the thin line to silliness.Albernheit ist.

WAZ, June 7, 2003

Michael Kohlstadt

Company director Henrietta Horn works with video, too. She doesn’t just follow the fashion blindly; she brilliantly combines this media with dance. Her very amusing piece “Der Hahn ist tot” is, of course, about animals. Henrietta Horn makes her fabulous company dance with giant dachshunds on a screen - one of the many marvellous ideas of this young choreographer who is surely one of the most talented of her kind in Germany.