Press comments

Magnificent Monodrama

Rheinische Post, October 1, 1999
Klaus Matthias Schmidt

This solo by Henrietta Horn captures the audience from the very first moment. (...) The scene which seems to be a look back, a danced memory of unrequited love, is filled with enormous tension. And Horn dances through this memory in order to - it seems - liberate herself at the end. There was much applause for this magnificent monodrama.

Westdeutsche Zeitung, October 1, 1999

Bettina Trouwborst

(...) The table is transformed into a magic symbol of fear, regarded from a disconcerting distance to be turned, ecstatically, into a passionately adored fetish. Horn’s danced dialogue with a table and a chair is a stirring duet with the past, a solo of extraordinary intensity and dance quality.

Kompas, November 2, 2001, Jakarta Nirwan Dewantos

The 25-minute performance manages to carry the audience away. They can’t wait to see what the dancer will do to fill the emptiness of the stage. (...)

Her choreography needs no spectacular music, no lighting effects and no extravagant stage settings. The art of her dance theatre lies in movement, in liberation.

Hamburger Abendblatt, April 12, 2002


(...) Her „Solo”, is a disturbing study of loneliness, drawing on elements of expressionism and silent films, though she radically breaks them into tiny splinters by her dancing. This woman, alone with herself, a table and a chair, tries to enter into a silent dialogue with the dead objects to avoid going mad. Restless and desperate, she forces herself into a stiff calm, but her despair overwhelms her: Arms raised imploringly, she is devoured by darkness. Rarely do we see the emotion of loneliness communicated in such concentrated form.

A Strong Piece

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, October 10, 1999
Jochen Schmidt

Henrietta Horn’s new piece „Solo” is about loneliness and woman’s attempt to cope with it. The piece which premièred at the Remscheid municipal theatre requires two important „props”: A small square wooden table and a wooden chair. At first the chair is standing close to the table and dancer Henrietta Horn sits down. String music keeps erupting in short bursts, cutting deep into the heavy darkness. Like a persistent evil thought, the music whirls around the dancer who sits facing the audience for a long time. Then she puts her head on her hands lying on the table, jerks up to sit straight, bends down again. Her movements are erratic, as if she had a guilty conscience and was sitting opposite someone to whom she must answer for something. But if this was the case, that someone could in fact be only the supreme authority.

After a while Horn rises to carry the chair to the back of the stage. In this section of the piece she keeps moving on a line between the table and the chair as if undecided what to do. At the end, after she has tried out various distances between the two objects, she takes the chair back to the table. She deposits the jacket of her pale green trouser suit (costumes: Anne Bentgens) at the edge of the stage. She is now dancing at the centre of the stage, to the introverted string music, moving abruptly, a rail-thin, tall figure. On the one hand she seems to want to press something out of her body. On the other hand she restrains herself again and again, calling herself to order. It is impossible for her dancing to develop much drive this way.

At last she puts the chair down at the other side of the stage, as far away from the table as possible. But table and chair belong together. And so Horn pushes the table across the stage towards the chair, parallel to the apron, dancing very slowly, with tiny, cautious movements; once she has more or less reunited the chair and the table, the piece - after only 25 minutes - is over. (...)

During this time, the choreographer develops a perfect, touching study of loneliness, vibrant with tension; many people in this society, not just the elderly, find themselves in a similar situation. In a space devoid of social relationships she is thrown back on herself; if she doesn’t want to go mad, she must enter into a dialogue with the dead objects surrounding her. The table and the chair almost come alive, become surrogate partners, at least for a while. That does not make for a happy play. But it is a strong dance piece.