THE DANCING PUBLIC
by METTE INGVARTSEN
Soundtrack, as LCC (VA)
Movement of crowds on the streets in Europe was always deemed suspect, as the story about dance ‘crazes’ tells us. Yet ecstatic outbursts of relentless dancing, bodily jerks and convulsions, and uncontrollable gestures could spread and grow from one body to several hundreds pulsating in mass movement for days and months. As recurrent incidents over a long period from the medieval to modern times, the dancing manias attracted a host of explanations – from possession by evil spirits and curses of saints to neurological disturbances and the medical invention of hysteria. Contagion by imitation earned these outbreaks the suspicion of a dance ‘disease’ without a definite cause. Behind the dangerous image of public disorder lurked a body dancing to relieve itself from the stress of epidemics, natural disaster and poverty, a body dancing in dissent.
Evoking collective moments of dancing manias from the past, Mette Ingvartsen explores movement ecstasy within a social gathering in the aftermath of a pandemic. Her solo explodes the solitary confinement of 2020 with an intense mixture of unstoppable movements, incessant music and high-paced rhythms of words and chanting. A dance feast, a concert of spoken word poetry or a physical frenzy until exhaustion, this shape-shifting piece incites questions: Can a dance hijack and reshuffle the social corpus of the public? What is the need for excess and movement we might feel in our bodies today? Are we ready to be high on life again?
Concept & Performance: Mette Ingvartsen
Lighting design: Minna Tiikkainen
Set design: Mette Ingvartsen & Minna Tiikkainen
Musical arrangements: Mette Ingvartsen & Anne van de Star
Costumes: Jennifer Defays
Dramaturgy: Bojana Cvejić
Technical direction: Hans Meijer
Sound Technician: Anne van de Star
Company management: Ruth Collier
Production & administration: Joey Ng
Music: Affkt feat. Sutja Gutierrez, Scanner, Radio Boy, LCC, VII Circle, Kangding Ray, Paula Temple, Ron Morelli, Valanx, Anne van de Star
A production of: Great Investment vzw
Supported by: the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès within the framework of the New Settings Program, Bikubenfonden.
Co-production: PACT Zollverein (Essen), Kaaitheater (Brussels), Festival d’Automne (Paris), Tanzquartier (Vienna), SPRING Performing Arts Festival (Utrecht), Kunstencentrum Vooruit (Ghent), Les Hivernales – Centre de Développement Chorégraphique National d’Avignon , Charleroi danse centre chorégraphique de Wallonie – Bruxelles, NEXT festival, Dansens Hus Oslo
With the support of: Kunstencentrum Buda (Kortrijk)
Funded by: The Flemish Authorities, The Danish Arts Council & The Flemish Community Commission (VGC)