Exercise of solidary distance
LIGNA & 13 CHOREOGRAPHERS
Solidarności Square + online transmission
participated by: Alejandro Ahmed, Bebe Miller, Bhenji Ra, Edna Jaime, Eisa Jocson, Geumhyung Jeong, Katarzyna Sitarz, Mamela Nyamza, Maryam Bagheri Nesami & Mitra Ziaee Kia, Melati Suryodarmo, Raquel Meseguer, Yuya Tsukahara + contact Gonzo, Dana Yahalomi / public movement
translated from German: Iwona Nowacka
Dispersion everywhere! is a new project of the Hamburg performative and media collective LIGNA, with the participation of thirteen international artists. Members of the group: Ole Frahm, Michael Hueners and Torsten Michaelsen asked choreographers from around the world what social and physical changes they observed in their places of stay during the period of global threat. With particular emphasis on the experience of vulnerability and solidarity. The audience, equipped with headphones, follow the polyphonic choreography and movement instructions, while becoming part of a new form of collective action.
The works of the LIGNA group, consisting of performers and media artists, have one common denominator: they address their audience as a collective that, through joint action, is able to make changes in space - be it a monitored shopping mall, a promenade or a typical “black box” hall in an off theatre. These interventions, based on collaboration, always take place in an intermediary situation: the message is delivered to the collective through a medium - such as radio, programmed audio file players, film players or communicators. Particular participants find themselves in the paradoxical situation of simultaneous connection and isolation. The group cannot achieve unity, thus never really becoming the real collective. Such expeditions into the space of possibilities and mediation of a dispersed collective always have the bodies of participants as the recipient, and gestures and movements as the focus of attention. At the same time, they provoke the question: is a collective needed at all, what is collective action able to offer when the whole world scatters, and we act mainly in isolation in front of screens?
The event is part of the "Dispersion" project, which was co-financed by the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation and the Goethe-Institut.
The Dispersion project assumes a creative dialogue with the pandemic situation and the recommended physical distance connected with it. In response to the limitations introduced by the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and in particular to the closing borders and the phenomenon of isolating nations, we want to implement the project in cooperation with German partners, thanks to whom the idea for a performance in public space by the LIGNA collective appeared. The members of the collective will come to Szczecin to create a version of the project tailored to the space of our city, in which the spectators, following the directions given through headphones, become performers in the urban space. Thirteen choreographers and choreographers from all over the world were invited to create a single gesture dialoguing with dispersion and referring to the time of the pandemic under the sign of physical distance. In a specific gesture of solidarity with those who remain in isolation, a gesture of unity, linking over the physical division will be made. Each of the participants – “exposed”, somewhat defenceless, but “connected by distance” with the others – will create a dispersed, synchronized collective, thus placing a political emphasis on presence: reminding of those who are not here now: all separated forcibly from their relatives or the place they would like to be, including refugees forced to stay in overpopulated camps.
We have decided that it will be a representative Solidarności Square, a place that symbolically refers also to the German identity of Szczecin (the square is the roof of the Muzeum Przełomów, which in its rooms just below the square's surface exhibits important, breakthrough moments from the city's history) and is an arena of confrontation of ideas shaping the contemporary political and social life of Poland (the most important demonstrations, protests and marches in the city are held here, gathering up to several thousand people at a time).
The Ligna collective, with many years of experience in creating urban choreographies, will collaborate on the Szczecin version with Polish choreographer Katarzyna Sitarz, who already has experience working with this place: in 2016 she created choreography titled Gravicity, inspired by the sloping forms of the museum roof (resembling the shapes of great sea waves). In a beautiful, suggestive way (by means of transmission from a camera on the body) she brought the viewers closer to the direct body experience of gravity in the space formed in such a way. The verbal instruction created by her will join twelve others, constituting a personal contribution to the activity, which, according to the authors' assumption, will also be used in other European cities.
The partner of the project is MOUSONTURM (FRANKFURT).
co-production: Künstlerhaus Mousonturm and Hessisches Staatsballett in collaboration of dance platform Rhein-Main, Tanz im August, Theaterfestival Basel, Züricher Theater Spektakel.