reviewed by Paula Citron
Sasha Waltz & Guests
Choreographed by Sasha Waltz
Performed by the Ensemble
National Arts Centre (Ottawa) and Festival TransAmériques (Montreal)
A headline event at both Ottawa’s National Arts Centre and Montreal’s Festival TransAmériques was Sasha Waltz & Guests. The Berlin choreographer created Körper in 2000, and she is a true original. The way she manipulates the physicality of the body to create images is absolutely startling.
Körper means “bodies,” but for Waltz the word was a launch pad for many themes. By the time the show was over, she has touched on the very essence of life and death, not to mention genocide, religion, love, victimization, tyranny, disabilities, the sale of body parts and cosmetic surgery.
The thirteen near-naked dancers enacted a series of vignettes through movement and text which explore differing concepts of the body. Waltz forces the mind to function on many levels simultaneously such as grappling with symbolism, while trying to understand the mechanics behind the dancers’ physicality. My mind was in a whirlwind throughout the performance, but oddly, I was not touched emotionally.
Waltz is not for the faint of heart.