Raimund Hoghe’s tiny little thingz

May 11, 2009

This year’s edition of Queer Zagreb Festival was enriched for different concepts and poetics… the performative aspect of the programme re-marked the position of second and third generation in queer subculture, like Raimund Hoghe, then Ivo Dimcev, Alain Buffard, new forces as Dominic Johnson,  Andre Masseno, Francois Haignaud & Cecilia Bangolea, etc.

In the year of 2009, I’m still enjoying watching video material of early artworkz by Pina Bausch. If there is a theater, besides Butoh, that yet makes me speechless, than we are talking on Bauch’s theatre…

Bolero.jpgPhoto: E. Eggermont and R. Hoghe by Rosa Frank (c)

In that sense, I eagerly waited over last three weeks to see Raimund Hoghe’s performance ‘Bolero Variations’… His slow, meditative dramaturgy and stage poetries are simply not passable for people waiting for something spectacularly to happen… Because, in Hoghe’s theatre there is much action labelled from inside, subtle action waiting to be discovered by people who are willing (or capable) to see thingz…

Photo: B. Benaouisse and O. Balestra by Rosa Frank (c)

Raimund Hoghe worked between 1980 and 1990 as dramaturge for Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater in Wuppertal. Starting with Caffe Muller (1978) this decade is certainly the most intriguing and mature in German theater and dance scene. Before working in theatre, Hoghe was journalist for German magazine Die Zeit, covering the issues of celebrities on one side, and outsiders on the other side. When you see his performances you can easily ‘catch’ those ‘editorial’ aspects that marked his later career as dramaturge and choreographer.

Raimund_Hoghe.jpgPhoto  “Throwing the body into the fight” Rosa Frank (c)

At the end of 1980’s he started to work on his own choreographies for other performers; and in 1994 he finally made a solo piece for himself. Raimund Hoghe lives and works in Düsseldorf (Germany), but he claims that he’s more popular abroad, then in his native country. He is also known for his books and writings in which he covered many aspects of his stage and journalist work.

Bolero_7.jpgPhoto: R.  Hoghe and E. Eggermont by Rosa Frank (c)

Dance pieces he choreographed are: Meinwarts; Chambre separee; Dialogue with Charlotte; Lettere amorose; Lecture Perfomance; Another Dream;  Sarah, Vincent et moi; Young People, Old Voices;  Tanzgeschichten; Sacre – The Rite of Spring; Swan Lake, 4 Acts; 36 Avenue Georges Mandel and L’Apres-midi.

Bolero_3.jpgPhoto: Ornella Balestra by Rosa Frank (c)

In the year 2008 Raimund Hoghe was proclaimed as The Dancer of the Year by critics of Ballettanz magazine. For his performance Swan Lake, 4 Acts he got French award Prix de la Critique in 2006.

In his pieces you can’t see the change of light, it happens so naturally… slow, following his concept… non-pretentious, but so strong in its simplicity, an organic bodily theatre… that’s the theatre vision by Raimund Hoghe.

Bolero_4.jpgPhoto: E. Eggermont and O. Balestra by Rosa Frank (c)

Raimund Hoghe’s Bolero Variations was inspired by ice dancing pair, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, when they appeared in the final of Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo (1984) skating on Bolero by Maurice Ravel. The moment engraved into Hoghe’s memory as a direct association with Bolero.

Banality of human movements or expectancy of bodily are not notions with whom Hoghe disseminates theater ideas… he’s concise and fully concentrated…

Bolero_5.jpgRaimund Hoghe and Lorenzo De Brabandere by Rosa Frank (c)

One female dancer and five male dancers tell a transcendental story on moments triggered by those seconds in our lives that stayed in our memory for reasons that we are often not capable to discover why we like them … completely unknowingly… conceded to our intuition and memory stored in some corner of our brain… tiny little thingz… trigger bigger thingz, no doubt.

Bolero_6.jpgPhoto by Rosa Frank (c)

Dancers move on different versions of Bolero he discovered in compositions of Giuseppe Verdi, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, then boleros from Latin America, or other Ravel’s composition re-arranged in that sense.

Bolero_8.jpgPhoto: Yutaka Takei by Rosa Frank (c)

Hoghe’s dramaturgy and stage concepts are always connected with music and sound. Therefore, the  slowness of moments are partitioned like a music partiture.  He enjoys popular music from whom he takes inspiration for his artworkz…

Tiny little thingz… Sometimes make us happy, sometimes make us sad…

p.s. Read my talk with Raimund Hoghe here: Interview with Raimund Hoghe: Inner Landscapes marked through simplicity

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