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Isabelle Schad — Fugen. Timişoara

Isabelle Schad’s solo, Fugen, is on tomorrow, Saturday 5th November in Teatrul Maghiar De Stat “Csiky Gergely” in Timişoara, part of the Festivalul de Arte Performative Timișoara 2016. It’s a beautiful work, as is Isabelle performing; really worth seeing.

Isabelle Schad: Solo für Lea, at Sophiensaele Berlin

Isabelle Schad’s new solo for Lea Moro, called appropriately, Solo für Lea premières at Sophienæle next week. I had the pleasure of seeing the development showing a few weeks ago, and it smashes. Intense, focussed, totally recognisable as a Schad work. If you don’t know who she is, now’s your chance. And if you do, this is what happens when Der Bau gets filtered through Fugen.

Isabelle Schad
Solo für Lea
Premiere: Thursday, 13th October 2016, 21:00, Sophiensaele (Berlin)
Further dates: 14 & 15 Oct, 21:00; 16 Oct 18:00

The Solo for Lea is a meeting between Isabelle Schad and Lea Moro. In continuation of Schads choreographic practice around relationships between body, movement, image and (re)presentation, the work attempts to draw a very personal portrait of Lea Moro, dealing with the specificities of her body, its rhythms, its contours, colours and energies. Dissected in parts and reorganised anew, the body is regarded as pure materiality, as a medium of energetic potential and transformation.

The new work unfolds itself in the borderline between visual arts and dance, between performance and installation, between sensual experience and abstraction and is playing with form-aspects of cubism and Picasso’s drawings in one dash.

Together Schad and Moro engage in constellations of forming and dis-figuring, in which the body itself becomes the stage: the space, place and matter that is subject of observation.

Concept, choreographie: Isabelle Schad
Co-choreography, performance: Lea Moro
Dramaturgical support: Saša Božić
Sound: Damir Šimunović
Light design: Bruno Pocheron
Technic: Bruno Pocheron, Mehdi Toutain-Lopez
Costume: Charlotte Pistorius
Production management: Heiko Schramm

Made possible by a long years collaboration with Laurent Goldring.

Production: Isabelle Schad
Supported by: Wiesen55 e.V.

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Isabelle Schad “Fugen” in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

As of right now, Isabelle is somewhere between Berlin, Germany, and Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, where she’ll be for the next week to perform Fugen, and to teach a workshop, as part of the 5th festival international de danse « Un pas vers l’avant » organised by Compagnie Ange Aoussou.

The Goethe Institut is responsible for bringing Isabelle to Abidjan, and it was Henrike Grohs who originally proposed this. Incidentally, Henrike also brought Das Helmi there earlier this year for Ivoire Marionette. Henrike was one of 22 murdered by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb on March 13th this year.

Isabelle performs Fugen at the Goethe-Institut, Abidjan this Saturday, 17th September at 19h. There are also performances there and at Institut Français by companies from Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, and Mali. (& sad but true, I’m not there.)

Isabelle Schad — Fugen

Since July, I’ve been working with Isabelle Schad on her new work, a solo called Fugen. Next Thursday is the première.

Fugen by Isabelle Schad

With Fugues, Berlin choreographer and dancer Isabelle Schad continues her work between musical concepts and their expression in movement. Coming from a music background, she attempts to look at her own (hi)story and the origins of (her) movement between discipline and pleasure, examining the body and its energies in its materiality, process, and time.

The fugue serves her as an analogy for the body in exercise, where the principles of chasing and fleeing, giving and receiving, emptiness and fullness, are becoming one.

Fugues is an autobiographical work in which the performer’s body serves as an example for the construction of the individual within disciplines and systems one cannot escape from.

Première:
Thursday, 29th Oct 2015, 20:00, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin)
30th, 31st Oct, & 1st Nov 2015, 20:00

Audience talk after the performance on Friday 30th with Jun.-Prof. Dr. Susanne Foellmer, Isabelle Schad, and Sasa Bozic

Concept, choreography and performance: Isabelle Schad
Dramaturgy: Sasa Bozic
Artistic assistance: Frances d’Ath
Associated artists: Laurent Goldring, Alain Franco
Light design: Mehdi Toutain-Lopez
Costume: Charlotte Pistorius
Production management: Heiko Schramm
Production: Isabelle Schad
Co-production: HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Espace Pasolini (Valenciennes)
Funded by: the Regierende Bürgermeister von Berlin – Senatskanzlei – Kulturelle Angelegenheiten, and the Nationales Performance Netz (NPN) Koproduktionsförderung Tanz, which is funded by the Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien on the basis of a decision by the Deutschen Bundestags.
Supported by: Wiesen55 e.V.
Thanks to: Damir Simunovic
photo: Laurent Goldring

More information: Isabelle Schad, Hebbel am Ufer

Fugen on tour 2015:
3rd & 4th November 2015, Liikkeellä marraskuussa, Stoa, Helsinki Finland
26th & 27th November 2015, Next Festival, Espace Pasolini, Valenciennes France

Reading: Ayize Jama-Everett — The Entropy of Bones

In the previous instalment, the protagonists hitch a ride across the Atlantic on a boat with a dead woman. She’s an aside in the main story, but in The Entropy of Bones, it’s all about her. Chabi, half-black, half-Mongolian, mute, living on a boat and training her teens away in various occult martial arts practices under the tutelage of Narayana, who’s turned up in the previous two books and is the kind of entropic person who would altruistically build orphanages only to see them all burn down, children inside (yup, that’s how Ayize Jama-Everett describes him).

Martial art girl fighting her way into and through life as irresistible force, absent father, problem mother, street tough and walls all round. I like Jama-Everett’s world, writing, imagination—duh, obviously, I’ve just read all three of his books and got through this one between Friday night and Saturday morning (with sleep)—and taking the Liminal War series off away from Taggert, his daughter, that story line and axis of Morocco to London via Marseille, to a distinctly minor character in the second book and building a whole new line from her, that’s good story-telling.

Martial art girl, etc yeah, that’s a bit of a cliché. The most recent I’ve read of that stereotrope is Tricia Sullivan’s Shadowboxer, and both indulge in and suffer from the endless descriptions of fighting, training, and corporeality, the body as a thing that only becomes true when it surmounts technique and training and finds its natural movement. There’s a shit tonne of essentialist problems in that model, as much as it is a fact—a fact that derives from the simple physicality of human bodies, how joints can articulate, muscles contract and release, nerves hold conversations, all the mess of having a body; and you can’t move outside your body without breaking it so, yeah, ‘natural’ movement—that fact doesn’t necessarily correlate to a truth. The truth being postulated is that of the authentic body and self, like Martha fucking Graham saying, “The body doesn’t lie” (yeah dunno if she said that or if it’s been corrupted from “Movement never lies” but much the same), or Star fucking Wars and “Use the Force, Luke” it’s an asshole full of orientalist shit.

And ’cos the protagonist always has to find the passive way, not be the irresistible force, be like wind or grass, which sure, is a legitimate way of fighting, Aikido, Tai Qi others work from these principles, but hitting shit until it breaks is also no less natural movement and authentic self (if we’re gonna talk in those terms), and the unspoken statement here is Chabi (or whoever else) is broken, incomplete, inauthentic until they find this ‘true’ technique-less movement. As someone who’s spent close to two decades training and suffering from the pervasiveness of that bullshit, I think I can say fuck off, and also, drop your essentialism and orientalism, it’s fucked up and it’s like you don’t even realise.

Otherwise, The Entropy of Bones is pretty bloody good. It’s not going to be book of the year—thinking there isn’t going to be a fiction one this year—partially for the above, partially for the stereotrope of ‘tough martial art chick grows up when irresistible force hits immoveable object’, partially for Jama-Everett’s need to mention one character in particular is gay when he never labels any of the others as hetero except for through their actions (a bit like Sullivan’s really awful attempt at a trans/kathoey/wtf?Idunno character), so it’s like he went through a checklist of tokens and … yeah, I’m as cynical as fuck about this stuff (no, I’m totally down with Taggert calling people “Faggot,” that’s the person he is) … partially cos there’s a darkness in these books that—I mean you can’t call any of the protagonists heroes or necessarily good people given what they do, but it’s not that darkness, it’s something underlying that, like a pessimism in the writing where everything is a rearguard action, like Anna Kavan’s Ice, brilliant book but God you come out the other side feeling hopeless and in need of a shot of heroin.

Like I said of the other Liminal books, read this if you love China Miéville (especially his stuff like Kraken, and Un Lun Dun) or Saladin Ahmed, or you’re looking for a world that isn’t full of hero white people.

Reading: Ayize Jama-Everett — The Liminal War

Yeah, a little behind here. I just finished reading the sequel and nope, haven’t even written about this one. So, Ayize Jama-Everett. The Liminal War. Recommended I think by someone at the Tiptree Award. The first book, The Liminal People is fucking brilliant. Dark brilliant like what’s-his-name in the first Transporter film, when it wasn’t funny (and when you could ignore the stupidity).

The sequel, this one, continues on, but mostly in London instead of Morocco. It did manage to do that thing which sequels often fail at, expand the universe in which the characters reside, and introduced a few new characters, but wasn’t brilliant like the first. Yeah, pretty good, I read it in one inhale, somehow became too urban trustafarian where the first one was more like Saldin Ahmed’s Arabian fantasy. The was one though, on a boat, in the ocean, dead. She turns up again. Definitely worth reading if you’re looking for urban-ish fantasy and like the Ahmed-Miévilles of this world.

Reading: Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko, Joaquim Dos Santos — The Legend of Korra: The Art of the Animated Series, Book 1: Air

Quickest arrival of a book ever! Quickest first read also! I’m still not over Avatar: The Legend of Korra, and probably will watch it a third time before winter is done. I didn’t really need to buy this (nor do I need to buy the other three, one for each season), but … #korrasami! Also seeing so much art lately I want to start drawing again. And Korra is so hot, especially when she’s punching the shit out of stuff. And Asami also (especially when she’s geared up and driving something fast). And once I got into it (took a couple of episodes), I started looking at all the landscapes, cityscapes, backgrounds, architecture, vehicles, all so beautifully painted—and all the fighting, so beautifully choreographed (and Lin Beifong, Topf, Bolin and Mako, Varrick and Zhu Li, Jinora, Tenzin, Kuvira, Zaheer and all the others)—and kinda fell in love with the whole world.

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Korrasami? Yes!

Confirmed by creators Bryan Konietzko & Mike DiMartino! Read what they said? Yes! Korrasami Confirmed & Korrasami is canon.

And now I’m going to binge-watch all four seasons of Legend of Korrasami.

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Korra & Asami!

I smiled and laughed and yelped and waved my arms around! Korra & Asami Did The Thing!

And then in the comments on io9 I found a link to zuko is my sugar daddy saying, “people saying that korrasami had no build up and was forced …” followed by 48 images of Korra and Asami over four years of Avatar: The Legend of Korra which leave no other possibility for what happened in the final episode. This is how good short-form animation can be.

hidden hero – the films of chang cheh

The Melbourne International Film Festival has just started, and amidst more good celluloid outside of your local 6 kuai DVD store is a Spotlight on Chang Cheh, director of The One-Armed Swordsman and The Heroic Ones.

“A master of our time. Grand in style and magnificent in presentation, his films leave the audience in exhatation. Chang Cheh not only taught me how to direct, but also the way of life” – John Woo.

And if you’re Mongkok instead of Melbourne, The Hong Kong Film Archive is screening Time and Tide – Changes in Hong Kong Cinema in the ’70s, which BC Magazine cover in their latest issue.

Say ‘seventies’ and ‘movies’ in the same breath and what springs to mind? Isaac Hayes, Tamara Dobson and Richard Roundtree kicking whitey’s ass with five-inch platforms whilst raising a finger ‘to tha man!’ all set to an incessant wacka wacka soundtrack? Think again – post-Vietnam Hollywood produced the likes of Serpico and All the President’s Men: films reflecting a public’s growing distrust with the establishment. In the UK, the once strong British film industry almost asphyxiated as a victim of the government’s mismanagement. In Hong Kong, things were happening too, as the territory’s filmmakers were recording it – and it wasn’t all Kung Fu fighting. The film retrospective Time and Tide – Changes in Hong Kong Cinema in the ’70s is both a great opportunity to see how the socio-political manoeuvres of the time shaped the movies and a rare chance to catch some awesome films (many not on home video) on the big screen.