Seven Cuts, Kasino am Schwarzenbergplatz, 8.August 2011

A few weeks ago I was puzzled by a remark in the German theatre magazine “Theater Heute”. I read the quote first in German:

“In der Welt des Contemporary Dance herrscht eine Art Emotionsverbot. Man hat sich auf die Meta-Ebene verbannt, in die steinigen Gedankenwüsten über der Baumgrenze“.

In Translation: „In the world of contemporary dance, emotions are commonly banned. The scene has agreed to retreat to meta-level, into the stony desert of pure thought, well high above tree line”.

The remark has inspired me to give a meta-talk which never ever reaches the tree line but stays low in swamp area.

During the last year I have been suffering from a mysterious pain in my lower back.

Maybe “suffering” is too big of a word. It was more a constant nagging tension at the lowest end of my spine which handicapped and fooled me. Sometimes the pain was getting worse in sitting, sometimes in moving, sometimes while sleeping. I had acupuncturists, ostheopaths, rolfers work on me, the full program. All these treatmets helped for a while, but never really long-lasting.

The pain kept coming back.


When we started to rehearse for this project I asked the dancers to create all movement material from the flexibility of the spine. All other body parts should only move as a logical consequence of spinal impulses. It was my main aesthetic principle: move from the spine, no additional formal gesture, no decor. I myself was watching and taking notes. I was hardly moving. After two weeks of daily passive spine-mobilization-consumption it happened:

more or less from one moment to the next my lower back felt free and mobile. The pain was gone for good.


One of the treatments I got last year was very painful and so intense, that I experienced what I call a “St.Theresa Flash”. I vibrated with all my fibres, my nervous system was turned inside out and I started to shiver. My body was taken by uncontrollable convulsions for a ten minutes long silent orgasm.

St.Theresa is something like my role-model amongst the crowd of catholic saints. Or rather the sculpture “The ecstasy of St.Theresa” by Gian Lorenzo Bernini of 1650. The sculpture has been described as being very theatrical. Bernini is working with the illusion that the saint would be suspended between heaven and earth. St.Theresa’s ecstatic expression on her face is inviting hysterical identification

and her body posture displays great sexual pathos. The fabric of her cloth is full of movement. One can almost hear

the sound the folds are making in order to recreate St. Theresa’s inner motion, which she calls her “sweet pain”.


Since I give my meta-talk within the genre of contemporary dance it might be useful to refer to philosopher Giorgio Agamben - to quote him is part of the meta-level agreement in our scene.

I chose a quote from his book “The Open. Man and Animal“ about the animal in its environment, in this case the tick, die Zecke. [In this part Agamben is quoting a rather extensive description of Jakob von Üxkül, of which I give a short summary.]


The tick is blind and deaf. To find its way onto a tree or bush it uses a general sense for light. A sense of smell guids it to the victim. The scent of butyric acid works as signal for the tick to rush out. If it falls onto something warm - which is being communicated by a fine tuned sense of temperature - it only needs to find a spot free of hair to drill itself into the skin of the victim. Now the tick starts to slowly pump warm blood into its own body. But the taste of blood is irrelevant, the tick doesn’t have a sense of taste. The tick has a direct, passionate, and intense relationship with its environment. In this case the environment is reduced to three right elements:

1, the right temperature, 2, the right scent, 3, the right spot on the skin.The tick lives in and for this relationship, it is the relationship and at the same time this great passion is its death sentence.


Whenever I write a text each time again I reach a point of getting almost unbearably overwhelmed by thoughts.

The most trivial and the most brilliant ideas, all want to be verbalised at the very same moment. The feeling of being torn can get so strong that I refer to it as my personal purgatory. I am so bothered by restlessness that I have to do something to ease the tension. Yet I have to stick with the subject. I cannot just walk away and take a break.

So, what I do is, I rewrite the provisional beginning of the text over and over until it creates a rhythm for my thoughts to anchor. After a while the restlessness dissolves and the consistency of the text reveals itself without my interference. It is like having sex, where you also have to be able to stand the power of being overwhelmed and let the sensations grow within their own development.


Recently I saw a japanese peformance with „real“ sex on stage, as real as it is manageable in a theatrical setting.

Eight young people are hanging out in an apartment. The audience is watching from a voyeuristic point of view through a window. Right from the start of the performance the actors engage in random and promiscous sex. It seems to be as exciting to stimulate each other’s genitalia as it is to kick the fridge door with the foot, or to scratch one’s ass, to play videogames or start an aggressive attack out of nowhere. All of this is precisely choreographed. The all-over sexual activity creates the impression of a pack of animals, delousing each other.

The sex is neither provocative nor pornographic, it is simply happening - not more and not less, in a matter-of-fact mode. The whole scenery is clearly beyond comfort zone and highly irritating. But strangely enough I did not feel repelled by it, on the contrary I felt consoled and at ease. Within this consolation the scene holds an utopia, for which the performance of sex is merely the medium.


Eva will dance the whole length of the 10 minutes composition. The single motives we have seen just now as duets will re-appear within a self-generating stream of continuos movement. A few moments here and there might touch you as De-ja-vu. How can one follow a sequence of movements which don’t denote specific meanings?

Watching this continous dance is like:

translating a stream of consciousness into kinetic pathways, or like following a red thread that has been laid out in front of you, or like stringing together pearls, or simply an offer to imagine your own potential.


Performance Text