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  • Writer's pictureBai Yu

Fall (3 performances curated by Natalie Wagner)

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

An evening curated by Natalie Wagner, centered around the theme of "fall," unveiled three distinctive choreographic works by Alessandra La Bella, Joao, and Chris Jäger, premiering at Studiobühne at the Landesbühnen Sachsen.


Image 1: Fall Asleep, My Child, photo by Julius Zimmermann.


Alessandra La Bella's "Fall Asleep, My Child" marked the commencement, delving into an emotionally resonant exploration of the theme. Adorned in white, a bathtub, a chair, a jacket hanger, and a door with a frame graced the stage, presenting an elegant display of mundane objects. The trio, clad in everyday attire that complemented the set, engaged in movements reminiscent of children's play - jumping boxes and crafting snowmen. Their expressions, oscillating between exaggerated playfulness and gentle gazes, conveyed a spectrum of emotions. Throughout the performance, recurring gestures provided a recognizable structure, showcasing La Bella's nuanced understanding of space and the delicate balance among the three dancers. The infusion of pop music from Radiohead added a modern twist to universal emotions of love and distrust. Though the dynamic among the performers, especially the role of the third dancer, remained somewhat enigmatic, the performance was commendable, especially considering the tight timeline of just six days to put everything together.


Image 2: Demise, Because We Waited, photo by Julius Zimmermann.


Next in line was Joao's "Demise, Because We Waited," featuring seven dancers. From the outset, Joao skillfully conveyed a complex narrative with minimal elements. A rave-like choreography unfolded under blueish white spotlights, merging club dance, voguing, and contemporary dance. The music seamlessly intertwined with the movements, featuring a persistent laughing undertone that added a layer of brilliance to the performance. Joao's meticulous arrangement of delayed movements against strong beats, coupled with organic choreography, offered an immersive experience. The evolving dynamic among the dancers hinted at themes of observation and being observed, culminating in a subtle transformation of the laughing undertone into a loud scream. The introduction of a fan towards the end somewhat disrupted the otherwise seamless narrative; however, it bestowed upon the audience a sense of wonder, contributing to an engaging experience.



Image 2: Midnight Swinging, photo by Julius Zimmermann.


The evening concluded with Chris Jäger's "Midnight Swinging," set in a barn with a swing as the central piece. The performance featured another trio, entering the stage with a playful display of human emotions. Adorned in well-paired costumes, the dancers interacted with props like a dead mouse and sacks of hay, exploring different perspectives on life and death. The show's energy escalated, culminating in a high-energy climax as the dancers returned to the starting position on the swing, pushing it with greater force. The seamless integration of props, acting, costume, music, and movement created a delightful portrayal of the evening's theme, leaving the full house of audience members in laughter. This poignant performance eloquently exhibits a deep comprehension of the concept of 'fall,' skillfully showcasing the theatrical excellence in Chris Jäger's choreography. A brilliant performance that effectively brought the night to a close.


To conclude, Alessandra La Bella's interpretation of fall leads the audience through a poignant emotional journey, capturing the intricacies of life's inevitable descent. Joao, with his dynamic and multifaceted rave-like exploration of fall, immerses spectators in a vivid and pulsating experience. Chris Jäger, focusing on the interplay between light and darkness in human interactions and with objects, offers a playful and subversive understanding on the theme. Each artist presented a memorable interpretation of "fall", collectively contributing to a wonderful night curated by Natalie Wagner.

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