Berlin's Historical Museum hosted two performances of Poznań Ballet's Polish Dance Theatre: "Alexanderplatz" and "Minus 2"
Ohad Naharin's "Minus 2", photo: Mirka Maruszak
Berlin's Historical Museum hosted two performances of Poznań Ballet's Polish Dance Theatre. "Alexanderplatz" employed the universal language of dance to explore contemporary European history, while "Minus 2" had legendary Ohar Naharin take Polish dancers to their peak form
"Alexanderplatz" premiered in 2009, and the 20th anniversary of radical changes which have swept through Central Europe became an apt occasion for reflecting upon transformations that led up to the spectacular land-mark event of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Historical experiences are very different for Polish and German people and each of the countries has its own cultural perspectives and points of reference. These differing perspectives as well as very subjective points of view have been in the centre of politicians' and historians' attention.
The Polish and German perspectives on the origins as well as the consequences of these historic events formed the base of a dialogue between Polish and German artists working on "Alexanderplatz". The events that took place after 1989 have so far been little referenced in both the official space of politics and diplomacy and in the field of art. "Alexanderplatz" is the very first dance piece to touch upon this theme.
It has been long since I have seen this much dance within theatre. And I thought that it would be difficult to transpose a piece of Central Europe's contemporary history - something towards which we lack a sense of distance - onto the language of dance. Paulina Wycichowska succeeded in doing this.
- Polska Głos Wielkopolski, Stefan Drajewski, 12th of November, 2009
The dancers performing in "Alexanderplatz" conveyed a new way of celebrating indepence, free of unnecessary pathos. Instead of flags we saw piruets, and in the place of gunfire – telling movements of arms. (...)
- Gazeta Wyborcza Poznań, Justyna Suchecka, 12th of November, 2009
"Minus 2" is a thrilling performance that blends together traditional Hebrew chants with swing tunes and contemporary movement. The energy and spontaneity of the dancers creates a vibrant, engaging spectacle that eventually draws the audience in - and even onto the stage.
Choreographer Ohar Naharin says of the performance:
"Minus 2" is a kind of reconstruction. I like to remake and transform existing elements and create the possibility of looking at them from a different perspective. It always teaches me something new about my work and builds up a new composition. I used scenes from various works. It is as if I am only telling the beginning, middle or the end of many stories, but when I put them all together into one piece, the result seemed as coherent as the original. Perhaps even more so.
Naharin has been hailed one of the most prominent contemporary choreographers in the world. He was born in 1952 in Kibbutz Mizra, and took up his dance studies with Batsheva Dance Company in 1974. During his first years with the team, he was distinguished by Martha Graham, who invited him to work with her group in New York. In New York City, Ohad Naharin went into the School of American Ballet and also trained at Juillard School. He then performed internationally with Israeli Bat-Dor Dance Company and Marice Bejart’s Ballet du XXe Siecle in Brussels. Ohad Naharin came back to New York in 1980, where he made his debut as choreographer in Kazuko Hirabayashi studio. That same year, together with his wife Mari Kajiwara he started up the Ohad Naharin Dance Company. For ten years the group performed in New York and abroad, and enjoyed a very good reception from dance critics. In 1990, Ohad Naharin became artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company. He has choreographed over 20 pieces for the group.
Polish Dance Theatre's "Minus 2", choreographed by the famous Ohad Naharin pulsates with tension. One has to tunes oneself into layers of energy that the legendary choreographer has drawn out of the dancers. Undoubtably, the magic of the great choreographer's name cast its spell on the dancers, who have all risen to the height of their abilities
Gazeta Wyborcza, Michał Gradowski, 28th of November, 2010
Brave, strong, wonderfull, stirring the spectators' emotions, and playing with them just as it pleases – this is what the "Minus 2" performance is like.
mmpoznan, Lilia Łada, 28th of November, 2010
The project performs its repertoire to two capitals: Berlin and Moscow.
The Berlin Programme:
"Alexanderplatz" and "The Universal Language of Art: Polish Contemporary Dance in Eastern and Western Europe"
Choreography: Paulina Wycichowska.
Music: Jan A. P. Kaczmarek.
Set Design: Franz Dittrich.
Assistant choreographer: Anna Gruszka.
Video: Daniel Stryjecki.
Light: Arkadiusz Kuczyński.
Sound Production: Mateusz Rogaliński.
Premiere showing: 11th of November, 2009
"Minus 2" performance
Choreography: Ohad Naharin.
Assistant choreographer: Yoshifumi Inao.
Costumes: Rakefet Levy.
Light design: Avi Yona Bueno.
Premiere showing: 26th of November, 2010
Date: 14th of October, 2011
Venue: Historical Museum, Berlin.
Organised by: Polski Teatr Tańca - Balet Poznański (Polish Dance Theatre - Poznań Ballet).
Project cofinanced by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
Source: Adam Mickiewicz Institute