In these times when virtual communication is all-pervasive and real encounters are disappearing from everyday interaction, choreographer Nicole Beutler has gone in search of contact and connection with her new duet 4: Still Life.
4: Still Life grew out of a scene from Beutler’s 3: The Garden in which a man and a woman stand next to one another as dance partners in a most basic binary system. They seem to embody the primal symmetry of opposites: a man and a woman; two extremes with an infinite grey area between them.
We need ‘the other’ to see who we are. We exist only with and through ‘the other’. We are the same; we are different. We are all present and we all need one another. It rubs, causes friction, and creates energy. That’s where the power of the encounter resides.
Nicole Beutler is inspired by the history of dance, and seeks in it a resonance with the here and now. 4: Still Life draws on the partner dance in its many forms, moving from the Renaissance to post-modern dance by way of Lindy Hop. Together with her team, Nicole Beutler studies and deconstructs the movement idioms of Western Court dances such as the Pavane, the Gaillard and the Canario, as well as the standard ballroom dances including the Slow Waltz, the Slow Fox and the Boogie. From these dances she distils elemental forms of communication: mating rituals; leaders and followers; merging and struggling; distance and intimacy.
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