Created by Martin Hansen, Monumental seeks to revisit the history of dance by the yardstick of the present day and the appropriation of some of its mythical figures.
Here the choreographer himself performs a solo that consists in the reconstruction of The Dying Swan that Anna Pavlova, a prima ballerina of the Imperial Russian Ballet, created in 1905 and made of her a legend.
Acting in plain sight, constructing the set (some boards, a smoke machine, etc.), Martin Hansen invites us to contemplate the small factory of dance images, applause included. Performing the score in a way that is at once technical, fluid and unencumbered, he builds up hypotheses, attempts approaches, creates a distance, marked by a voice-over that takes on a form that is in turn narrative, reflexive and descriptive, and develops a plan parallel to dance that takes place onstage, offering him a soundbox.
The choreographer claims that Monumental is a way of ‘de-monumentalizing’ the monument. Underlying this claim is his intention simply to explore further a relation to history that is neither a faithful or simple reproduction, nor a pure deconstruction.
A history that would not be read as a simple straight line running towards progress, the present succeeding the past, but as a way of superposing layers, like a network of phenomena that become intertwines and interlaced, producing a memory that we can each get close to and appropriate.
With his solo, he thus questions what we can do with a ‘monument’, the place of the canons of choreographic art and beauty, but also the ephemeral and deadly nature of dance.
- Conception, choreography, performance: Martin Hansen
- Lighting design: Gretchen Blegen
- Mentor: Thomas Plischke
- Dramaturgy consultants: Melanie Jane Wolf, Ezra Geen
- Voices: Inna Krasnoper, Louise Truehardt
- Production: Martin Hansen, the Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz Berlin (Germany)