visual impressions of Compagnie Käfig
Photo credit: © Michel Cavalca
CORRERIA: A low-lit stage, white sneakers bicycle through the air disconnected from the bodies that belong to them. Moments of partnering where the base holds another man aloft as he takes large paces through the air not touching the ground. Men running in huge circles around the stage demarcating the inner space for dance, the outer ring for spectatorship. A man on a screen who runs so fast on his six legs that he begins to fly.
Six white orbs float and circle through space as the stage lights rise ever so slightly to create a warm glow emanating from the center. A low flick-flick-flick sound is heard as if a film ended but the projector was left running. Men’s voices are heard in unison, singing softly from the floor of the warm shadow and I begin to recognize the words and rhythm as a song made famous by Sergio Mendes, Magalenha. The voices on stage become louder. The hands that had lightly tapped the stage form fists and bang in rhythm together while the flick-flick-flick is replaced by a recording of Magalenha in all of its bombastic splendor. The white orbs that once cycled unobtrusively through the air now spin wildly and as the lights come up we them as sneakers attached to the feet, legs and torsos of three Compagnie Käfig dancers.
The warm central pool of light has become a large, well-lit circle that holds the three men who have given up their singing and taken up a complicated movement pattern that oscillates between hand slaps, foot stomps, and precarious inverted balances on their hands. The original three dancers are joined by a steady stream of men who enter the stage running in pace with each other and in rhythmic time to the music, while traveling around the perimeter of the centrally lit circle. The trio in the middle becomes a duet with one dancer joining the circle-run, and runners enter the circle to join a duet or trio. This round-robin continues and it feels as though I am watching a community being built as each new dancer enters the circle and creates moments of synchronicity with their partner(s). Or, are we watching as a community reveals itself to us? The circle opens, we have been invited inside.
AGWA: The stage is a city built of plastic cups. Skyscrapers reach perilously high into the air and peer over their smaller brethren stacked below them. As history has proven, the mighty must fall, and each beautiful pillar collapses into wreckage. Ruins. A voice rings out and calls an unseen mass into action, “We must re-do everything!” He repeats his testimony until his appeal is answered. A reverse swarm of locusts in the form of men enter the stage, for in their wake they leave not chaos, but order. The fallen cups have found symmetry in the form of rows and columns. The plastic reflects light. The sound of water being poured can be heard from the speakers, it feels crisp and cool in my ear. The men re-enter the stage, bedecked in plastic ponchos. They are light-hearted as they interact with each other, the cups and the water one of them pours from cup-to-cup across the length of the stage. Everything is re-done.