Six women armed with pointe shoes and dumb-bells set out to lambaste the omnipresent neoliberal body cult. The young choreographer Florentina Holzinger rallies her muses to topple poster boy Apollo from Balanchine’s ballet of the same name from his carefully guarded throne.
Suitable for ages 18+
Talk following the performance on Fri 29/09
Florentina Holzinger’s productions are characterised by uncompromising bodies. Kickboxing, ballet, weight-lifting, freak show and stunting: in an endless tour de force, Holzinger appropriates a wide range of body techniques, both mastering and destroying them on stage. An invocation of human vital force – with sexuality, humour and out and out daring.
In “Apollon Musagète” Holzinger dissects the freak show genre, allowing it to clash with neoclassical ballet. An all-female cast pulls apart Balanchine’s choreographies with great passion, confronting stringent form with the performers’ unpredictable power and taboo-free humour. Occult fitness equipment, tools and heavy artillery all play a part, revealing the bizarre similarities between the revolutionary performances of the 1960s and 70s and the historical entertainment of “All American Freak Shows”: categories of genius and dilettantism are shaken to the core, with virtuosity the dancers debunk the classical myth of the perfect woman, as manifested in Balanchine’s muses.
Holzinger seeks her muse in the perfect performer – knowing full well that this figure too is only an assertion. In a duality of genius and madness, pleasure and revulsion, brilliance and trash, entertainment and high culture, the performers assemble body images to create heaps of meaning, only to cleverly slip up on them the very next moment: a utopian narrative on the coexistence of sensual, interwoven realities, or, in the words of Donna Haraway: “Tentacular thinking produces tentacular realities”. No one is spared, neither the audience, nor the artists.
By Florentina Holzinger
With Renée Copraij, Evelyn Frantti, Florentina Holzinger, Annina Lara Maria Machaz, Xana Novais, Maria Netti Nüganen
Sound design Stephan Schneider
Dramaturgy Sarah Ostertag
Scenography Nikola Knežević
Technical realisation Bram Geldhof, Anne Meeussen, Maarten Van Trigt
Outside eye Michele Rizzo
Produced by CAMPO
Co-produced by steirischer herbst, Frascati Producties, La Bâtie – Festival de Genève, Münchner Kammerspiele, Sophiensaele, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm
With the support of MA7 Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien
Thanks to Btissame Amadour, Sina Christmann, Ghani Minne, Philippe Marchal, Blaze
Florentina Holzinger (AT)
Florentina Holzinger, born in Vienna in 1986, works as a dancer and theatre-maker. After studying architecture, she first moved to Ghent/Belgium to work at the Kopergietery youth theatre before beginning to study choreography at the Amsterdam University of the Arts. Her final project “Silk” was awarded the Prix Jardin d’Europe at the ImPulsTanz festival in 2012. Holzinger’s second solo piece premièred in 2015, “Recovery”; like the first, this was again a tour de force of dance and experimental art. Between 2011 and 2013 she also worked with Vincent Riebeek on a joint trilogy (“Kein Applaus für Scheiße”, “Spirit”, “Wellness”), a series that continued with “Schönheitsabend” in 2015. With her latest piece, “Apollon Musagète”, Holzinger is now presenting her first ballet, that will be premièring in Austria at steirischer herbst.