MONUMENT 0: Haunted by the War (1913-2013)
Eszter Salamon shakes up the collective memory of the past century, digging up forgotten war dances from four continents. An incandescent act of resistance that is physical in the extreme. Courageously anti-imperialist.
In an act of incandescent resistance, Eszter Salamon shakes up the collective memory of the past century. The Hungarian choreographer has combed through the memory lapses of the West to exhume dozens of folk and tribal dances, using them to evoke 100 years of wars on four continents, a reflection of the history of colonization. A ghostly, expressionist anti-monument.
Physical in the extreme and united by a shared martial energy, the dances prepare for combat, celebrate victory, transcend defeat. Africa, the Middle East, Iran, Bali or the Caribbean; the dances are all from regions marked by conflicts. The performers weave these steps, rhythms, facial expressions and trances into a historical canvas, their bodies resonating with breathing, body percussion, shouts and chants, creating a moving form, living archaeology punctuated by moments of potent silence. Skeletons yanked from the cupboard of History, shimmering phantoms sweep across the rubble and ruins of the West. In a grand aesthetic catharsis, these unexpected revenants are offered up to a shared awareness. Troubling and courageously anti-imperialist.
Produced by Eszter Salamon
Dramaturgy Eszter Salamon + Ana Vujanović
Performed by Boglárka Börcsök + João Martins + Yvon Nana-Kouala + Luis Rodriguez + Corey Scott-Gilbert + Sara Tan
Lighting design Sylvie Garot
Sound design Wilfrid Haberey
Costume design Vava Dudu
Costume Design Assistant Olivier Mulin
Technical Director Michael Götz + Thalie Lurault
Theoretical advisor and historian Djordje Tomić
Production and management Sandra Orain + Alexandra Wellensiek
Acknowledgments to Bureau Cassiopée + Yvane Chapuis + EDEN***** + Zohar Frank + Danielle Kaufmann + Ligia Lewis + Moritz von Rappard + Alexandre Roccoli + Frédéric Seguette + l’équipe du CCN de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon + Centre National de la Danse (Pantin)
Co-produced by HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin) + Internationales Sommerfestival Kampnagel (Hambourg) + Les Spectacles vivants – Centre Pompidou (Paris) + PACT Zollverein – Départs (Essen) + Tanzquartier Wien + Centre Chorégraphique National de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon – Programme Résidences
With the support of Centre Chorégraphie National Ballet de Lorraine – Accueil Studio 2013/2014 (Nancy) + Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles d’Ile de France – Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (Paris) + NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ (NPN) – Co-production Fund for Dance funded by Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media based on a decision by German Bundestag (Berlin)
Presented in association with Usine C
Written by Jessie Mill
Translated by Neil Kroetsch
Premiered at Internationales Sommerfestival, Hamburg, on August 8, 2014
Eszter Salamon (Berlin + Paris)
A performance artist, dancer and choreographer, Eszter Salamon combines in her choreography video, sound, text, music and voice with gesture and movement.
She has been creating solos and ensemble pieces since 2001, and is frequently invited to present her work (including performative exhibits) in museums. Her interest in documentary and female autobiography has taken on multiple forms, from dance lectures to musical works and installations. From ages 4 to 20 Eszter Salamon practised traditional Hungarian dance, before turning to classical ballet and then contemporary dance. She is constantly exploring that triple heritage in her work, testing the boundaries of an imagination dissatisfied with preconceived limits.
Among the singular works of Eszter Salamon that have made an impact on the contemporary arts scene are Giszelle (2001) and Magyar Tàncok (2005), a dance concert-cum-lecture featuring Hungarian folk dancers and musicians. In TALES OF THE BODILESS (2011) she imagined a futuristic opera with no performers. Her mythical ensemble piece, Reproduction (2004), was remounted in 2015 by the Cullberg Ballet. MONUMENT 0 is the first piece in a series focused on the notion of the monument, where Eszter Salamon rewrites history, confronting its blind spots. This approach will continue in spring 2017 with the performance LANDING, un rituel d’empathie as revised historical record to be presented at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels. She has been associate artist at the Centre national de la danse in Paris since 2015.