tanz.at Etdith Wolf-Perez

tantzatSheer luxury – contemporary dance along with live music! With the young group FeinSinn this combination is not intended to be a special exception, but a conceptual artistic pro-gram me de rigeur. Alexander Nantschev and Elke Pichler are two halves of a whole. Alexander is the musical director, while Elke Pichler is the choreographer dancer , as well as singer.

According to the programme, the latest production “to-rsO” is a “first-time choreographic realization of Friedrich Nietzsche’s compositions”. It’s not a stretch that the philosopher provides inspiration for a dancing act, as he engaged himself with dance time and again, exerting influence on the work of numerous dancers by means of his words (also look at the book review of “Nietzsche’s Dancers”).

His work as a composer, however, is generally unknown. On the one hand the band FeinSinn – respectively their soloists Sasha Nantschev, Christo Popov, Michael Flatz and Robert Siegel – played original compositions by Nietzsche, on the other hand Sasha Nantschev took inspiration from the philosopher’s musical pieces – many of them frag-ments – for his own compositions and songs in an experimental pop sound.

Dancers Julia Mach, Elke Pichler and Filip Szartarski developed a „dancing“ collection of aphorisms for the twelve tracks- a range of emotional conditions pastiches, from depres-sive introspection to orgiastic ecstasy. In this manner they act taking over the structures of Nietzsche’s philosophic-literary work, consisting mainly of aphorisms, as well as tracing the contradictions of the phenomenon of Nietzsche himself, whose writings reflect strong vitality, though his body was marked by severe illnesses. Even the costumes are indicative of this search for traces – white for the dancers, black for the musicians. In the course of the performance the costumes “bleed” into one another, the white outfits getting dirtier and dirtier – even graphite powder being dusted on the stage, in order to blacken the white; on the contrary, the musicians shed their black outer garments, thus gradually becoming “whiter”.

A further fragmentary component is added through the stage decoration by Stefanie Wil-helm; mobile, rectangular, black columns, frequently hiding parts of the dancers, yet serv-ing as lighting elements.

As even in the spelling of the title is reflected, it is all about fragments in “to-rsO” – on vari-ous levels. In total, in its entirety, the piece (because of this, perhaps?) remains enigmati-cal, hard to comprehend.

Above all, however, this work is convincing, because a collective is busy here who seem to know where the artistic path has to lead; and therefore anything possible has to be tried, free from all restraint. With “to-rsO” the musical aim is more clearly recognizable than the choreographic one. The spectrum of the band FeinSinn is wide, reaching from ballads to hard rock, from serious music to pop, to electronic. Themixture of styles as well as the sound may well remind of Björk, especially the songs with Elke Pichler, who also acts as a singer. The choreography also follows an eclectic approach, but cannot really develop an autonomous profile here, in the face of such a strong musical component.

With the production “Feeling Face Form”, a choreographically very consequent involve-ment with character dancer Susanne Schmida, things went the other way round. There the focus definitely lay on the dancing aspect, whereas in “to-rsO” the musical part is the dominant one.

At any rate, the uncompromising and headstrong search for artistic identity raises interest and curiosity concerning the further way of those versatilely gifted “FeinSinn-ed” locations like the (Anker) Expedit Hall offers an ideal setting for that purpose.