The energetic choreography of Noa Wertheim lives on the tension between an overload and a yearning which further is creating the dense composition of Ran Bagno, played live by the Revolution Orchestra, in “White Noise“. The production created in 2018 involves the musicians into the dance of the ensemble in a surprisingly playful manner. Opening the 25th edition of schrit_tmacher festival at the theater in Heerlen, this allows for reciprocal references with a rhythmically dense symphony of body, music and sounds.
At no moment in time anyone remains still. The shoulders are shrugging relentlessly, torsos are shaking, hands leap up to the head and cling to something there as if trying to contain the clanking and rattling tunes that permanently permeate the composition of “White Noise“. The dancers of the Israeli Vertigo Dance Company give in to this overload. They put themselves under the stress, they constantly change direction and keep on running backwards in circles. Surrounded by the increasing noise of the modern world they do not find their way to neither the others nor themselves. Experiences, encounters, noises incessantly patter onto them. After a while this lets everything and every partner appear interchangeable. The dancers are looking for the long-desired rest in their counterparts as they are persistently turning towards one another. Wertheim’s choreography continually affects the fine line in between longing desire, lascivious stimulation and a passion ready to use violence via the body language of the company. Who is seducing whom to what stays – probably intentionally – unclear as the ensemble is getting mixed up wildly and repeatedly. The almost existential longing for proximity, for a base that gives support and silences the enduring beeping in the head but also the desperation of each pathway taken in life is thus being expressed in an almost blatantly obvious way.
The choreography is less characterized by technical refinement than by a strongly grounded movement language peppered with a lot of acrobatic elements. The high amount in acrobatics does indeed make the choreography more exciting and complex but is then partially contrasting what “White Noise“ is supposed to convey. It is lacking moments of exclusion, of withdrawal when someone finds him- or herself alone. The dancers never appear as individuals but always as part of the ensemble, acting as a collective body. The acrobatic elements – that require a reliably rehearsed collaboration – make the community visible at all times. Moments of relying on each other emerge repeatedly by falling backwards or being whirled into the air by many. Yet, one does never tumble into the unknown. In an unbearable whirl of noise strong arms are catching and bringing you safely back to the floor. There is trust – and that is visible.
The predictable dramaturgy dampens the joy of the in many ways successful evening. There is no taking of risks, neither in music nor in dance that could have imparted greater depth to the topic. The development of the piece is predictable. After numerous energetic and tense ensemble parts the dancers collapse into each other in the end. Their dance is dominated by a floor work flow and reminds of these moments when getting up is too difficult due to exhaustion. An inner peace is absent and with a lowered head the ensemble is sneaking back into the dimness. The noise of our surroundings echos continuously in ourselves – thus the resigning message of the evening. As much as we endeavor we are not capable of hushing it.