© © Lena Obst

Loops and Lines

Das Laban-Tanz-Projekt von Stephan Thoss mit dem Ensemble Modern

Why do we move? What makes us move – and why do we move in one way, not another? Movements are based on impulses shared by everyone, consciously or unconsciously. Examining this connection between inner motivation and external body action and all the factors impacting it was the life’s mission of Rudolf von Laban, one of the most important dance researchers and pedagogues of the 20th century. His work aimed for analysis and consciousness of very different aspects and movements. To him, the relevant factors were time, space, energy and gravity.
Stephan Thoss’ ballet evening ›Loops and Lines‹ with Ensemble Modern and the ballet company of the Hessian State Theatre Wiesbaden shows the extent to which Laban’s theories are grounded within daily life. The ballet illustrates that his theory of movement pervades not only the world of dance, but also that of instrumentalists and ensembles. In the spirit of Laban’s connection between sound and movement, dancers and instrumentalists are joined in an interactive choreography on stage in which sound and movement cause each other and are interrelated.
›Loops and Lines‹ was developed in three steps. The first image focuses on the coordinates of space and time: the first piece of music performed will be Anders Hillborg’s ›Brass-Quintet‹, to which form and preliminary stages of motion are added. This is followed by John Adams’ string piece ›Shaker Loops‹, in which the musicians also move through space. The next piece is Steve Reich’s ›Eight Lines‹. Video images by Andreas J. Etter complement the stage action.

The masterstroke ›Bridges‹ after the interval is choreographed music: the six wind and brass players of the Ensemble improvise cheerfully and cleverly; Thoss [...] has them wandering across the stage clothed in silver-grey and disappearing through one of the audience exits.neue Musikzeitung, Eva-Maria Magel