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Red Grass - reviews

Bitter sweet cherries
Teatralia.pl / Trójmiasto, 05.08.2009
Alicja Olkowska
The latest dance child of Dada von Bzdulow Theatre reflects on man-woman relations. It might seem those are complicated and because of subtle nuance between the sexes the sides cannot fully understand each other. In the performance yet they appear to be very simple and even predictable as the game between the lovers is always the same, determined with biology.

It seems to be innocent at the beginning. Just a regular disco party stylized as in “Saturday Night Fever” and “Billie Jean” by Jackson. Two couples are flirting on the illuminated dance floor. They are dancing, smiling and looking at each other so that one knows straight away what they mean. It works! The men bait with charm and women fell in the sweet cherries trap.
 
Among the love overwhelmed couples there is one more person, a young girl. She moves in a chaotic, clumsy and funny way. She does not match to this mutual admiration society which sways gently on the polished floor.
 
Something sparks between the players and… To be continued. Men and women get ready presenting their attitude towards the opposite sex. While women take off their filmy dresses showing breasts to the sun, men get rid of the jackets changing into overalls. The fight gets started. The fight with the materials, air, temperature, with anything. What is important is the fight itself and the achievement. It does not matter if it is about the work or women. The aim stays always the same, to win and then get new challenges. It is clear that in this theatrical constellation the men are active whereas women passive side though showing some activeness but only within sexual sphere tempting or indecently eating sweet cherries.

Nevertheless a man epitomizes not only sex and quest for achievement but also joy. Shifting the action of the piece into the audience space united the spectators and won their favor. That was fun! There were jokes and jostling, pen-shooting and wiping sweat faces by kind funs of theatre art. The performance was moved to the audience because nothing was happening on the stage, just the women basking in the sun as still lizards.
 
Ultimately men get bored with the games and go back to the women. They come close to each other. No one is truly involved but women hope to get something more than just a flirt. Women give themselves away. Men take them but leave in the morning after bewitching night and go back to their overalls, struggles and jokes. Whereas disappointed and lonely women give a fearful squeak, not a shout but a squeak. A squeak which combines all unfulfilled hopes, deluded dreams and empty mornings. But it is not worth breaking down because there will be other discos and next lovers and maybe they will stay for longer… And you, young girl get this lesson of femininity and eat sweet cherries. You will be next.

The performance moved the spectators with its vigor and light approach to upsetting and obvious subjects. At some points it was funny as making a parody of ourselves. At other points it was sad because it showed what we are like and how our desires crack, just as soap bubbles. Also music by Mikolaj Trzaska is worth appreciation. It perfectly matches the piece action.
The group brought the house down. Deservedly.
 
***
 
The Art Coast festival full of imported art
Trójmiasto.pl 13.07.2009
Łukasz Rudziński
Red Grass (L’herb rouge) by Dada von Bzdulow Theatre is a third attempt to the work of Boris Vian, a spiritual patron of the company. Dancers moving in a typical for the company scenery full of colorful lights and weird props (this time they were filled long green hot-water bottles and standing hair dryers) as well as excellent and pulsating music (Mikołaj Trzaska) conveyed motives from Vian’s work into the language of dance. Indeed the diverse movement of the five dancers (except Bzdyl and Chmielewska there were Radek Hewelt, Ula Zerek and Tatiana Kamieniecka) allows me to call this performance one of the most interesting event of The Art Coast festival.
 
By means of the intriguing performance of the choreography (combining various dance sequences) as well as a cunningly used dance of a debutante Tatiana Kamieniecka the group created an interesting and close to Vian’s work performance full of turns and innovative approach to the subjects of love, youth, life and death.
 
***
 
The art top of Tricity
Gazeta Wyborcza Trójmiasto, 13.07.2009
Mirosław Baran
This is an unpretentious performance consists of leisurely proceeding scenes full of cheerful eroticism. Typical for the company irony is also marked in Czerwona Trawa (L’herb rouge). However it is not as sharp here as in Opus pessimum but it is rather noticeable in a relation between dancers as well as between dancers and the spectators (fantastic scene where two actors Bzdyl and Hewelt enter the audience space while Chmielewska and Zerek are dancing together on the stage).

The real discovery of Czerwona Trawa (L’herb rouge) is Ula Zerek, a talented dancer consequently developing her skills for a couple of years. In the new performance by Dada she is a match for the more experienced dancers, Chmielewska, Bzdyl or Hewelt. The piece is also a successful debut of Tatiana Kamieniecka. An important element of the performance is excellent music composed by Mikolaj Trzaska combining jazz motives with catchy electric moments.
 
***
 
The great subtlety
Dziennik Teatralny, 15.07.2009
Kamila Golik
A translation of a novel into theatre language is a great achievement. An additional challenge is to translate it into the world of dance theatre where all messages are passed by means of human body. Latest premiere of Dada von Bzdulow Theatre presented during The Art Coast festival (festiwal Wybrzeże Sztuki) has shown how beautiful such a communication of body language can be.
 
The piece was presented in “Malarnia” a stage of Wybrzeze Theatre. The actors were moving in almost empty space presenting human relationships as well as opportunity of exploring the inner world and discovering one’s weakness and imperfection. Czerwona Trawa (L’herb rouge) not only shows beauty of human body in movement but it also reflects on human physicality as a prison which one cannot escape easily. But fortunately there is always somebody who will give a hand and show how beautiful human relationships are.
 
Also the spectators could feel the closeness with the dancers. During the performance the actors tried to find some space for themselves within the audience to discover some props and interact with people. At the same time on the stage Chmielewska and Zerek presented an alluring synchronic dance phrase.

As usual in dance theatre music played an important role in the performance. The compositions perfectly matched the general atmosphere of the piece. The electro-jazz bits subtly completed the ironic world of the piece.

There was great music, an interesting direction idea, beautiful movement and perfect choreography, in other words all that dance pieces need. The issue of human relationships with a bit of subtle eroticism could not be presented in a better way.