We were thrilled to get a letter from tanzhaus-nrw board member Bruno Assenmacher after the premiere of “1984…2014” in Dusseldorf. Here’s the translation from German:
It happens very rarely to me that even weeks after the show pictures, emotions or impressions of a dance performance appear in my head and come to my mind. To me this is an unmistakable sign that the artist’s messages have had a lasting impression on me. That is what happened with Anasma’s dance theatre [show] 1984…2014. As I first read the title of the show, I thought to myself: “heavy shit” for a dance performance, as George Orwell’s novel “1984” is a classic in which a totalitarian surveillance state brutally interferes in the life of a disobedient protagonist and finally “heals” him by using the weapons of betrayal, torture and brainwashing.
Together with the Compagnia Degli Gnomi, Anasma impressively puts this idea into practice, using three different manners of art: dance, theatre (requiring the audience have a good level of English) and music (from her own album “Chance is back”). She takes the liberty of quoting Charlie Chaplin and Michael Jackson through the medium of dance. Referring to Charlie as a rebel, she uses quotes of movements, extracted from his movie “Modern Times” (factory scene); and to Michael as the “love soldier”, as we all know him from his music videos. Using these characters as instruments, Anasma effortlessly transports the difficult topic to us.
Using almost all genres of dance that exist on this planet, Anasma is equipped with a practically inexhaustible repertoire of movements at the highest level! It is pure Contemporary Dance that helps her underline the topic of 1984 as an international, multicultural and contemporary topic at all times. Sometimes video clips, lines or body language appear threatening. The next moment there is this effortlessness again that makes us smile. In contrast to the novel which in the end passes the death sentence for the protagonist, Anasma’s story continues ending in a ‘happy dance’ [with the dancers of the] “Love Army” suddenly appearing on stage from the audience.
What will be remembered in the end besides the aesthetics of the representation is the message of that work of art:
Big brother is watching you: Facebook, Google, NSA and their gang control and threaten our world. This is not just the vision of a novel of the 1940’s anymore. It is real, it is now. There seems to be no way out, but there is hope. Just wake up!
Musician, engineer, management of tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf (Germany)