STAGES INTO THE NOW is both a series of films and a live solo for Scott Jennings, the former acclaimed dancer in Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal. Alexandra Waierstall has been collaborating with Scott for several years and is always inspired by his effortlessly striking presence and minimal nuanced interpretation.
This work is a return to the solo form for Alexandra Waierstall, a format she comes back to when wanting to focus our thinking on a singular moment, in a more minimal, pointed way.
This solo brings together live dance, as well as extracts of the film of the same name, here shown in a single screen set up, amongst with the performance unfolds. Spoken word in English, as well as recorded voice appear in the work, in both poetic form and direct address.
This work is foremost a dynamic, live mediation on our relationship to time, specifically the different layers of how we experience it: from our embodied personal history and our direct family lineage, to larger timescales, such as the history of modern dance and that of our species, living in the very real risk to humankind known as the anthropocene. It also questions more unknown timespans, such as the time span of our digital image so prevalent in our lives today.
Indeed in this work, specific histories and location are referred to. With a stunning solo performance, an unraveling live music score by Volker Bertelmann and the mesmerizing lights by Caty Olive, we weave the past and present in a choreographic encounter with Wuppertal and its opera house, captured on film as it was sadly abandoned during the pandemic and devastated by floods in 2021. This is a house and city Alexandra Waierstall has a personal connection to, with her father’s German lineage rooted there, and has been a starting point for the work.
This solo is a dance emerging from a dream-like setting, bringing us into a state of drift and subtle dialogue with the dance matriarch Pina Bausch, the German art group Discoteca Flaming Star and dear poetess Sappho. Ultimately, we are asked to look into our hearts and feel into one of the mysteries of our existence, namely the permanence of change.