48 by 4 equals 12
Let’s start from the beginning: the title. 48/4… 48 hours from life of 4 people? Sounds fine and accurate. 48 square meters divided between 4 people? Well, once again – it sounds fine and accurate, but I can think of at least one more explanation: 48/4 is an address of the apartment in the block of flat. Never mind, lets leave divagations about the title as they seem to be leading only to conclusion, that title of newest performance by Lubelski Teatr Tanca (Lublin Dance Theater) can be interpreted in many different ways.
So, how about the choreography? Does it leave as many interpretations as the title? Forgive me if I’m wrong, but… nope. It does not. The story told by dance of four dancers seems to be quite simple. Inside four walls (frontal of them is that famous and invisible “forth wall”) we can see four people struggling to find their place to live. As the space is highly limited it looks like a trap. No way out, no exit, almost nothing with the exception of white and comfortably looking couch. Nothing, but four people caged inside. As the time of performance flows, tension seems to be getting higher and higher. Even on the beginning we can see, that there is always to little space for everyone. Only three of protagonists can rest on the couch… the forth one is treated as an intruder. In order to preserve small “lebensraum” inside 4 walls alliances are being built – girls against boys (or woman against men if you wish). The first of them are defending their little coach-alike castle, the others are trying to invade… who is going to win this battle? Probably no one, because after black-out audience is facing completely new situation.
Two of the dancers (Ryszard Kalinowski and Anna Żak) are resting at the end of the stage, leaving room for new interaction. So, what is happening between Wojciech Kapron and Beata Pałka? Is it seduction or is it war? Hard to define – once they seem to be magnetizing each other, couple seconds later it looks as if they were trying to push the other one away as far as it is possible. Everything what is happening between them is rather rapid, and is looking more like a movement, than dance understood in classical way.
Whole performance seems to be focused on the problem of people trapped in small space, emotions which may appear in that kind of situation. The tempo of 48/4 is variable – for some the most striking parts may be the fastest one, when aggressive movement is strongly underlined by wicked music of Peter Kurek of avant-garde electronic duo called Slepcy. The others will appreciate moments of calming down, when you can hear only breaths of dancers hiding in dimmed light. To sum up, I believe that everyone familiar with style of Lubelski Teatr Tanca should find at least some parts of 48/4 amusing and touching. That’s why I advise to see it – at least for the concept of whole work and choreography by Ryszard Kalinowski.
At XI International Dance Theaters Festival 48/4 had its premiere. Unfortunately that means some problems. I definitely appreciate the idea of this performance, I loved the music (which is really atonal, noisy and highly deconstructive – you have been warned) but I couldn’t ignore the feeling, that dancers moves were a bit rough. It seemed that performers weren’t sure of their possibilities, weren’t precise enough, maybe even stretched enough, sometimes hesitated to long before beginning new scene. I really needed to see actors who were moving more like Craigs’ “uber-marionettes”. I hope that after some fiddling with couple of scenes 48/4 will be striking and – perhaps – award wining piece of dance theater art.
Michał Miłosz Zieliński
Last edited by Michal Milosz Zielinski on Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.