Is Aakash life good
New hope despite flight and terror
In a gloomy shelter, a group of people is sitting at a table, the electric light flickers, the small radio crackles and whistles, approaching explosions make it clear that we are in the middle of refugees who feel safe from a bombardment here. But people are scared. When the radio suddenly gets louder, they flinch like an electric shock. The danger is palpable at every moment.
The audience should be drawn into the reality shown here, says the British choreographer Aakash Odedra, who is attracting worldwide attention with his one-hour dance drama #JeSuis. It shows oppression and violence and the speechlessness of the victims, which not only emerges with contempt, as here in war, but also in prison, refugee camp or behind drawn curtains. "We live in a hashtag generation," says Odedra, "but the TV reports and hashtags don't get us any further. I want to get people to think - and to act. I believe that everyone can make a difference for the better."
The disturbing images of the frightened people get a new drama with the penetration of a soldier. They back away from him, he sits down at the table, turns up the radio. The six listen to the news mixed with the howling of sirens: With gestures of desperation, they toss and roll on the floor. Regardless of the soldier, he throws her documents in the air.
Thrilling scenes danced passionately and haunted
The refugees try in vain to send a message outside via a microphone / telephone, but nobody hears them. On the other hand, you will hear a prepared text that the intimidated have to speak into a recording device: "We are fine here". Gripping scenes created by the seven Turkish dancers full of passion and presence, full of dynamism and moving expressiveness.
A woman is overwhelmed and wrapped in cling film from head to toe. You can see her labored struggle for breath, but she can break free. The other refugees also enter the stage with their foreheads wrapped in foil. Brainwashing? Infernal bass lines, a brutal duel between the soldier and a prisoner who goes to the ground. The proud winner drags a woman from the group, a brutal pas de deux with a defenseless person suggests rape.
Now resistance is growing in the group, led by the women. The lighting changes to bright sunlight, it seems to give the oppressed new hope, strength and dignity - this important scene is also a great dance performance by the company. The perpetrator suddenly becomes the hunted: Lying on the ground, the tormentor takes off his uniform. The headlights slowly go out. Silence. Silence in the audience too. Then big applause for the dedicated dancers, for Aakash Odedra and his captivating and unsettling choreography.
At the well-received debriefing, tour manager Evi Nurfidianti introduced Aakash Odedra and dancer Gizem Aksu. The choreographer explained the concept of his work, which was originally created as a work in progress at a workshop in Istanbul. When one of the audience questions referred to the evening as a nightmare, Odedra replied: "That's partly true, but don't forget: We live in a nightmare. But we don't have to come to terms with it - the piece is my answer".
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