The flow of time falls in cascades – or becomes a thin trickle like in Meg Stuart’s new piece “Cascade”. The conception as an overloaded philosophy over time culminated in a world premiere on Saturday evening in the Volkstheater, which mainly suffers from one thing: the right timing. Or to paraphrase Alfred Polgar: “The performance started at nine. When I checked my watch two hours later, it was nine thirty. “
The US choreographer actually had a stage performer as a sparring partner for her new piece, Philippe Quesne, who recently disappointed with “Das Lied der Erde” at the festival, but created an appealing venue for “Cascade”. Two bouncy castles covered with cosmic motifs, which seem to breathe through the evening like stranded whales, are flanked by a ramp that leads straight up Bergisel.
The time from which the seven performers of the Stuart Compagnie Damaged Goods initially peel themselves as if from a cosmically slow primordial goby becomes this space. In slow motion, the action gradually begins to move, surrounded by a primordial fog. In the course of the almost two-hour evening, the cascade will not run downwards in a linear fashion, but will always swell up and down, oscillate between loud and quiet, between standstill and movement.
And yet these mountains of time are porous. Each dancer stays in his or her own time bubble, it is only seldom that you meet when the courses of time cross for a short time. And it is even less common to act synchronously as a group. As is often the case with Stuart, live musician Brendan Dougherty pushes this circling up to the acoustic pain threshold between electro track and percussion – or it is reduced to zero.
Real cut moments, however, are the exception and are ultimately limited to a one-off flicker of irony when the rhythmic track of “How Deep Is Your Love” with its kitschy sunset counteracts the imposed heaviness of the subject. Otherwise, the performers always seem almost lost in time and space, the basis for a long time does not support a whole evening, but unfortunately in the extreme stretch of time is in places simply a waste of time.
Nevertheless, there was unanimous cheers at the end – because the other part of the audience had simply left the house. “Cascade” is not Meg Stuart’s only appearance at this year’s, newly opened ImPulsTanz. On July 26th, her classic “Violet” will be shown again in Vienna for the tenth anniversary of the Volkstheater. The abstract work with five performers and again Dougherty as a musician has been on tour since the premiere. And finally, Stuart can be heard acoustically in the audio project “Showing – The Matter Lab” on July 30th and 31st.
(SERVICE – Further performances of “Cascade” on July 19th at 9 pm in the Volkstheater.