Extinction of a Minor Species structures itself around a series of acts with dance as its hallmark. In this “environment of actions”, an out-of-time narrative permeates the atmosphere to figure purposefully, the boundaries of uncertainty in the construction of an artistic space, where dance, choreography and body empower a furtherance of an aesthetic resistance.
The imagery of Extinction of a Minor Species centres essentially on the human body. Before the space is always the body. Bodies are everywhere in this performance – implied, represented or transformed choreographically and artistically. Body images recall us of the Antiquity and of mythical wars. Abyssal creatures and cyborg-fauns lurk on stage while godlike beings whispers in unknown tongues. But, we are not able to understand the language of the body and the flesh anymore.
Extinction acknowledges how little is necessary to transform a body: a painted line, a shape, a prosthesis, or a sound. Body attitude also metamorphoses the outside shell of the performers into a narrative: a fragile body with a dangerous face. Physicality is conceived as a communication, one that animals have, and that humans had before mastering language. At the beginning, it was the gesture: a window into the mind. And we, human animals, continue expressing ourselves through gestures and physical signals.
But, even having been trained so strongly to not show its real nature, the human animal – haunted by its ghosts, sometimes terrified, and concealing itself – refuses to die away, and is constantly reappearing, unlearning all imposed boundaries and squirming against the pressure of beauty norms. In the body´s quest to accomplish its own loyalty in movement lie a theatricality. In the choreographic actions of Extinction lies a harmony and, in the assembly of choreographic material lie a freedom of independence, even a sentimental independency.
This production, since its birth, was demanding a reflection of what is inside of us: a demand of the theatrical. Godani´s more treasured artistic concepts are all present and contextualized in a myriad of possibilities – as hidden reminiscences, while they allowed this “environment of actions” decided what had the right value, in an effort to reach a realm of meaning. Blending classical shapes and extreme aesthetics, Extinction appeals for us to question our values of beauty, to create space for other kind of beauty, to re-evaluate the current concepts of beauty in society, to re-imagine what we can perceive as beauty, and finally, to allow our vision on it.
In a world where it seems that we don’t care neither about time nor about its preservation, where it seems like all we do is kill it, beat it, or race against it, Extinction of a Minor Species is a hint to a timeless universe in which any internal decision have a choreographic repercussion. It is a place where extinction can be slowed by the efforts to open a space of imagination.
Luisa Sancho Escanero
“In our western tradition most people are still convinced that „art“ and „science“ are two totally different activities of humans that have little in common: „art“ is just beautiful, aesthetic, inspiring, a „nice to have“ and a kind of luxury that makes life worth living; „science“, instead, is considered to be useful and essential for our survival and many feel that science has made metaphysics and religion obsolete and will in the end answer all possible questions. However, the more we learn about the evolution of mankind, of our body and brain on the one hand and on the limits of our knowledge and scientific understanding on the other hand, the more we see the commonalities: in both art and science it is about perception, understanding and communication, there is a scientific research and an artistic research which both have their – but complementary - strengths, weaknesses and limitations. Jacopo Godani and his Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company are pushing this artistic research to its limits. What is movement and what controls it? What kinds of movements are possible with the human body? How can we transcend the limits of our movements and of our art of dancing set by tradition, culture, our brain and even our biology? How can movements express our complex „selves“? In Jacopo Godani’s vision dancing is the ultimate possibility for a holistic (but non-scientific) self-discovery and self-assurance for a „minor species“, that brings so many other species to extinctions so that its own future is in danger.
The Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung is looking forward to cooperating with the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company. Thanks to the change in perspective, an artistic approach expands the purely scientific view of nature and humanity, thereby adding value for researchers, artists and audience members.”
(Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Volker Mosbrugger, Senckenberg-Director General)
In Cooperation with Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung
A cooperation with the Dresden Music Festival 2017 and
HELLERAU - European Center for the Arts Dresden
Extinction of a Minor Species
Choreography Jacopo Godani
Light, Stage, Costumes Jacopo Godani
48nord, live performed by Kubus Quartett
Rodion Shchedrin, Basso Ostinato for piano, Musikverlag Hans Sikorski, Hamburg
Live improvisations on the piano
3D-Animation/Illustrations Amir Andikfar, Jonas Lauströer
Length 70 min / 16 dancers
World Premiere 28 April 2017, Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company, Frankfurt am Main, Bockenheimer Depot
In cooperation with Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Ensemble Modern