In June 2018, the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company presented the new version of Jacopo Godani's choreography Extinction of a Minor Species at the Bockenheimer Depot in Frankfurt am Main.
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
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 performed by Hermann Kretzschmar (Ensemble Modern)
Improvisations on the piano by Hermann Kretzschmar (Ensemble Modern)
3D-Animation/Illustrations Amir Andikfar, Jonas Lauströer
Length 70 min / 16 dancers
Premiere New version 8 June 2018, Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company, Frankfurt am Main, Bockenheimer Depot
In cooperation with Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung und Ensemble Modern