BOXMAN/RÖD

While not the smartest thing I’ve done in my entire life, I suppressed all the warnings my body was sending to me and went to the tonight’s performance at the Opera. I feel even worse now than I did before, the headache just doesn’t want to go away and I can feel that the fever hasn’t left me either.

I am however still glad that I didn’t stay at home. BOXMAN/RÖD was two performances by two different choreographers. The difference between the two “plays” was quite tangible. Of the two, I liked BOXMAN way better. My grandma wasn’t as pleased, but conceded that BOXMAN did have more in line of a story, whereas RÖD was more of a visual experience accompanied by classical music. (Granny did not like the music played in BOXMAN)

I confess, in the beginning I too was skeptical, the initial drums where ferocious. But it definitely got better from there on. I even caught myself thinking that I didn’t want to stay and see RÖD, I just wanted to get home and blog about BOXMAN, since there was no way RÖD could surpass it.

Sadly though, I think I might have been one of a few agreeing with me. To my right where two younger females (possibly a bit too young) who saw it fit to giggle through most of the performance, irritating most if not all of the surrounding people. And to my left I heard someone whisper a question about how much longer the performance would be.

But it reached out to me, and it managed to touch me. Granted, I don’t really know what the story was, or what was being communicated, but I do know what it told me. And I liked it a lot. Normally this would probably not have been my cup of tea, what with the “modern ballet dancing style” and all, but it all worked in a wonderful harmony.

The dancers, top notch, the music, or perhaps possibly better described as a “sound experience”, also top notch. The choreography… spectacular, especially using walls to add a third dimension to the dance, and not to forget, in some of the “scenes” it reminded of ancient martial arts. Beautiful. And the stage, a very minimalistic approach compared to other performances (ok, RÖD was even less cluttered, with nothing else but dancers on the stage) but as they saying goes, “perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove”.

In my mind BOXMAN managed to project a varied range of images, thoughts and concepts such as madness and paranoia, how hard it can seemingly be to find ones way in the world today, in this enormous world, filled with people, rushing by, it can be hard to find your bearings, how easy it is to become lost. How we are measured and put under scrutiny from everyone, even ourselves, based on what we think that others think of us.

It filled me also with the sense, that even if the world is large, and I am but one individual, from a paranoid perspective, the government could, theoretically (the practical implications have been solved, just look at London and their network of CCTV cameras) single out an individual and conduct targeted surveillance.

It also brought my mind to Ghost in the Shell. I can’t really say why, possibly because two of the dancers had Asian ancestry. The stage with the streetlights coming from all directions (from the street as well as from somewhere up above stretching down) also gave it a very… “future” look, but at the same time a bit run-down. I think that helped put GitS in my mind. The movie portrays a pretty run-down city.

Also, the character in the beginning, the slightly paranoid person, in the later scenes, gave me thoughts about both “V” from the movie (V for Vendetta) as well as the phenomenon that is “anon” on the Internet. Other things springing to mind is “1984”, and the movie Equilibrium.

Towards the end it started to break up a bit, I wasn’t getting everything being “told” but then again, I am sure I interpreted most of it way wrong anyway ;)

One scene which I really did enjoy towards the end, was when one lone character was standing in the middle of the stage, with the other dancers passing him by. At first he was lost, but then beginning to follow them around, and performing single dance moves, which was then mimicked by the person he was following.

To me it kind of symbolized that in this world, we are all individuals, we all have different goals, different motivations, and different agendas, but we share some of these, with others. So we can interact, cooperate, do the same thing, for a short while, on some level for some unspecified time, connect. Until our paths once again separate. Although we are different, we are also the same.

As I said, I like BOXMAN because of the effect it had on me. I probably misinterpreted it all, but even so, the experience was beautiful and valuable to me. (A lot of “me” going around here, but I think it best to clarify that I liked it because of how it made me think and feel. Others may, or may not, like it.)

It managed to move me, and bring up things I hadn’t thought about in a while, and I think it might even have helped me to realize a thing or two, which are bit more personal than I will divulge here, but with all this in mind, I cannot call it anything other than a smashing success.

RÖD on the other hand… I have no desire to badmouth that performance, the dancers where the same, again superb, but the music needed visual stimuli, and the visual stimuli the dancers provided wasn’t speaking to me the way that BOXMAN did. So I would probably have to say that the one good quality of RÖD which immediately springs to mind (unfortunately) is that it was on about forty minutes in length. It kills me to have to be so brutally honest, but BOXMAN blew it out of the water… completely.

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