Sasha Amaya
“Sarabande”
Sophiensäle, Berlin, 9th of January 2020
In the frame of Tanztage 2020

“The detail of the pattern is movement”, so the voice from the off claims, whilst a woman and a man, her in plain blue clothes with puffy sleeves, him in plain yellow clothes with a scarf as a shirt frill, enter the white stage from opposite sides, arms angled, hands held in soft, decorative fashion, immobile gaze, to initiate their “walk, position, walk, position” accompanied by a polyphony of pitchshifting voices which disturb the odd game of “exaggerated dullness through exactitude”.
Smoke enters from above, the turned out feet are swivelled back into parallell position, Georg Friedrich Händel’s Sarabande fills the space to prepare the audience for new takes on the dance figures from long-gone court celebrations.
One quickly hinted similarity with the stylised show moves of a “Paris is Burning” ballroom model, and the pair is sat on the floor, so representational in their positioning that the fashion photographers’ hearts amongst the audience must have skipped a beat at their sight…until they melt into the floor, enganging in the repetition of an undulating ornament, a full-bodied Feuillet score, an evident break with Baroque’s upright stances, a contemporary love declaration to the flat surface where all the steps land.
The self-conscious, yet curteous stiltedness that seems to be the signature trait of Baroque dances is being replaced by joyous abandonment as soon as the two performers – still carrying out all the protcolled moves – cross the space, smiling at each other, with scant regard for the accuracy of the placed body parts: his port de bras becomes an ascent of utter grace, her backleg is cheekily being kicked back, yet, lest we forget: the detail of the pattern remains movement – ta-ta…ta-ta-ta…1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8.