Coraline Lamaison. By Bertram Müller

Coraline Lamaison_Narcissus


By Bertram Müller, Director of Tanzhaus NRW Düsseldorf.

The production process and the guest performance of Narcisses by Coraline Lamaison (France) was an excellent and instructive example of a European coproduction within the frame of the modul-dance project. The respective parts of the trilogy, which deals with the phenomenon of female narcissism in different ways, originated in three distinct places and premiered in three different places as well, in the last instance with the duet Narcisses-2.0, featuring the magnificent dancers Annabelle Chambon and Els Deceukelier. In the run-up, as a result of the second part of the production which originated in France, a great flutter and a fierce debate arose in the press and on the Internet in Düsseldorf because two real wolves were envisaged for that piece. In France that did not entail any problem either from the legal standpoint or for the enthusiastic audience. In a drawn-out debate with animal protection societies, the government veterinary department and the press, the fact was pointed out to the choreographer and the director of the dance centre Tanzhaus NRW that, regarding the stage appearance of animals and particularly of wolves, different and substantially stricter rules apply in Germany than in France. For a wolf to appear, a petition would have to be filed. As a result, the choreographer prepared a suitable German version which, even without the wolves, won warm acclaim and enthusiasm. It was a didactic play about immoral cultural feelings, laws and the fact that the freedom of art in the European countries has different limits. Exceptionally enjoyable was the charismatic British performer Kate Strong, who worked for many years in Frankfurt under William Forsythe and with the Volksbühne, the same as Annabelle Chambon and Els Deceukelier, who are considered essential protagonists in Fabre’s work. Not only the press, but also the audience had warm praise for the depiction and interpretation of female narcissism, terming it existential, humorous, incisive and brilliant. With her three-part production, the choreographer Coraline Lamaison has convincingly shown that, within the frame of modul-dance, she can deal with an extremely topical subject, female narcissism, in an exceptionally exciting production on a highly aesthetic level that confronts the different cultural habits of perception and is consequently of cross-border significance.

Indeed, this production has, as few others, so enthused and convinced many of my colleagues and me myself that I can most sincerely recommend it here to all organizers of today’s contemporary dance.

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