The new premiere Luna Plina – Full moon by the Romanian choreographer Ioanna Mona Popovici, who permanently works in the Czech Republic, expectedly abolishes the barriers between the Dance- and the Movement Theater. The performance that – deliberately – fits more into the latter category, was presented on the stage of the “dance” theater Ponec on the 25th and 26th November. The performance was greatly anticipated as its realization was also initiated (besides other aspects) by awarding the author the Sazka Award in the category “discovery in dance 2007” which had set the commitment to make a performance.
What an iffy matter this Sazka Award is. While having the resources, the author is, at the same time, being closely watched and his work is, perhaps, judged more critically. Ionna Mona Popovici, however, faced this situation with originality typical of her. The piece Full moon came out to be an abstract colorful composition of dysfluent sequence of images full of tension, rigidity, uncertainty and, above all, full of various loose material. The spectators, along with the performers, find themselves in the middle of some deserted landscape intensively lit by a white paper moon. Peeled nut shells suggesting the feeling of emptiness let us anticipate that something isn’t right among those three on the stage. The first one – “the goofy detailman” (Jan Švec) – is looking for games and trifles, the second one – “the aggressive one” (Florian Tilzer) – is looking for a conflict and reconciliation. She – “the hysterical woman” (Veronika Kolečkářová) – balances both of them. The broken communication raises the pressure which increases further scattering of the loose values. In the end the large stage is covered with an huge amount of everything possible and creates a stunning visual chaos thanks to which there is no place for pity that the performance was not set in a more intimate space which might be more suitable for this genre, but would be too small for a scenography of such proportions.
Luna Plina proves again the virtues of Ionna Mona Popovici as a director and choreographer. Most importantly, it is her sense of detail in the context of events and of the characters’ behavior. She can perfectly describe the character by a petty correction of an action or visage and she is not afraid to take risks. The performance turned out to be an opportunity for the three experienced, though in Prague virtually unknown, protagonists, to present their performing qualities, especially concerning the potential of expression.
On the other hand, Luna Plina, maybe because of its freshness, lacks clear timing of actions which would create more intensive dynamics of the whole piece. We may only guess to what extension this is a purpose and to what extension it is only a stage in the process of creation. We cruise through the small work of art like in a boat and we just graze a stone or a root here and there. The moon landscape offers many craters, on the other hand ... there is really no need to fall into them.
There is no doubt that the author will surprise many of her supporters as well as her adversaries with her piece, and will encourage or discourage those who don’t know her work. The opinion will hardly stay somewhere in between though, especially if the audience keeps in mind that it is a Movement Theater.
Translation: Barbora Čepičková