Ultima Vez: Booty Looting

Last evening of the festival Tanec Praha 2012 was dedicated to the world stars of physical theatre: Ultima Vez and Wim Vandekeybus. On June 28th and 29th, the audiences at the Archa Theatre had a unique opportunity to see the latest production of the renowned director and choreographer in its actual newness. Booty Looting has been recently premiered in Venice and Prague audiences were among the first to see reruns of this piece about vainness of a captured moment, about stealing souls that had been already stolen a long time ago, about memories. To create this show, Wim Vandekeybus assembled a team consisting of six dancers, a musician and a photographer.

Booty Looting is a profound reflection on the nature of photography in our lives. It explores the meaningfulness of seizing a moment, which is thus frozen in time – indeed, to freeze human energy in one single second without freezing the context it was created in. In contrast, the piece lets the music flow; the music that not only develops, but also supports the emotion, the music that is the driving force behind movement, stopped by the photograph. And at that very moment it felt as if the emotion, strong enough to send shivers down one’s spine appeared on the canvas behind the performers. After the piece Radical Wrong, performed in the autumn last year, Wim Vandekeybus once again brings back the philosophical contemplation on the nature of the world today. Indeed, it looks like he has been recently shifting from the breathtaking shows full of rushing energy towards somewhat more intellectual aspect of creation that responds to world of today. More play is given to spoken word and music, improvised directly on the stage. Movement is not suppressed, but it is not put forward either, it rather reacts to the music. Movement vocabulary is unmistakably an “Ultima-like” one: falls, turns, roll overs – all on the edge of human capabilities, but by no means exceeding the limits of the present contemporary dance, as it occurred for example in Radical Wrong. The production Booty Looting indeed is not the ground-breaking choreography we would possibly expect from a dance event of the season, performed at Tanec Praha, on the other hand, who says that the objective must be ground-breaking in the sense of a brand new approach. Wim Vandekeybus undoubtedly perceives and displays the essence of life in today’s world in a way that is not so easy to grasp, but in relation to what he wants to say it is well-founded. It is kind of showing of what has already been shown, of stealing of what has already been stolen, as the name of the show itself suggests. Booty Looting
Direction, choreography and stage design: Wim Vandekeybus

Collaborators, dancers: Jerry Killick, Birgit Walter, Elena Fokina, Dymitry Szypura, Luke Jessop, Kip Johnson
Original live music: Elko Blijweert
Photographer on the stage: Danny Willems
Art Assistance, dramaturgy: Greet Van Poeck
Lighting Design: Davy Deschepper, Francis Gahide, Wim Vandekeybus
Sound: Antoine Delagoutte
Styling: Isabelle Lhoas
Assistant stylist: Frédérick Denis
Assistant choreographer: Máte Mészáros
Lights on tour: Davy Deschepper
Sound on tour: Antoine Delagoutte
Premiere: February 23rd, 2012 Promotion photo Danny Willems 

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