(video courtesy of ARTE, cover photo on preview page: Emilia Brandt. pictured: Takako Suzuki and the ensemble listed below)
Saying goodbye to those who choose to leave. Grief. Loss. Every passing moment.
In 2019 I was commissioned to create an original choreographic work for the Sasha Waltz & Guests dance company to premiere in March of 2020. The 75-minute work was created over one two-week solo residency (Ucross, WY), two two-week workshop periods, and one eight-week creation period (Berlin). The show premiered to the public at Berlin’s Radialsystem for a single-night on 12 March before the global pandemic of early 2020-present shut down all public gatherings.
I found the following text scribbled in my notes the day before we started work on the final section (an intensly complex layering of split, branching, multiple, and parallel realities):
Fear and ambition
Perhaps there exists a hidden world stage right. A world from which we all come, but a world in which terrible things happen and which we all fear. Death. Separation from things we love, people we love, lives we love.
Innumerable different “films” of existence are being spliced together all the time. The mundane is floating just on top of the Unimaginable. Two distinct possibilities among the trillions of possible configurations for each one of our lives. When does one make itself more known than the others? What are the ratios? Does that mean one is more present than the other? For more time? Are the other always sub-stories? These are things that are stories in and of themselves.
(and perhaps in the end we realize that we are (they are) all the same things.)
The company very much hopes to “re-premiere” »remains« in December of 2020, but as with all things now – we will wait and see, and we will keep you updated.
Direction / Choreography / Concept Set Design, Sound & Video: Andrew Schneider
Costume Design: Jasmin Lepore
Light Design: Yi Zhao, Andrew Schneider
Dance / Choreography: Juan Kruz Diaz de Garaio Esnaola, Luc Dunberry, Ageliki Gouvi, Margaux Marielle-Tréhoüart, Sasa Queliz, Orlando Rodriguez, Joel Suárez Gómez, Takako Suzuki, Stylianos Tsatsos
*only non-state-funded press representatives were permitted (by their employers) to attend the only public performance. Here is what they had to say (translated by SW&G marketing from the original German):
“Andrew Schneider’s masterful yet brutal utilization of theater technology, his relentless instinct for perfectly staging the metaphysical homelessness and helpless ethical and intellectual disorientation of humankind is so different to most productions by young artists in Europe…What is most admirable about this writer, director, and master of stage technology is his perfect sense of timing. The way he paces his spectacle, chops up space into light and dark, and meaning into absurd particle projectiles, the way he splinters the dramatic and technical performance by the Sasha Waltz dancers into iconic image fragments—one follows these mysterious events with total fascination…The skill of the Sasha Waltz dancers lies in their authentic embodiment of this intricate and frightfully coherent incoherence, the way in which they ride the wave of disruptive experience so that we embrace the experience rather than reject it, even if it elicits grief, like the sight of a lamp still swinging long after the one who accidentally nudged it in such an embrace has gone.” – Wiebke Huester, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Andrew Schneider has designed a universe of his own, dissolving linear reality with all the logic and consistency we think we recognize in the process…A fascinating and ever surprising intoxicating visual experience that was met with cheering and
foot-stamping. It’s a real shame that nobody else can see it, at least not for the time being.” – Frank Schmid, rbbKultur