Like most of you Bazzers, we here at Baz HQ are dismayed and a bit broken by Britain’s decision regarding the EU. Still. Apart from anything the cross-pollenisation of cultures, works, and talent from all over Europe will be sorely missed. From all other angles, political, economical or just purely human, a massive loss. But. We are sure you have had enough dissection and debate to last a lifetime, so here, let’s celebrate some of the best movers and shakers of our neighboring nations instead. Movement and dance are very important to Baz – keen as we are to provide experimental and challenging theatre, this does not limit itself to purely dialogue. Not by a long shot!
Like you, we were not expecting, on a soggy Friday evening to be transported by one performance on the Graham Norton Show. Enter Christine and The Queens - your new jam, and no excuses. You’re putting this on your toast every morning from now on. Unrepentantly French, incredibly catchy, electronic dance, yes yes – but the dancing was like a play. There was a dialogue to her movements with her four male dancers, and clad in the exact same outfit, a uniform, even – this was a genderless presentation of what a music, art and theatre could be, all together. Post performance interview, she praised her choreographer responsible for “that great genderless energy” and her dancers for making her apparently no less awkward, in fact “I’m still awkward, but now with style” Us too, Christine, us too.
Such a synapse-firing performance got us thinking here at Baz HQ about movement and how important it is to Baz. Conversations without words, mirroring action, that strange other level of intimacy brought about by choreographed movement comes down to much more than arriving in the correct spot to catch your dance partner. Trusting your scene partner with a performance, with lines, is one thing, trusting them with your body is quite another and that’s what makes it so fascinating and vital to Baz. This piece, showcased in Wim Wenders' excellent tribute/documentary of Pina's work couldn’t prove the point more:
An absolute hero of dance and a true visionary, her multi-talented, multi-cultural (ha, see how that worked out, almost as if we’re all on one planet and should learn to share hah…that’s the last of it, we promise) company of talented, free, ego-less dancers have placed such trust and faith and loyalty to her vision that it makes us here at Baz choke up a bit. Dance seems to be the perfect companion to the artistic project: as an impossibly cool French collective supporting equally cool French pop, or to showcase the discipline of the thing with Pina, or, as shown in last year’s Tate Modern celebration of Musee De La Danse, dancing among the most important framed works of the 20th century, not as decoration, but an art form in and of itself that has just as much to say. If not more. And if the image of people from all corners of society and culture coming together under a massive disco ball to dance to music blasted through the speakers any which way you want is not Utopia, we don’t know what is.
Though our aim here at Baz is to bring something new to you, exciting and experimental – we are mainly seeking to show you the importance of the things we take for granted – bumping into someone into the street and apologizing, for example – dialogue and movement. Means next to nothing on a rainy day in May, but put it on stage it changes – lead them out of the theatre and have them watch it, choreographed on that rainy May day in the street, it changes yet again. Like Music, like dance, like art and like theatre, that division between artist and audience is always blurred. That’s why you might find Baz cast members doing anything from sitting on an audience member’s lap, or pulling them into the performance space to laugh derisively at someone else. Community. Inclusion. What we could do with right now.
We’ve all danced like loons in the club, right (Baz had the distinct pleasure in trying to replicate Christine and the Queens moves in a sweaty bar off Soho at Pride 2016 a few weekends ago) And we’ll never dance like these amazing so-and-sos that make up the companies like the Michael Clark Company and DV8 who can recreate that free, sweaty and stuffy experience with style and realism, like actors onstage - the real experience, replicated. Like a good photograph, like a classic painting, like good writing, dance is vital and dancers capture that moment too, in the purest way. Plus those dancers move it most probably better than Baz can ever do and with a lot more style.
But as Christine says. Awkward, but with style.
We heart you, dance.
Happy dancing days!
Love, Baz x