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Surprise-dance

Theresa Steininger

Two dancers doing a solo, one an elegant musical-dance-combination on a penetrary, crazy hip-hop-song by Fatboy Slim done in 2001 in a hotel, the other one a silent piece done 23 years before with modern dancer Trisha Brown on an empty stage, formed mostly out of swinging legs and head movements – and still „Water Motor“ by Babette Mongolte from 1978 and the Fatboy-Slim-Video „Weapon of Choice“ by Spike Jonze have something important in common: They both suprise and deal with what was contemporary in the days of their making, adding a new idea to their genre.

In the case of „Weapon of Choice“, director Jonze surprises the audience in various ways: By having a hip hop video done in a luxury hotel and especially by having Christopher Walken, known for his devil-parts in many Hollywood movies, who is in the beginning sitting in his chair like the Godfather, dance Broadway-style-jazzdance and Michael-Jackson-style-hip-hop-moves on lobby tables, escalate, suitcase carriere and many more – and not only that, but even bringing it up to the level of a science fiction movies by having him fly around the hotel after having danced energetically like a young one.

Mongolte and Brown also suceeded in surprising the audience in their days by bringing in moves which seem unintended, without structure, recognizable but still in a way new and strange. Trisha Brown, on an empty stage and without music, jumps, turns, does many release movements, but without any intention to create a narrative piece.

With both „Water Motor“ and „Weapon of Choice“, the spectators may wonder very much, what might have happened before the actual action happens and what made the dancers to do these movements. Both leave this open and the audience is invited to create its own pre-story.

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