Irina Pauls sent out a call for dancers and performance artists after she was inspired by the Leipzig Stadtbad. this was the beginning of Tanzt die Männerschwimmhalle. The public spa was built in 1916 and has not been used for that purpose for some time now. The plan is to have it returned to its splendor and ready for us to splash around by 2016. What we find now is a fabulous location for a variety of reasons.
The building plays an integral role in the pieces. The way I understand it, the theme was set in advance and the performers came with concepts, then they chose areas of the space that fit and made the appropriate alterations….all of course under the coordination of Irina.
Being part of the small group going from piece to piece allowed for a certain intimacy, even in such a huge space. It was a bit like when you are at the public swimming pool with your friends.
This is well worth the 90 minutes it takes you to experience it. I cringed. I laughed. I related. I thought.
Here’s a taste of what you’ll see:
“Nakedness” by Irina Pauls
When you enter the pool or bath, the intimacy begins. We explore the physicality the water brings. What does the surface conceal? Where does our focus lie? How does it make us feel when our hands glide so easily over our skin?
The acoustics in the space are perfect for the experimental music produced by Matthias Engelke and the voice of Patrick Grahl resonates through you. The nakedness and non nakedness of the costumes are well-thought out, even down to the hairstyles.
“Aqua Musical” by Anna Natt
A wonderful mix of all things water and Hollywood. Bathing beauty, horror icon, orgasmic shampoo….
“Waterless Synchronized Swimming” by Marlen Schumann
How does the lack of water affect a synchronized swimmer? Is it possible to still do the moves? If we saw the Esther Williams hair in “Nakedness”, this takes us into the body and shows us how gravity changes things for a fish out of water.
See a nice vid and more photos from LVZ online here.