© Andrea Salzmann

 

SPITZE

SPITZE – an examination of classical ballet, its hierarchies, body images, illusionary worlds and the people involved in it.

The source of origin is the romantic ballet, the emergence of toe dance in the 19th century and its idealisation of the ballerina. The interest in the subject developed from Doris Uhlich´s last piece of work und, in which the gestures, the robustness and fragility of the performing older people´s bodies were the centre point. Contrary to und, SPITZE lays emphasis not on everyday gestures or moving patterns but on the codes of classical stage dance, which have been fixed for centuries.

Susanne Kirnbauer - retired first solo dancer of the Vienna Opera meets Harald Baluch – solo dancer and Doris Uhlich who started to toe dance when she was thirty years old.
The performers leave their habitual means of representation and stage presence behind and find new access to their own dancing biographies.

“She was skinny, appeared to be a shadow of herself; she was like a little cloud dwelling at the shores of a blue lake, a flake of fog stirred by the wind at the waterfall! Her hair was entangled by a tender-pink breeze, a pair of peacock feather wings trembled on her fragile shoulders. Her dress seemed to be made of dragonflies´ canvas, her shoes were like the calyx of a lilly. She appeared and vanished like a  character in a dream. Just when you thought she was here, she was already somewhere else.” (a ballet-enthusiast about Marie Taglioni – the first toe dance master – in „La Sylphide“, 1832.)

“Very different people encounter each other, people who wouldn’t have met if it weren´t for the ballet code.” (Doris Uhlich)

“Miss Uhlich, if I had known that I would be working with you, I would have spent the last twenty-two years practicing!” (Susanne Kirnbauer)

“I have never seen anything like this before: Someone beginning with toe dance at the age of thirty without having a parody in mind.” (Harald Baluch)

“I am interested in finding the essence and the “flesh” in ballet but also to seek out the pathos in order to be able to deal with it and stage it in a razor-thin or in a really phat way. This way the ballet dancers and I will make contact both in a human and in a codified way at the same time.” (Doris Uhlich)

“In classical ballet there are various constructions to produce illusion. But what happens if ballet gestures are reduced to the movement of a hand?” (Andrea Salzmann)

Choreography
Doris Uhlich
Dramaturgy
Andrea Salzmann
With
Harald Baluch, Susanne Kirnbauer, Doris Uhlich

Production Christine Sbaschnigg, Nicole Schuchardt


A co-production of Doris Uhlich and brut / Wien
Supported by the cultural department of the city of Vienna and bm:ukk.

Debut performance     25. 04. 2008     brut / Wien
 
Photos

The images can be printed free of charge when indicating the photo credit.


Biographies

Harald Baluch, born in Vienna, trained as dancer at the ballet school of the Austrian National Theater; apprenticeship as office clerk; engagement at Raimundtheater (Vienna); shift to the Volksoper Vienna, advanced to being a semi-soloist; nomination as solo-dancer at Volksoper; continuous guest of the Slovakian National Opera in Bratislava from 1992-2006; guest soloist at the Festival of Bayreuth in 1992; guest soloist at the Swiss City Theater of St. Gallen 1997; studied stage & light direction at the University of Vienna 2000; guest at the Serbian National Theater of Novi Sad in 2001; guest of honour at the Irish National Ballet 2002; chairman of the “Association Volksoper Vienna” since 2004; bearer of the cross of honor of the Republic of Austria since 2006; guest performances and world tours.
Susanne Kirnbauer, training at the ballet school of the Vienna National Opera; engagement as group dancer in the ballet of the National Opera Vienna 1956; guest performer at the „Grand ballet classique de Paris“ 1965; nomination as first solo dancer of the Vienna National Opera 1972; cooperation with choreographers such as G. Balanchine, Hans Van Manen, J. Kilian, W. Forsythe, R. Nurejew; director of the Vienna Volksoper Ballet 1986-1996; choreography and direction of five evening ballet productions; various guest choreographies such as at the Salzburg Festival (“Salzburger Festspiele”) directed by Herbert von Karajan; Teatro Verdi – Triest, Summer Festival Mörbisch, Operetta Festival Weeks Bad Ischl, Viennese Operetta Festival Weeks,  tours to Japan with with Vienna Volksopern-Ballet „Viennese Program“ 1991-1994; OFF-productions Wiener with Vienna Volksopern-Ballet and National Ballet; for TV-shows „Dance Lexicon for Children“, „Gutes Benehmen wieder gefragt (Good Behaviour is in fashion again)“, „M.U.T.“: book, idea and moderation; choreographies for shows/events at Magna Racino, Wella/Bundy-Bundy.