skillz / no skillz

 

is a piece for four dancers. It deals with images from a mainstream hip hop video. We chose ten stills from one hip hop video and developed a live clip for each one of them. Besides there are ten durations: two each of 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 minutes. On stage the dancers draw lots to decide the order and duration of these clips and perform the night's compilation. These clips deal with movement and gender stereotypes in mainstream hip hop. The random order brings to mind channel surfing. Every show is unique and emphasises a different aspect. Music videos work in a similar way - It does not matter when you join in or surf out. So every night the show takes a different shape. This novelty and surprise factor provide the space for ideosyncratic versions and transformations of this phenomenon in pop culture to be presented on stage in the language of contemporary dance.

 

Concept, choreography (and dance): Gudrun Lange

Dance and choreography: Florian Bücking, Sophia Cleff, Hilde Elbers, Swantje Schäuble

Dramaturgy: Kathi Loch

Sound: Ritzenhoff

Assistence: Maximilian Linsenmeier

Video: Cecilia Gläsker, Max Hüttermann

 

Premiere: Apr 2nd, 2008, Forum Freies Theater, Düsseldorf

 

Produced by Gudrun Lange Gang

Coproduced by Forum Freies Theater, Düsseldorf and LOFFT, Leipzig

Sponsored by Kunststiftung NRW, Fonds Darstellende Künste, Kulturamt der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf, Stiftung van Meeteren

Supported by tanzhaus NRW, M.A. Media and Cultural Analysis, Heinrich-Heine-Universität and Junges Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf

 

Lange presents a very entertaining deconstruction of the popular hip hop clich├ęs with her brilliant ensemble, exposing the stereotypes of movement and gender represented in hip hop videos with a sense of humour. But the really exciting thing about the performance is the contrast between the projected photos in the background and the dancers on stage: the pictures show perfectly styled and faultless bodies - on stage you see the dancers in person with their less than perfect bodies, unstyled hair, and work-out clothes.

 

Stephanie Becker in Rheinische Post, 04.04.08