SimulacrumX (Part II)

SimulacrumX (Part II)

Modern dance and theater performance (2016)

50 mins

Premiere: September 28, 29, & 30, 2016, DOCK 11, Berlin, Germany –
Ruben Reniers (choreography and dance), Rebecca Jefferson (dance), Paula Dombrowski (text & performance), and Evelyn Saylor (music composition and live performance)

June 23, 24, & 25, 2017, DOCK 11, Berlin, Germany –
Ruben Reniers (choreography and dance), Rebecca Jefferson (dance), Sara Tamburini (performance), and Evelyn Saylor (music composition and live performance)

Concept & Choreography: Ruben Reniers
Co-choreography & Dance: Rebecca Jefferson & Ruben Reniers
Performance & Text: Paula Dombrowski
Live Music & Composition: Evelyn Saylor
Video & Photo: Philine Sollmann
Costume: Karin Rosemann
Dramaturgy: Nicole Kohlmann
Lights: Ruben Reniers & Yina Mora
Graphic design: Studio Workshop
A Ruben Reniers Production

Funded by Bezirksamt Pankow von Berlin

Premiere 2016

Revival 2017

SimulacrumX (Part II) on Tanzforum Berlin

In this interdisciplinary project using dance, spoken word, video and live music, Jean Baudrillard simulation and synthesis theories act as a thematic base. Baudrillard’s simulation theory implies that our current world consists solely of simulacras and thus we are merely surrounded by copies. The poetic choreogaphy visualizes this unsettling thesis – the stage becomes a twilight-zone between virtuality and reality.

As the piece opens the recipient finds oneself absorbed into a rapid, mysterious scenery where the four performers can only be recognized by their silhouettes. Their bodies become projection surfaces while the individuals themselves appear engrossed in an inaudible dialogue with arcane particles projected on the floor. Later, a single figure rises from the darkness, unable to differentiate between herself and the character she acts out and identifies with as herself. What is real, what is not? Is everything real, that feels real or are we pre-programmed so perfectly, that even our own feelings lack authenticity?

In the initially stringent mode of the choreography, the performers appear to be remote-controlled. Their operations come across like reproductions of learned and internalised patterns of common stereotypes. But after a while they gradually seem to start realising the disconnection with their movements, doubting their own actions and increasingly try to break away from the rigidregime of fixed movement sequences until finally, they manage to free themselves of the imposed order. The piece closes with an intimate duet in which the two dancers, Rebecca Jefferson and Ruben Reniers, search for and find a way out of the apparent misery of the superficial world of make-believe. Their movements start delicate and tender – discovering each others skin, yielding the primacy of the visual sense and rediscovering the truth inside the intuitive sense of touch. In almost infinite contingencies, the limbs constantly interwoven, they are searching for the proof of the truth in each other. Bit by bit the imperceptibly fading light steals the image of their symbiotic body from the gaze of the viewer. Only their breath remains detectable as the recipient is left behind in the dark: with a glimmer of hope, that all is not lost.

SimulacrumX (Part II) is the successor of SimulacrumX, which premiered in Turin, Italy (2014) and was selected for the “Best Solo Fördernachswuchs” and winner of the “Audience Award” of the International VI. Solo | Duo Dance Festival NRW (2014). In addition, it was invited to competitions in Budapest (H), Gdansk (PL) and was a finalist at the Euro Scene Leipzig (2015) in the competition “Best German Dance Solo”.

Trailer “SimulacrumX (Part II)”