the creation is inspired by fyodor dostoyevsky’s novella of the same name »a gentle creature« (»die sanfte«). due to a series of unfortunate coincidences, the almost wordless marriage of a couple is divorced by death. the piece consists of two stories: the man’s and the woman’s. whilst he knows his own story, he only presumes to know his wife’s story, which is ultimately alien to him. together and yet strangers to one another – the choreography examines an »encounter« between two people that never took place, two people who went past one another.
in the face of death, both fractures and joints of the relationship become visible. he cannot let go, revives the history in his mind, turns the past into the present. the story keeps on spinning through the husband´s narration, yet it makes us not only follow him, but also creates a multi-dimensional image in which the woman becomes the narrator as well, just like him.
two encapsulated worlds enter into a dialogue: fantasies of an ideal, gently passing impressions – nightmares made of wax, farewell and goodbye, beginning and end, memory and reality, certainty and mystery, light and shadow …
»…the choreographer toula limnaios takes the story of a love turned hermetically in upon itself, as the basis for her newest piece, develops out of dostovesky’s ventures into subtle, unnamed areas of the soul, images full of poetry.« (tanzjournal, elisabeth nehring, 2005)
a cie. toula limnaios production with the kind support of the berlin senate for science, research and culture, the performing arts fund e.v., and the pankow cultural office.
guest performances: osnabrück, frankfurt/main
resumption 2006 tanz: toula limnaios, carlos osatinsky, katja scholz, nefeli skarmea, hironori sugata
»the choreographer toula limnaios takes the story of a love turned hermetically in upon itself, as the basis for her newest piece, develops out of dostovesky’s ventures into subtle, unnamed areas of the soul, images full of poetry. behind a plastic curtain a cowering man rocks his wife back and forth on a stretcher, endlessly. she lies there motionless, as if dead, just her long hair blowing in the wind of the rhythmic movement. a watercolor image of valediction and grief, smudged, blurred outlines, accompanied by heartbeats and the crackling of an old record, in which the needle has caught itself. (…) the dancers, most of all carlos osatinsky, retain a kind of indifferent melancholy and always without an inch of dramatization.
on the edge of the scene toula limnaios’ congenial partner ralf r. ollertz plays on an electronically amplified cello and produces a whole cosmos of memory through finest real time effects. singular heartbeats that fade into nothingness, darkly spreading sounds, contrasting with light, sometimes sharp accents, are reminiscent of distorted bells and flutes, bird and nature sounds. musical vibrations, tones and sounds overlap, multiply, triplicate themselves, a resonating space, an acoustic depth in a hermetical world, always multifariously suggestive and of the finest complexity.
in this space, there is no intent to conform to the commandments of speed, development, or sensationalism. instead there is a sensitive delight in the human spaces in between, in the subtle and, because of the delicate use of media, in silence. supported by the lighting designer klaus dust, toula limnaios and ralf ollertz prove to be a couple, who complement each other ideally in their capability to produce and provide an atmospheric space for emotional landscapes.« (tanzjournal, elisabeth nehring, 2005)
»gentle violence/// the greek born berlin choreographer toula limnaios will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of her company’s founding this year; a company, that with its own venue and five full-time dancers is treading rarely trod paths in times of difficult production conditions for independent dance theater.
toula limnaios in her distinct individual, often repetitively insistent dance language, develops a form of emotional landscaping on the green dance floor subtly supported by lighting effects (klaus dunst) and especially, as in »short stories« by the music of ralf ollertz, limnaios’ long-standing partner. he sits on the edge of the stage and combines live cello with electronic sounds, echo effects and percussion instruments, producing a music, which sometimes accompanies and carries the dancing with almost painful potency. limnaios finds highly emotional images: the delicate and yet strong bodies of both women become the playing grounds of the men, grasped, gripped, dragged off or, in a poetic scene, used as a surface for a tiny red feather, which the man blows across the body of the woman. this is far from being “gentle” as the title suggests, but limnaios’ »sanfte« examines just how gentle and yet full of violence the relationship and interaction of two people can be.« (frankfurter allgemeine zeitung, eva-maria magel, 2006)
»silver-tongued images of speechless silence/// the opening scene in the dim light already seems like something out of a chekhov production. (…) what may at first glance seem like choreographic stagnation in toula limnaios’ premiere »die sanfte«, quickly proves to be a highly sensitive sketch of the inner landscapes of its protagonists. after a story by dostovesky, the greek dance artist, who founded her own company in 1996, lives in berlin since 1997 and has made quite a respectable name for herself with what are up till now 18 pieces, dissects the relationship of a couple, whose speechlessness ends, at least with dostovesky in the, for the man incomprehensible suicide of his partner.
toula limnaios draws together a 60 minute-long series of images portraying speechless silence in her venue the halle.« (tanznetz / neues deutschland, volkmar draeger, 2005)