day and night as symbols for dream and reality, daily life and desire, growth and decay, mirror the complexity of human existence – marking the two poles between which humankind acomplishes its tasks. the stage becomes a living canvas out of which four dancers emerge and depict a fantastic kaleidoscope of episodes that are as common or absurd as life itself. »falten der nacht« – the most romantic of the company’s early works.
» ›falten der nacht‹ is a symphony brimful with poetry, in which dance performs miracles in harmony with music and light. for one whole evening, the cie. toula limnaios manages to transform the stage into a disparate and dazzling moment, an unforgettable dream.« (urbuz.com, paris, london, berlin, andrea philippi 2000)
»in a leaden light four figures gaze backwards, motionless, as if caspar david friedrich had put them into one of his still lifes. …« (berliner morgenpost, volkmar draeger, 2000)
»blue hour in the theater … were it not toula limnaios presenting her newest choreography at such a late hour, one might think balanchine had adapted his ›serenade‹ to changed conditions. full of fancy and poetry, she unveils layer after layer of existence – allowing its beauty to gain extraordinary strength in the lit spaces composed by klaus dust.«
(die welt, hartmut regitz, 2000)
a cie. toula limnaios production in coproduction with theater am halleschen ufer with kind support by the cultural department of the city of berlin and the electroacustic studio od the academy of arts.
premiere 2000 dance/creation: nicolaj jespersen, toula limnaios, monica muñoz marin, evelin stadler
photos: dieter hartwig, cyan
»what happens between day and night /// twilight (blue hour) in the theater am halleschen ufer. as the night throws its final shadows, the four dancers awaken from their frozen state. spellbound they direct their eyes towards a point somewhere on the horizon, and if it wasn’t toula limnaios, late at night, presenting us with her latest piece of choreography, you might think balanchine had fitted his serenade to changed circumstances. but it’s not tchaikovsky’s melody that rings out, but a yearning fullsome violin sound by ralf r. ollertz, and the denser its structure becomes, the stronger it stimulates the action on the stage. it’s difficult to say exactly what happens between night and day. toula limnaios, who made her home in berlin 3 years ago, is not so easy to grasp, and even the film, which at the end pelts through the entire action once again, does not necessarily make the matter any easier. a deal of experience has hidden itself in the ‘folds of the night’, and whoever dares to peel off their own reality like a leather jacket, will, possibly, in the end understand themself. toula limnaios allows the observer every freedom. her choreography does not serve up banalities to the audience. full of imagination and poetry she strips away layer upon layer of an existence which in the bright spaces of klaus dust finds an extraordinary beauty.« (hartmut regitz, die welt, feuilleton, berlin, 2000)
» nocturnal dances /// in 1997 the cie. toula limnaios moved its base from brussels to berlin on the invitation of the akademie der kuenste. since then it has managed to find its place in this city not only through its extraordinary productivity but also through its artistic profile. with ‘folds of the night’ the company has now presented its third production this year, premiered in the theater am halleschen ufer. the small, aesthetically satisfying gesamtkunstwerk of dance, light, space and music points to a perfect interplay of the sister arts, such as one rarely experiences. the night begins as the day’s uniform (grey rubber jackets) is laid to one side. the bodies are now free of worldly shells and monotone sequences and set out on the search for the self under the protection of blue-grey unlimitedness. four dancers turn into witchlike willo-the-wisps. they jump and hunt, desire and reject – but they fail to find redemption. the night mirrors the day with all its tortures and failures. the nightmarish pressure of the day doesn’t just continue but takes on concrete form for the first time here. even dreaming is a struggle, even sleeping is a work. in order to dance off a little of the burden from the soul. we dream what we are. all of this is choreographed in a lovely synchronicity and dynamism, and danced with lightness and perfection.« (arna vogel, neues deutschland, 2000)
»dancing the twighlight zone /// dawn. the stage is as if covered in a mist-like veil. the dancers stand before the screen and watch the blue light becoming ever brighter. in their grey costumes they seem like lost figures of the night, shocked by the confrontation with the absurd reality of the day. in her new piece ‘folds of the night’ the greek choreographer and dancer conjures up a space of nothingness, lost between reality and dream. in this world toula limnaios and her dancers move from the intimate loneliness of a couple through feelings of commonality straight to the through to total isolation. the gestures give and take, flow into one another and disappear. it almost seems grotesque when the pair beats each other around the ears and refuses to stop, or when, in a scene reminiscent of pina bausch, the women hold their colourful clothes in front of their chests, without, however, exposing their bodies. ‘folds of the night’ is a symphony full of poetry, in which the dance achieves wonders in harmony with music and light. for one night long, the the cie. toula limnaios manages to turn the stage into a chimera-like moment, an unforgettable dream.« (andrea philippi, urbuz.com, paris, london, berlin, 2000)
»a dry dance /// »since 1997, when toula limnaios moved to berlin with her company founded two years earlier in brussels, she has quickly catapulted herself into the choreographic front line. that earned her funding from the cultural senate. in a leaden light, four figures gaze backwards, motionless, as if caspar david friedrich had composed them into a natural still life. whatever they may expect from their point of view, it doesn’t happen. one roped-up woman can escape, all four pull off their rubber jackets like bothersome shells… the one-hour piece (contains) appealing images, as when bodies like puppets can only be moved by hand impulses, or when the only man holds a bundle of photographic studies of expression like masks in front of his face. ralf r ollertz’ dense sound composition and klaus dust’s atmospheric light remain in positive memories. among the 3 women, the dancing choreographer is the most convincing, and the danish nicolaj jespersen is an asset as the youngest member of the group.« (volkmar draeger, berliner morgenpost, 2000)
»the struggle on the meta-level /// the cie. toula limnaios company gives a modern answer to the question: to be or not to be? with dance, music, film and light it steps over the border between imagination and reality. … the choreographer and cyan have been working together for over a year now and it has proved to be the case that two systems that lie far apart may very well be compatible with each other. limnaios’ ethereal explorations into her own body and the tough technology of cyan have entered into a strange symbiosis, in which the games played between imagination and reality and between genuine image and optical illusion seem to mirror and replicate each other. ‘folds of the night’ is the name of the newest result of this collaboration. the ‘folds’, too, represent a doubling, the purest form of the night. those who have seen how, in ‘vertige’, toula limnaios struggles against cyan’s video images, is swallowed up by them and again and again regains her own corporal reality from them, should picture all of this without any major technological hoo-ha. for since limnaios, who in the past has danced with pina bausch among others, has taken video art on board, this struggle has been fought out on the meta-level. … limaios’pieces are anything but comfortable, she doesn’t seem to have even heard of the general drive in all the arts towards easily digestible entertainment and celebration of consumption. limaios’ choreographies owe their characteristic power not only to artistic effort, they also seem to possess something strangely authentic. it is exactly that what comprises a part of the charm of these works.« (michaela schlagenwerth, berliner zeitung, 2000)
»a poetess of inner states /// three women dance in long dresses in pink, yellow and sky-blue. the clothes are open and continually threaten to fall down. the women hold the clothes tight and hold themselves tight to the clothes. open clothes are a visible hindrance, but it is precisely this obstacle that gives the trio’s movements an appealingly distorting blur. the real physical presence of nicolaj jesperson becomes strangely blurred as he confronts us with a stack of portrait photos with his face, in front of his face. a photo upon photo flutters to the ground, while monica munoz dances a tense solo behind him. with ‘folds of the night’, a loose reflection on the space between day and dream, toula limnaios has created her first project supported by senate funds. with a small ensemble that is full of promise. for the several years now, the choreographer and dancer has been following a path in the berlin scene far from modernistic hokum. what she herself likes to call magic realism, is also this time a fragile, pulsing balancing act. limnaios draws from gestures, her movement writes a protocol of inner states. against the still dominant choreographic trend, her work is that of an avowed translator. from emotion to dance. from inside to outside, which is always convincing when it gives formal space to the blurring and allows movement to be more than the equivalent of a feeling.« (constanze klementz, zitty, 2000)
»toula limnaios’ art is executed in small brushstrokes, the press writes, and calls the greek choreographer a ‘poetess of the innermost feelings’. the mysteries of the human being are her themes. and, in fact, nearly all her previous works deal with no-man’s-lands and primal experiences. she has led her company since 1995, and in 1997 she moved with the company from brussels to berlin. she set benchmarks straight away with her first berlin production, a three-woman-piece ‘faits d’hiver’. in the summer the company acquired its own rehearsal venue and, in addition to the three permanent female dancers, a male dancer as well. in the new line-up they now present their current project. ›falten der nacht‹ (engl.‘folds of the night’) revolves around the pair of oppositions – of day and night. if the day stands for reality, the everyday, becoming, then the night symbolizes imagination, yearning, decay.« (volkmar draeger, bm-live, weekly cultural calendar of the berliner
»in a very short time, the cie. toula limnaios has developed a distinctive artistic profile. intellectual infiltration of movement, without revealing its personal, emotional core: these are the brazen and also ethical principles of folkwang dance training. toula limnaios, as well, has internalized these teachings. moreover, it goes without saying that she knows how to use them and, in close collaboration with the composer ralf r. ollertz and cyan -the collective for visual design, pour them into a highly suggestive stage-totality. the group has just received a work scholarship from the state of north rhine-westphalia.
their latest production ›folds of the night‹ is now being resumed in the theater on halleschen ufer. as a theme they have chosen the opposing soul and consciousness worlds of day and night, waking and dreaming. sometimes impressionistic, sometimes massive, the detail-laden quality of movement alternates constantly between drowsy sleepiness and hectic daytime operations.
the four performers initially stand diagonally in the lost profile and only gradually turn towards the audience – sudden outbursts of activity are being ended by elastic cords, pensive gazes merge into strangely shifted clusters of movements. in several solo passages, individual parts of the body seem to dissolve into a ›foreign body‹, the anatomical relationships between the joints are accentuated as if with elastic threads and exaggerated into frightening ones. later, the mental distortions and nightmarish alienations of reality come to the fore, here and there haunting the heavy nights: sweaters are wrapped around the head like rumpled sheets, photocopied grimaces erase the face. then again, in the style of ›night‹, meditations with a deliciously dawning lighting, such as those of hans jürgen syberberg for edith clever, conjure up a blissful, whispering classicism. the end of this silent sketchbook leads the dancing quartet, so to speak, into the dark: they become a shadow and vanish in the twilight.« (franz anton cramer, frankfurter allgemeine zeitungr, 2001)
«›all we see or have seen is in a dream but in a dream‹. what is more real – the dream or the waking state? the night as a realm of the imagination, the subconscious, the uncertainty the dark powers. the day stands for the reflective thinking, the continuous sequence of actions, the here and now. through all cultural epochs, dealing with the dark and the light sides of the soul has mirrored the complexity of human existence. in her new choreography, toula limnaios fathoms the passages between day and night.« (claudia pollmeier, flyer, berlin up-dates, 2000)