Florentina Holzinger and Vincent Riebeek have so far given us the hilarious, spectacular, beautiful and provocative performances «Kein Applaus für Scheisse», «Spirit», and «Wellness».
For their new piece «Schönheitsabend», they have found inspiration in intriguing ballet couples from the beginning of the twentieth century, who sought an escape in exotic dance culture, like «Sheherazade» by Les Ballets Russes. Holzinger and Riebeek try to get under the skin (and costumes) of famous dance couples like Vaslav Nijinsky and Bronislava Nijinska or Anita Berber and Sebastian Droste.
They’re here to give our daily lives a touch of glamour.
«Schönheitsabend» is a production by CAMPO.
In «Schönheitsabend», Holzinger and Riebeek appropriate early 20th century orientalism, which permeates this performance about power relations, gender roles, violence and sex with madness, ecstasy and explicit eroticism.
For this performance, one point of departure was the 1910 ballet «Shéhérazade» and the desire of dance couples from the beginning of the 20th century to re-invent dance (and themselves) through exotic fictions. Also the personal life of the famous dancers from the ballet and modern dance tradition, think of (queer) dancing couples as Vaslav Nijinsky and Ida Rubinstein or Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Dénis triggered their imagination.
Schönheitsabend is a show in three parts, as the classic ballet tradition prescribes. The titles of these parts «Tänze des Lasters», «Tänze des Grauens» & «Tänze der Ekstase»(dances of vice, horror and ecstasy), are inspired by a collection of writings from the infamous dance couple Anita Berber and Sebastian Droste, who, like Vincent and Florentina, had been working on new concepts of beauty and imbued their performances with senses of madness, ecstasy and explicit eroticism. In the three acts of Holzinger and Riebeek’s performance romance, reality and dream succeed each other, looking for a balance.