“Consider that there is nothing between us but a fleeting bundle of perceptions. In all eyes we want to be all things differently. I doubt your parents taught you last time I checked. With that in mind, consider this. How are you suppose to know what the right thing to say and do is?… Then this is one of the best signs that there is. I think that you are a very interesting person. The opposite of love is simply complete and utter indifference. I presume this will come to you as a surprise, but as things unfold, we will know each other better. Because the truth is, whether you consider our methods ethical or not… In other words, I know how you feel. You should also know… And now I’m going to get right to the point…”
Choreographer Margret Sara Gudjonsdottir accompanied by music made by Peter Rehberg (PITA) and text composed from internet spam by Gordon Spragg, confront the idea of the “Self” in an attempt to tear down the fabric of what separates the subject from the gaze.
PERFORMANCE / CHOREOGRAPHY
The city funds of Reykjavik / Reylkavíkurborg, Ballhaus Ost theater Berlin, Reykjavik Dance Festival.
Johanna Chemnitz/Soft Target
In the dark space Gordon Spraggs words on trust, trustworthiness and frankness are sounding, words that in our modern world with its affinity towards estrangement can evoke arousal. Only when the eyes get used to the dark the dancer Johanna Chemnitz appears. The text is being replaced by electronic music and Chemnitz now is in the enlightened space inside the darkness of her closed eyes. She´s moving unerringly, at times energetic, at times anxiously exploring the room. As she finally opens up her eyes, her eyelids don’t stop blinking, the trembling spreads through all her body until even her naked belly starts blinking from these quivers. The dancer’s dynamics color the consistent musical amplitudes: under the watchful eyes of the audience Chemnitz again and again holds her ground in the fight against an invisible but perceptible antagonist. But again and again she also sinks down hurt, weakened and without hope. With the piece „Soft Target”, the fourth part in a series she began in 2006, the Icelandic choreographer Margret Sara Gudjonsdottir portraits powerful, in fact empty, but still confusing stereotypes within a world where everyone is seemingly pretending to be someone else. In an impressively clear way the puristic dance, shaped by repetition, shows how the game of identities can nullify our trust-based interpersonal feeling of coherence.
Ann-Christin Görtz. 07.10.2010
Equally interesting and affecting is the Icelandic choreographer Margrét Sara Gudjonsdottir who created the solo Soft Target for the dancer Johanna Chemnitz. It begins in the thick darkness where a man’s voice disturbs our minds with nonsense. The dancer, dressed only in bra and shorts, exposes every muscle and twitch. Her eyes are closed at first her and she seems to shrink instinctively from something. The dancer tries to orient herself in both her own body and space, like an animal that is frightened out of his burrow and blinking against the light, to us who see her. The electronic sound is amplified to the pain threshold while the dancer switches with pressure between various movement fragments. She reflects in our eyes but is also trapped in it – a soft target.
Soft Target is a consistent and thought-provoking unpleasant solo that leaves traces in the viewer’s body and raises awareness of how we read of the environment.
Anna Angstrom, 22.05.2012
SvD Kultur Sweden
Effective and clever;“Soft Target” manages to reinvent the wheel
The incredibly simple concept behind the performance is intimidatingly effective, pure, clever and persistent… Soft Target is an exceptionally thought out piece both physiologically and psychological. Managing to be captivating as well challenging it is a true piece of art that transcends itself.
Örjan Abrahamsson 14.10.2012
Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm