Ruhrtriennale, an art festival that runs from summer to autumn from August to October in Germany, precisely in the Ruhr region in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). One rather tiring performance is Ensaio Para Uma Cartografia, whose free translation is: Efforts to Make a Cartography. This performance cannot be defined in a genre.
12 young women appear to learn the dance accompanied by music from the very famous Maurice Ravel: Bolero. In the second part, the dancer plays part of Symphony nr. 7 major flats Op. 92 II. Beethoven’s Allegretto, which sounds very skewed because it is played with violin and celli. In the third part they interpret Strawinsky’s work with ballet dances. Performance lasts 150 minutes without pause.
Bolero music that is played through loudspeakers is not a live concert, but part of an orchestral training. So that there is also an error from musicians who have to repeat it many times. While dancers on the stage also have to dance over and over again. When they tried to play the violin and cello for Beethoven’s work, it sounded like people just learning musical instruments.
At the end, Bolero’s music is played in its entirety, without repetition. This time the dancers who were previously in a triangle position formation appeared in a chorus line formation, i.e. they were arrayed in one line and stood very close to each other. From the back of the stage, they took a step towards the audience.
Here the audience is invited to see the staging process from the very beginning, meaning that a work that is undergoing an almost boring and tiring process. But that’s the process in life, which doesn’t always produce satisfying results quickly.
Here also shows how the dancers experience fatigue with intensive training. They sweat, but they keep practicing and maintain discipline. In the interview after the performance, director and artist Mónica Calle explained that the performers who appeared were not real artists, they joined this group in Portugal.
Mónica Calle wants to show the audience that life as an artist, dancer or musician also goes through a painful process, with repeated practice and that’s all to get perfect results. All those involved with orchestras, dance groups or other arts professions must submit to a highly disciplined system.
With this performance we can imagine how difficult, tiring and full of emotion, but also requires high discipline from everyone to get high results. The cast of the stage is a mirror of real life for the audience.
Mónica Calle wants that in this group there is no difference at all, white or black, fat or thin, rich or poor, all the same. If every individual has talent, then that is the most important thing to achieve the best results. They also do not master musical instruments such as violins or cellos, but have only studied for about one year. Only some of them mastered classical ballet. When entering the stage, all the performers were fully clothed with shoes. When the first music resounded, they undressed one by one on the stage.
The performance of the Ensaio Para Uma Cartografia is confusing, but also interesting, because the mission is indeed different from the general performances. This project combines music with dance and performance. Without dialogue or monologue. A contemporary performance. The Ruhtriennale Festival is always surprising with a modern (ultra) program.