’Kung Fu Dance: Gateway’ combines martial arts with modern dance.
(photo credit: PR)
Instrumentalists who also throw balls, tennis players who also play instruments, musicians who also sing, singers who are also orchestra players, musicians who also act, actors who also make music – these were the components of the performance entitled Black on White by Heiner Goebbels, presented by the Ensemble Modern in the Israel Festival.
Mixing the incompatibles and wandering aimlessly on and off the stage, the artists incessantly bombarded the audience with the unexpected. Being consequently stunned for the first 20 minutes, one then started to expect the unexpected. This caused the goings on to defeat their own purpose.
The music was consistently unmelodic, proceeding in repetitive motivic patterns that tended to have a hypnotic effect before they became fatiguing.
Emphasis was placed on sharp, meticulously polished rhythms that were premeditated and left no room for improvisation. Change was provided mainly by diversity of sonorities that were contrasting when not blending in with each other. Sound effects were magnified by light effects. The spoken text was hopelessly depressing.
The purpose of the show was apparently to be different at all costs and in every respect. If this indeed was the intention, the performance was an (expected) success