wah-wah // Tanznetz
The „Ego“ in the Universal Rat Race
Tanznetz, 23.10.2016 // Author: Isabel Winklbauer
Anna Konjetzky’s arrangement for “wah-wah” at the Munich Kammerspiele 2 is a bit eerie. The whole thing goes around in an eight-sided arena, to the left, to the left, to the left… always to the left. As a parable for human existence? It’s depressing. But it’s of no use: the staging is the way it is, and the people – in this case six dancers and the audience that sits around them – are stuck there as fellow performers.
The mysterious drive for concentric motion seems to be given by a divine power, and all are subjected to it – without exception. With her skill for identifying typologies, Konjetzky has collected a fascinating group of characters to underscore the universal validity of the staged situation: a tall hipster with a beard (Damiaan Veens), a beautiful and slender man with his hair in a bun (Jascha Viehstädt) and a compact, very oriental-looking dancer (Michele Meloni) make up the male faction; the women are represented by a long-legged swan-like Quindell Orton, a boyish Viviana Defazio and of course Sahra Huby. Huby, Konjetzky’s muscular and delicate performer, wears white sneakers instead of dark ones like the others – that makes her the secret leader. The looks follow her when the vortex of elementary particles under the verbose sound collage (Brigitta Muntendorf) becomes too complex.
The way the protagonists endlessly revolve around themselves is practically hypnotic. At times, it even leads to a trance. So some observers sink into the vacuum of their own stream of consciousness, lost in their thoughts, miles away. When finally Sarah Huby begins developing a new locomotive fashion, for example with rowing arms in a squat, the audience members are appreciative. Hurrah, a new fashion is arising! Then Quindell Orton slams her model legs in the way to make her fall – it gets exciting. All antennas are raised again. War keeps you awake.
A profession of faith finally leads to the eye of the hurricane; Konjetzky’s human swarm pauses for it. Stooped, as though worn down by the constant circling, the six of them speak simultaneously: “I believe that I am the center of the universe. Everything I believe in is focused on me.” So it is egocentricity that drives people in the endless rat race. But a second belief also dominates. The Gods’ voices declare them directly afterwards: the most important objective is freedom, and this can only be found outside of the “ego”, with the other circling people. Thus connections, formations and wars are initiated – the food for the goldfish aquarium. A wonderful opportunity for the lighting man, Wolfgang Eibert, to envelope the audience in moon’s rays and thus make them visible for one another – they also belong to the endless circle. Konjetzky’s excellent sense of spatial distribution is the template for a beautiful effect. But the profession of faith is also the beginning of a disturbing orgy in which the dancers are tied into a ball in which they want to creep into the others’ back-end bodily orifices. The tangled mass is dissolved in a rave, everyone rages in their own style – in a circle, of course. Which soon becomes monotonous again.
In this endless round dance that is reflected in “wah wah”, the question of escape is raised very early. This depressing compulsiveness of human behavior that the dancers are subject to – can’t it be broken? A little bit. There is in fact something that could create hope: a change in direction. Going to the right is the new left! But Konjetzky foregoes presenting such a change. The observers thus remain – hypnotized, entertained and disturbed, finally dependent on their own ideas. It is like a meditative stare into the window of a washing machine.