In Our solo, Claire Croizé returns to the stage as a solo dancer in a face-to-face with violinist Aisha Orazbayeva, who brings a broad repertoire ranging from early music to avantgarde & experimental.
About our solo’ was the subject title of a casual email that violinist Aisha Orazbayeva sent to choreographer and dancer Claire Croizé and her co-choreographer Etienne Guilloteau at the start of a new creative process, and which led to the title of their collaboration. Our Solo is a trip down memory lane which ‘recycles’ elements from various pieces in the repertoire of Croizé and Guilloteau – most notably ‘The Farewell’, a 2009 solo by Croizé based on the sixth and final movement of Gustav Mahler’s symphony Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth). Wondering what it would mean to create The Song of the Earth today, when our relationship to the earth has become so fraught with guilt and anxiety, Croizé and Guilloteau look for a sense of wholeness not (only) in nature, as Mahler did, but in the microcosm of an artistic creation. Something small enough to grasp, yet great enough to contain our loneliness.
The German texts that accompany Mahler’s work – themselves translated from 8th-century Chinese poems – are turned into poppy English song lyrics and set to music by Orazbayeva. She composed almost all of the music in Our Solo herself and takes the audience on a trip through very different styles, from a 17th century ‘passacaglia’ to an interlude fueled by bright synths and techno beats. Both she and Croizé venture into uncharted territories, sharing both the song and the dance on several occasions. This sharing invites a different kind of vulnerability, since neither is skilled in the other one’s craft. Light designer Hans Meijer frames and reframes the scene through a mobile light installation which he moves around throughout the piece, becoming a third protagonist on stage. As such, Our solo becomes an encounter in which the artists on- and off stage share their loneliness with each other and the audience.