A celebratory piece that shines an inner light on the workings of her trade.
Trained in classical dance at the Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome, and in contemporary dance at Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Cristiana Morganti worked with several choreographers in Germany: Susanne Linke, Urs Dietrich, Joachim SchloÅNmer, Felix Ruckert, Va Wölfl, Wanda Golonka… But she is most widely known by audiences and professionals for the 20 years she spent at Tanztheater Wuppertal with Pina Bausch, as a soloist starting in 1993, soon becoming the most emblematic of the troupe’s dancers.
Anyone who has seen a Pina Bausch piece cannot help but think of the fiery Italian, with her ample curves and wild black hair, gifted with an extraordinary energy. Where has her career taken her since then? A few years after the death of Pina Bausch, Cristiana Morganti Decided to stop and think about herself: on her relationship with her own body, with dance, on the reasons she chose to devote her life to it, on the meaning of “oneself as another” which comes with performing. The result is an ironic and disconcerting dual self-portrait (Jessica and me) in which Cristiana gives a peek behind the scenes of her career. It is rare to see dancers express themselves in this way about their art. Whereas the cinema is built on a fascination for actors, dance mostly elides the names of dancers. Programming and communication are centred on the names of choreographers, which means that few dancers achieve fame among audiences. This is a surprising paradox, knowing that the majority of contemporary dance creations emerge from the improvisations of the dancers. “Do you want me to dance or do you want me to speak?” That says it all. This question to the audience is one of the trademarks of the show. A true showwoman, Cristiana Morganti rolls out every trick in her trade. With great humour and a talent for warping any situation, her show is funny and facetious as it reveals theatre in the making, frequently interrupting the demonstration to remove herself from the action, to the position of creator.
It is amazing to hear a dancer of this stature expose the inner workings of a dancer’s life and share with us a few recipes on how to compose it. Anyone expecting revelations about the work of Pina Bausch will no doubt be disappointed. The ghost of Pina, one of the greatest choreographers of the 20th century, who died in 2009, can of course be felt in Jessica and me but the scope of the show is far larger. Through the figure and memory of Pina Bausch, the show centres on the mysterious passing of time and death.
A droll and cruel piece, full of boastful humour, Jessica and me teaches a great lesson of on theatre and artifice,in a nostalgic yet clairvoyant ode to the ephemeral nature of our presence.
[RUN TIME] 1HR10
SOLO CRÉATION 2014 - Chorégraphie et interprétation Cristiana Morganti Collaboration théâtrale Gloria Paris Création lumières Laurent P. Berger Vidéo Connie Prantera Conseiller musical Kenji Takagi Avec le soutien de l'Institut Culturel Italien Production il Funaro Centro Culturale Pistoia (Italie) En collaboration avec Fondazione I teatri Reggio Emilia (Italie)