The Stages of Staging 2013 by Alexandra Bachzetsis

The Stages of Staging
By Alexandra Bachzetsis
Performance by Emese Csornai, Staiv Gentis, Kristinn Guðmundsson, Kiriakos Hadjiioannou, Kennis Hawkins, Michael Helland, Benny Jäger, Emilie Nana, Liz Santoro, and Peter Sattler
Museum version guest: Otobong Nkanga
Dramaturgy by Quinn Latimer
Music and sound by Tobias Koch
Music and concept advice by Lies Vanborm
Light and technique by Tina Bleuler and Patrik Rimann
Costumes by Patrizia Jaeger
Costume and production assistance by Cosima Gadient
Production by Anna Geering | All Exclusive

Kaserne, September 14-16 & 21-22, 2013 (Basel) 
Stedelijk Museum, September 28, 2013 (Amsterdam) 
Dampfzentrale, October 22-23, 2013 (Bern) 
Theater Freiburg, October 26-27, 2013 (Freiburg) 
Fondation Beyeler, November 2, 2013 (Riehen) 
Theaterhaus Gessnerallee, November 13-16, 2013 (Zürich) 
Pôl Sud, December 11-12, 2013 (Strasbourg) 
Le Théâtre Sévelin 36, March 24-25, 2014 (Lausanne) 
Association pour la Danse Contemporaine, March 27-28, 2014 (Genève) 
Spring Festival, May 22-23, 2014 (Utrecht) 
Serralves Foundation, June 14, 2014 (Porto) 
Tanz im August Sophiensæle, August 25-26, 2014 (Berlin)

In the monochrome interior of a gym, strewn with blue athletic mats and balls, ten performers enact their routines. Slowly, the gym reveals itself to be a film set, the scenes so many images. Surreal athletic training turns into frantic, trance-like dancing; personal confessions transform into pop songs. As rehearsals for the production’s video trailer begin, dance develops into athletic discipline, song mutates into movement, language turns explicitly physical. The Stages of Staging (2013), by Alexandra Bachzetsis, explores the individual and collective aspirations of a cast of performers as they play out both on and off the stage—or the camera. The tropes of the meta-film and contemporary video culture are employed as models for how we live and work, see and promote ourselves, and how we depict desire—our own and the audience’s. As the performers move through various cultural codes—the meta-films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Britain’s working-class Northern Soul, 1990s-era rave culture, privatized athletic training, and Internet-informed modes of self-staging—questions are raised. How does one tell a story through moving images and the bodies that compose them? Why stage our privacy for a public? Finally, what kind of film is this? Are we watching the process of its construction, its failure, or simply its trailer? Using film stills as research material, mats as projection surfaces for video close-ups, and athletic balls as props, Bachzetsis’s work explores contemporary ideas of identity in terms of image-making, framing, and athleticism. The cast’s sheer physicality—inflected by the cool commercialization of myriad cultural influences—composes so many projections, offering emotional alternatives for the self and the world in which it is staged. As the trailer puts it: “It’s a romance. It’s a romantic comedy. It’s an action movie. It’s a cover version.

View Trailer