Raimund Hoghe – Bolero Variations
posted by: Seth Nehil
I walked out of Bolero Variations feeling refreshed and hyper-aware. It took some time to re-calibrate my brain to the pace of this beautiful dance, but once I got there, it was like time zones slipping past each other. A hummingbird might see dance this way, everything slowed to ΒΌ speed, gloriously magnified, full of detail, exquisitely precise. Bolero Variations demonstrates that dance can have a direct psycho-physical effect on a viewer’s body. Rather than hitting us with impact, crushing us (pun intended) with endless effects, it invites us closer, asks us to enter the dance, incites us to pay closer attention. There was always more to notice.
It seems that reducing this piece to any description is a major disservice. The dancers etched strong, clear lines across the stage, in complete control. Each piece of music was treated like a miniature work, accompanied by decisive, clear and translucent choreography. This was dance at its most dignified and refined. I was captivated by its grace.
I was often reminded of visual art. A Robert Ryman painting – subtle variations on white. Or Richard Tuttle’s paper octagons – a shadow geometry that threatens to disappear. Or zen calligraphy – a simple stroke which embodies years of practice. It takes absolute confidence and conviction to make dance this unembellished and lucid. It felt like an opening in the world.