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Ryan Djojokarso inspired by a James Baldwin book.

As one of the leading authors of the 20th century, James Baldwin denounced important racial and sexual misdeeds. Choreographer Ryan Djojokarso sought inspiration for his new performance in his book Giovanni’s Room (1956). The American David is about to marry Hella, but falls deeply in love with the Italian Giovanni in Paris. We follow David through the night leading up to the most horrible morning of his life, when his lover will be gone forever. A dance unfolds where soft intimacy, masculine camaraderie, sexual tension, and an all-consuming self-hatred struggle to prevail. What happens to you, when you are so afraid that you can no longer love?

'His touch could never fail to make me feel desire; yet his hot, sweet breath also made me want to vomit.' uit: Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin (1956)

‘In revenge and in love woman is more barbaric than man is’ From Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil (Jenseits von Gut und Böse)

In previous years, Samir Calixto has made quite an impression with his adaptations of Winterreise (after Schubert), 4 Seasons (after Vivaldi), Paradise Lost (after Milton), and Summa (after Arvo Pärt). With a resolute cross between pure musicality and intense physicality, he digs deeply into the subject matter of his performances until they achieve a timeless quality.

After the impressive M, where five male dancers submit themselves totally, mentally and physically, the Brazilian choreographer has now created W. Samir revisits the intriguing cross-fertilization of dance and the philosophy of Nietzsche. W is in all respects a mirror image of M: a piece where five women make tangible the power, anger, and voluptuousness so clearly manifest in myths and archetypes connected with women. Wagner is for W what Mahler was for M. Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde is a polemic work about the extremes of human instinct unleashed by the irrationality of romantic love. Set to a modern adaptation of Wagner’s music, Calixto’s W trains the spotlight on our obsessive search for truth, now from a feminine perspective. Through Calixto’s ruthless physicality, layers are peeled off the dancers to reveal their vulnerabilities and barbarity. The women undergo a ritual of submission, voluptuousness, and sacrifice, until the purity of existence is achieved.

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