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Tanzmainz company and The Philharmonic Orchestra of Mainz, Germany

Choreography & Space Idea: Guy Nader & Maria Campos

Light Design & Sculptural Lighting: Yaron Abulafia

Set & Costume Design: Lucia Vonerhein

Conductor: Hermann Bäumer

Music: Montage

Photos by © Yaron Abulafia

World premiere at Mainz Opera House - February 2018


The title ‘Impetus’ (from Latin) refers to the force or energy with which a body moves, or something that makes a process or activity happen or happen more quickly. As the curtain goes up, a glaring light sculpture shines in the direction of the public for a few minutes long, in a strained silence. A man carries a motionless woman on his shoulder, slowly climbing up the mountain, against the background of the cosmic bright object. Repeatedly, he tries reaching the mountain’s peak and stabilising the female dancer so she could stand up, but she roles down.


The mission remains unaccomplished as in the Greek myth of Sisyphus, who was condemned to roll a heavy rock up the mountain every day, again and again. In few minutes time, the lighting sculpture (rock/sun) fades out and gets a brown colour of rusty metal. Another source of inspiration for the process was Albert Camus’ essay The Myth of Sisyphus (1942), which questions the absurdity of man’s life and whether suicide is a valid choice to deal with such absurdity.


The choreography in Impetus is full of acrobatic partnering and human constellations of moving bodies somehow mechanistically. Contemporary dance, martial arts and contact technique, floor work and flying-low, high throws and jumps are all used to make sequences of images that while repeating, these give rise to ‘discoveries’ of details within the movement. As a result of subjective reflection upon the moving images, a strong emotional impact occasionally occurs.


The lighting sculpture metamorphoses throughout the piece, featuring different patterns in light, in static intensities and at times changing very dynamically. It is both a source of illumination and at times – a darkened object that becomes part of the space – always in relation with the music, with choreography and with its own vivid character.