Onda a deep dive into the unknown
The hannahma dance company from Luxembourg, Germany has its debut appearance at this year’s JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience with ONDA — into the unknown. The work is the product of a research exploration that delves into the intersections of human and nature, the recording of this live performance is intriguing and made me wish I could fully witness it in person.
This research, performance and art production sees long-time collaborators, Hannah Ma and Sebastian M. Purfürst, join forces to create a multi-media output that poses more questions than it provides answers. Having been in artistic collaboration since 2007, it is no surprise that Ma and Purfürst have developed a signature style that has no doubt evolved over the years. In a Vimeo Vlog, Ma notes that as collaborating artists, their work is defined by layers and textures that cross over mediums of digital and live in movement, music and imagery. Into this, ONDA — into the unknown is marked by ritual and rhythms, while resonating with aura.
Using the ocean and waves as the springboard, a performance with six performers (Hannah Ma, Ritsuko Matsuoka, Sergio Mel, Maher Abdul Moaty, Sebastian M. Purfürst and Christin Reinartz) unfolds amongst digital video projections on three sides of the stage. The performers transform, by taking off their masks and socks, from regular black hooded tracksuit clad humans to water creatures that float and sway in the currents of what lies below. Imagery of undulating seaweed, and schools of shimmery fish that rollick in unison but sometimes dart entice you into this underwater docu-dance. The soundscape is a mixture of natural ocean sounds, highlighted by an air guitar that’s played by a cello bow. Like any good wildlife show, expect a little disruptive drama in the more contact driven sections that reveal the not-so-pleasant, but necessary side of nature.
This work, for me, provoked incongruous thoughts that speak to my own subconscious priorities. A sense of disrupted romance, scavenging at an opulent dinner party and a desperate need to fit in or just be left alone.
ONDA — into the unknown features on the “European and American Crossings” platform on Friday 3 September at 19:00 (CAT) as part of the 23rd JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience.
The CCA’s JOMBA! 2021 runs from 24 August to 5 September and can be navigated free of charge via the website www.jomba.ukzn.ac.za or subscribe to the JOMBA! YouTube channel here: https://www.YouTube.com/Jomba_Dance
A full programme is available via the website.