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Marijn Rademaker in Marco Goecke’s Äffi

May 10, 2012

Three songs of Johnny Cash inspired Marco Goecke to create the powerful and moving solo Äffi for Principal Dancer Marijn Rademaker on occasion of a benefit gala in Holland. In December 2005 the Stuttgart Ballet audience experienced the masterpiece at the Stuttgart Ballet’s annual Christmas Benefit Gala in the Opera House. Äffi made its way into the repertoire of the Stuttgart Ballet and also the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam and has since then been shown numerous times at national and international festivals:

In Äffi, Marco Goecke seems very involved with hands, making the use of the hands prominent in his dances by slapping, twitching, waving, picking things of the body. He is not afraid to incorporate humor into his works as you will see here.

In the beginning his back is almost always to the audience as if afraid to revel something personal if he turns around. But even when he does face front his face is still in shadow, pulling you in a different manner as the viewer

Marijn Rademaker in Äffi , Choreography by Marco Goecke Photo: Patricio Melo

Goecke’s choreography has no problem with the dancer standing still; allowing the music to flow past the dancer, only to be rejoined at the right note for emphasis. There is a fascination with back bending and flaying of arms. He allows for little light on the stage so you focus on the dancer but sometimes you must first locate him from within the dim edges of light.

Goecke likes small movements, shaking of a foot, fast waving of hands, making them as important as the Tours en l’air.

Goecke’s method seems to that he uses everything, movements, small and large, the darkness that is ever-present on the edge of light blending it with Johnny Cash to make a strong emotional statement of longing, grief, searching.

When Marijn Rademaker screams, Goecke is releasing the tension that is evident in the dance, always lying just below the service. Then Mr. Rademaker holds up his two index fingers and as if to say “wait, I’m not done” and begins to whistle, it is both intriguing and slightly humorous.

Mr. Rademaker’s jerky movements and sideways hop across just solidifies that the dance as a whole is a soliloquy of sorts that ranges between madness and  the simplicity of a child at play.

With the solo Marijn Rademaker won the renowned German dance award “Der Faust” in the category “Best Dance Performance” in 2006.

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