Echoes_ JOSHA – a portrait – by Zsuzsanna Komjáthy
Unified points in space
It is not easy to talk about the performance JOSHA – a portrait – choreographed by Márta Ladjánszki. Despite that everybody can recognize some familiar gestures or thoughts in it, the piece is a pure and abstract choreography that rejects all attempts to find some meanings between and/or through the movements and music. Yes, this may be frustrating for me as a critic, since I am supposed to write some clever thoughts about the choreography, but actually it is not like that at all. On the contrary, it inspires me, since I can focus all my attention on the execution, the form and the construction of the choreography.
But my job still hasn’t become easier. Even though the performance is an evidently mature one, I can hardly handle it. What is the essence of Josha? Is it an energetic project to express the body as a stable host of the self-propelled subjectivity (not only in a psychological or gendered, but also in an affective way)? Or, is it rather an award experiment to recover the in/unstable dynamism and natural forces lying within solitude? In other words: as its title defines itself as a portrait, is it an exploring excursion, where the utterances of the subject (or the traces of it, at least) are written to the dancer’s body? Or, is it rather an indication of the sameness of anybody’s personality? I still cannot decide. On one hand, there is a potential inclusive entirety in the choreography with a well-built continuity: due to this, the empty space around the performer Joanna Leśnierowska slowly becomes the space of her personality – the public shifts to the private. But on the other hand, through the split of this inclusion and due to the Icosian Game of Leśnierowska’s movements, which are repeatedly interrupted by the common rhythm of her flesh, her body spreads out to the stage, and becomes a shared space – the private shifts to the public. Josha is a cerebral act in this sense and we are drawn into it. But how? And which reading is the correct one?
This is a complicated question. Definitely it is related somehow to a kind of prosthesis of the body, evoked on the stage by the lines of force of the dancer’s body, from the first moment to the very last. Just to note it, it is not through and by the participation of the musician Zsolt Varga. Besides his presence, there is another potential body evoked on the stage that derives from Leśnierowska’s solitude. A ’virtual body’ as José Gil defines it, that we can feel and even taste during the performance. From this point of view, Leśnierowska’s own and/or lonely world are an element of the Other. (At a certain point during the performance she points with her finger to one of the spectators, then points to another one. After she has covered the whole theatre with this procedure, she points to herself at the end.) The fields of ’me’, ’not me’ and ’not-not-me’ refer to each other in some sense, and unite at a particular point in space. At a certain place, that has neither abyss nor profundity. But what does it mean? That you cannot get behind the boundaries of the self? Maybe. Or maybe not. Who could decide?
Zsuzsanna Komjáthy – KÖM by L1 Association