Schreckommendations: Praised Mechanism, created and performed by Luana Rossetti
Since 2013, Berlin-based Milanese dancer and choreographer Luana Rossetti, founder of NOAS CIA dance troupe, and a respected and much in demand dance teacher, has swiftly built a legacy for herself in the international contemporary dance world with a series of powerful primal pieces she aptly describes as "Oeneric Dark Dance Theatre".
True to her description, Rosetti´s riveting October 2019 performance of her creation Praised Mechanism at Berlin´s Pfefferberg Theater brought the enraptured audience into the shadowy nightmare realm she and her talented cast Chiara Fersini and Giovanni Cento performed with a commanding directness, vigor and authority.
In contrast to the sometimes all too fey and pretentious insular nature of so much of the contemporary dance world, Praised Mechanism, in keeping with Rossetti´s dynamic take-no-prisoners signature style, presents an unabashedly emotional and passionate vision that finds alarming revelatory beauty even in the darkest aspects of human experience.
Despite the piece´s deliberately stark expressionistic minimalism, the mythical larger than life aura the charismatic Rossetti and her cast brought to the stage embodied a Wagnerian grandeur elevating the proceedings to a credibly otherworldly dimension. If it is the fascinating contrast between the ecstatic and wild Dionysian nature of Rossetti´s ever shifting flowing movement and the precise assured discipline of her craft that kept the audience enthralled, Praised Mechanism was also distinguished by its timeless theatrical presentation, which lent the piece the ritualistic air of ancient Greek drama, especially the element of catharsis inherent in the myth-infused Hellenic theater. Rossetti´s description of her work as a translation "into a corporeal language personal experiences which conformed into psychosomatic movements and post-traumatic behaviours ... give an image, a way out to these neurotic states, through body vocabulary and metaphors," makes explicit the deliberately healing, even shamanistic power of this evocative piece and its performance.
Addressing and dramatizing the feminine principle and its challenges without ever sinking into dogmatic neo-feminist preaching, I can think of no higher praise for Praised Mechanism than to say that even those not initiated into the sometimes cryptic and insular sphere of contemporary dance will be moved by its unreleting visual, emotional and theatrical appeal, an unsettling but moving ceremonial experience seemingly conjured from the deepest depths of the Jungian universal unconscious to the stage. - Nikolas Schreck