First comes the earth, then the air. No other elements are more essential to the human being, who, despite his progressing individualization, must always function as a part of a community. Apart from the ground, which supports our feet and dreams, nothing is closer to us than our own breath. But the process of breathing usually happens unconsciously. Is this also the case with power, which like air always fills the distance between people, whose form and movement either create space or downright robs the air of breath?
SCHNUFE is the Swiss-German word for breathing. In their piece, the dancer Johanna Heusser and the saxophonist Marc Vilanova take a look at their coexistence on a stage and demonstrate strategies of controlling and manipulating the other. The two artists do not perform here primarily as a dancer and a musician, but as two individuals circling the space of the other, who either expand or constrict their common air-space. The music triggers the body, the movement sets off the sound. The breath becomes a language that determines the space for communication between the protagonists. With everything at their disposition, they direct and guide themselves and the other. Through the common use of one single air space, they learn how to set themselves in a relationship with each other. Sound, muscles, breath, touch, gesture: without these movements, both are lost.
The desire to manipulate the other one becomes apparent in SCHNUFE. At the same time, those freedoms are revealed which two people can establish for themselves. The audience observes the sometimes conscious and sometimes unconscious interplay of the protagonists and becomes part of this seemingly unfamiliar relationship, which always mirrors the very self, the most intimate and private. Everyone knows about this space, everyone experiences the world through the same breath.
Marc Vilanova, Johanna Heusser
at Theater ROXY, May 2018