Inspired by the life and works of the Italian writer and film director Pier Paolo Pasolini, the Ludica. has created a multi-faceted staging between light and shadow, text fragments, sound compositions, cinematic quotes, abstract projections and choreographic elements. Ludica juggles with the principle of discontinuity and creates images and spaces with its own artistic signature and in an associative manner, with which they approach Pasolinis notional cosmos. The title Anmerkung 134 (Note 134) relates to the chapter Anmerkung 133 (Note 133) in the novel Petrolio, which Pasolini was unable to complete due to his violent death.
Pier Paolo Pasolini was a citizen and revolutionary, poet and communist provocateur, catholic and heretic. For this Italian intellectual (1922 - 1975), who polemicised against left-wing Fascism, contradictions abounded. His death was never explained: A convicted male prostitute withdrew his confession. The suspicion that it was a contract killing by the Italian secret service was never dispelled.
Such a figure existing between culture and subculture with his longing for an original society rooted in the earth and his homosexual desire aroused by looking at the backs of the knees of boys playing football, naturally inspired someone such as Johann Kresnik. In 1986, he wrote a Testament of the body on the body of Pasolini and celebrated obscene black masses. The Italian-Japanese art collective, Ludica, is much more sensitive in this regard. The choreographer and dancer Morgan Nar¬di and the space and video artist Naoko Tanaka are content with a respectful glance at the life and work of the film maker and writer. They collected splinters, astheticised and joined them to an image cosmos of beguiling visual art, dance, text and sound. The audience pushed to the edge like the population of the Italian suburbs, to whom Pasolini devoted his critical social writings, is assigned the role of an extra by the artist duo.
Ludica's Performance Anmerkung 134 refers to chapter 133 of the unfinished novel Petrolio (petroleum). This is not an addition, more of a reverberation of a noisy artist existence. In the game with light and shadow, Annelise Soglio, Francesco Pedone and Alessio Castellacci dance Pasolini, raise their fists and, as black silhouettes, become an anti-capitalist threat of force on the masonry. In an animated projection, they amplify into the mass of people. The grungy homosexual sings an old Italian pop song with his black penis hanging out of his trousers. The intellectual explains his social, political positions in text fragments. The creature in him that requires the natural life form, crawls on all fours and gorges himself with food - clearly an allusion to the film The 120 days of Sodom. Some scenes are drawn out and many remain vague, literally in the dark. That is how it should be, Pasolini remained a myth.
BETTINA TROUWBORST, BalletTanz Feb.09
Dance premiere: the Ludica commemorates Pier Paolo Pasolini in the Tanzhaus.
When the dead glides over the Styx
He would not have felt comfortable here. You enter Studio 6 of the Tanzhaus and find yourself at a party with buffet and chatter. Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975), film maker and author, communist and popular saint, homosexual and murder victim, controversial and celebrated, was an avowed enemy of consumerism.
The choreographer Morgan Nardi, the video artist Naoko Tanaka and their Ludica company commemorate the artist with their new piece Anmerkung134 [Note 134].
The performance starts as a party, the audience are part of the act. Suddenly, the three actors Francesco Pedone, Anneliese Soglio and Alessio Castellacci lumber onto the floor. The informal atmosphere breaks. Then there is an Italian pop song in the sound of the 60s as karaoke.
The piece dispenses not only with classical presentation but also with usual dramaturgy. Nardi and Tanaka have set up a scenic collage, which partly includes vestiges of Pasolinis life and in other parts remains cryptic. Video presentations and scenic elements alternate or merge into their own visual worlds.
Technically there are some wonderful solutions yet, in terms of content, the show asks too much of those without previous knowledge. Two actors crawl across the floor, picking up food with their mouths, as if they were dogs. This is definitely a quote from The 120 Days of Sodom, Pasolinis most controversial film. The conservative aspect of his criticism of capitalism people are robbed of their naturalness is dialogically named and made sensually perceptible when the three actors are endlessly duplicated in the live video image.
One of the performers bares his chest, flounders in rage, emits grunting noises. In-between we hear the words Kill him. Is this bringing Pasolinis murderer into the picture, the man who killed him in Ostia in 1975? And at the end, the shadow of a dancer swims on a water projection as if Pasolini is gliding across the Styx. Perhaps.
Anmerkung 134, this is the name of an unwritten chapter from Pasolinis uncompleted novel Petrolio. It suggests that Ludica has something to add to Pasolinis work that is claiming too much. Yet, for all intents and purposes, the performance encourages an interest in Pasolini.
By Klaus M. Schmidt, Westdeutsche Zeitung Düsseldorf, 29.03.2008
They dance the Pasolini
Pier Paolo Pasolini an avowed catholic who polemicized against the sexual morals of the church. A communist who denounced growing left-wing fascism. Homosexual, consumer critic, media sceptic. Radical in his positions and in his art, with which he evoked scandals, repeatedly quoted in court.
Only he could no longer be prosecuted for his planned novel Petrolio. Pasolini was murdered in 1975, the text remained a fragment. He called his text passages Notes instead of Chapters; he had compiled 133 of them. Now there is one more. The Düsseldorf artist pair Ludica consisting of Morgan Nardi (choreographer) and Naoko Tanaka (media artist) has created a Note 134. This sounds like a continuation of the story but is, in fact, a very respectful homage. It was not only the agitator but the poet Pasolini that interested Ludica. Yet the escapades dominated the reception of the poet and film director to such an extent that he is now barely recognisable in this gentle approach. The three dancers of this evening strike at the floor, scratch over the surface with their fingernails - Pasolini, the rebel, who wished to destroy and rip up every smooth superficiality? Later men and women crawl on all fours, have food thrown at them, which they devour like animals perhaps a film reminiscence of The 120 Days of Sodom? And at some point, the three performers of the evening lean naked against a wall, posing as if for mythologically stylised nude photography. Pasolini, the lover of simple creatureliness?
Nardi and Tanaka arrange vestiges of his life, his art, so highly aesthetic and, at the same time, calculated to be so imperfect, that the images could never be kitschy. Yet you remain unsettled, understanding at some point that these are only your own projections in which you believe to have discovered Pasolini. The Ludica formation is an expert in dreamlike ramifications. They thoroughly conceive each and every one of their images. So their pieces are never flat just illegible in parts but somehow, after all, this suits the literary monstrosity that is Petrolio
By NICOLE STRECKER, Kölner Stadtanzeiger 28.03.08