SUPERNATURALS by Martina Hajdyla Lacová, Stano Dobák, photo: Vojtěch Brtnický

Dance Transit 2017: Praha.Dresden.Leipzig


I finally got to go to Dance Transit Festival, but for only 2 of the 3 nights. I really need a couple of clones.


Friday night was Blind Date night. You never know what you’re going to get with a blind date. Usually friends fix you up. You can trust them, right? You can when your friend is the Lofft.

Musicians and dancers meet on stage for the first time. No one has a plan. It’s all improvisation. Since the festival is based in three cities, this time there were three musicians (Gundolf NandicoNikolaus WoernleTomáš Vtípil) and three dancers (Claire Wolff,  Yamile NavarroBarbora Latalova). I had a friend with me who never goes to dance, and the people sitting behind me were the same. All want to go to the Lofft again. There is something about knowing this is a once in a lifetime performance and that it is all just coming out of the moment.

I think you also feel more comfortable because when you come in, you get a name tag. You had to find your partner. Last time I was Yoko Ono. This time I was Romeo. Don’t worry, I found my John and my Julia for my free glass/can of Sekt.

Barbora Latalova from Prague. “The most characteristic feature of Bára as an artist is that she is very intensely present on stage. Also, she is very intuitive and visually attractive. Let’s put it simply: she is a conjurer.“
(Dance Zone)

The dynamic between the musicians and the dancers was playful. There were so many wonderful moments, but the most memorable for me was when Barbora and Claire turned in circles, wrapped in embrace. They went through the gambit of possibilities from love to aggression. It was beautiful to watch.


When I talked to choreographers Stano Dobák and Cindy Hammer after the performance, they said that the Lofft’s Creative Director, Dirk Forester, had been wanting to have these pieces together for two years. I asked why and as the conversation unfolded, we found out that both had used images from comic books to create their choreography and both relied heavily on stereotypes. What was interesting to me was how different the interpretations were.

concept, choreography (and danced) by Martina Hajdyla Lacová and Stano Dobák 

There was so much energy on that stage! Most of the time there was no music. That only served to build the tension between the two characters who wanted to interact, but somehow didn’t know how to do it without hurting each other. And yet, as supernaturals, they were indestructible. Let’s just say I was on the edge of my seat. They pushed and pushed past the point of exhaustion. It was frenzied and creative and seemingly endless. Basically blank stage and directed raw energy. Stano said they block it out and improvise it depending on the location. I’m sure that’s how they keep it so fresh.

I rarely go see performances twice, but I would this one.

GO WEST, YOUNG MAN by Go Plastic
Dancers: Joseph Hernandez, Jared Marks, Alex “Kelox” Miller, and Christian Novopavlovski
Special Guest: Ehud Roffe 

Choreographer: Cindy Hammer  
Video: Benjamin Schindler

“Go west, young man”, the 1936 film stars my namesake, Mae West (who wrote the screenplay) and the steamy Randolf Scott. The name was a word play on her name and one of the biggest catch phrases of Manifest Destiny, “Go west, young man, go west.”

It is usually credited to influential New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley, a North-Easterner who only traveled west once.

“Westerns have been the mainstay of the industry ever since its beginning. And they have been good to me. Westerns are a type of picture which everyone can see and enjoy.”

Randolph Scott

Dresden choreographer, Cindy Hammer, used to work in a video store. Go West, Young Man is part of a series based on move genres. You guessed it: this one is based on Westerns. It plays with all the clichés.

It wasn’t as easy as you’d think. When searching for material, Cindy found that everything they did in the movies seemed to be to get the gal. They wanted it to be just the guys. So that left lots of riding, roping and fighting in a healthy blend of urban and contemporary moves.

The set and use of video were a sharp contrast to the sparseness of the Supernaturals. It was visually packed like a good movie should be. Sometimes the moves pushed repetition beyond the comfort borders like any B Western worth its salt would.

I forgot to ask who chose the music. I am not sure why, but when I was watching, it felt like a guy had chosen it. Was that correct or was it because I think Westerns are typically guy flicks?

To be honest, I wish I hadn’t seen this at the same time I was writing about Melora Kuhn’s The Drawing Room. I was just too deep in this time in history to appreciate the superficial nature of Westerns. I feel like I need to see it again.

Artist, curator and writer: maeshelle west-davies gleans her varied life experiences to expose a personal perspective through a multitude of mediums.

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