The brochure for Kunstfestspiele Herrenhausen festival arrived in the post yesterday, which makes it very real that this is happening!
Until the Last of Our Labours Is Done, my durational performance commissioned by the festival, will premiere on 22 May 2020, 6-10pm in the incredible 70m-long baroque gallery on the grounds of Hannover’s Herrenhausen royal gardens.
Here’s the press blurb:
In Vlatka Horvat’s Until the Last of Our Labours Is Done, a group of six performers travel back and forth on a long narrow track, negotiating a landscape of detritus, wooden planks, sticks, fabric scraps, and various broken objects.
Part comical relay race, part surreal lo-fi physics experiment, and part obstacle course, the piece ebbs and flows through the four hours of its duration, the performers’ journeys at times aided, and at other times hindered by the objects and materials they carry with them.
Set to a live improvised musical score that augments and contradicts the rhythms of the performance itself, Until the Last of Our Labours Is Done is an unruly choreography of fabulous inventiveness, humour and play, with occasional glimpses of violence – a melee of objects and bodies dragging, pulling, sliding, and jumping.
The performers’ movement shifts between being energetic and competitive, and being reluctant or even resigned. They keep moving forward nonetheless, then return to their starting line again, determined to fight on and start over in a different way. Through the course of this game – with its rules warping, changing and disintegrating over time – both the performers’ moving bodies and the objects they work with are revealed in a new light. Indeed, as the performers continually reinvent both their journeys and their relation to the items they use, a sense of radical imagination is always at hand, through which everyday objects and materials are temporarily transformed into vehicles, props, crutches, vessels, shoes, attachments for the body and even additional body parts.
In its determined exploration of progress and stuckness, persistence and creativity, Until the Last of Our Labours Is Done speaks of human perseverance and resilience, of the need to start over, and of the drive people feel to keep going against all odds. Invoking the liberatory potential and the sheer exhaustion inherent in human movement, the work offers hints of historical dance marathons, echoes of the processes of migration and displacement, and a sense – underneath everything – of a human impulse to keep moving just to stay alive.
Conceived and directed by Vlatka Horvat
Created with and performed by: Seke Chimutengwende, Neil Callaghan, Wendy Houstoun, Paul Hughes, Lucy Suggate, Rohanne Udall
Live music: Hahn Rowe
A commission and co-production by KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen Hannover
A production of Vlatka Horvat / unstable objects