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Portrait of Nicki Liszta in the dance magazine ›Tanz‹

Tanz – Zeitschrift für Ballett, Tanz und Performance, Januar 2018 | backsteinhaus produktion | Tanztheater // Physical Theatre // Dance Theatre»Through a free scene that is practically silent, her pieces echo like little explosions. Nicki Liszta won the Stuttgart Theater Award for the best dance production in 2008 with her debut album ›zwischen häuten‹. Since then, in the city of ballet miracle and Gauthier Dance, she has been holding up the flag of contemporary dance, throwing bodies against walls, crushing the thighs of leg scissors, tearing the audience off with raw meat or through-the-night-stumbling from his passive stance. As public you are always a bit on guard in these pieces, too often surprises happen, tilts idyll into violence and chasms open behind the facades. Liszta’s art reduces the distance between the artist and the audience, substituting aesthetic contemplation or passive pondering through situations of horror and distance, provoking a physical reaction to what has been seen. …

Liszta’s pieces are often about the dynamics within a group, a family, a sect or, as most recently, a wolf pack – love refusal, abuse, hardship, fanaticism or even solidarity: ›I’m interested in this microcosm, in which you see violence, power relations and exclusion processes which can be projected onto the society. Solidarity is also interesting to me in this context, it is an important aspect of our increasingly radicalized society today.‹ How does the abysmal dynamics of her pieces emerge, which often begin in a harmless, almost idyllic way? ›It’s because I always feel the need to hug and reach the viewer. Of course, the break is much stronger if you are initially empathetic with the performers. For me, the most important thing is actually to reach the viewer – with whatever! For me, theater should not just stay there in front of us. There are people who come to me and say, I could not stand it, it drove me crazy. And I say: Yes, that’s great! There are still so many taboos in our society. Why should theater join in and work only on a purely cognitive level? Why can’t we directly address things and feel the disgust? That’s also a feeling!‹« Angela Reinhardt, Tanz – Journal of Ballet, Dance and Performance, January 2018

The whole article can be read in the January edition of ›Tanz‹ or online in the theater magazine of Friedrich-Verlag.

 

Tanz – Zeitschrift für Ballett, Tanz und Performance | backsteinhaus produktion | Tanztheater // Physical Theatre // Dance TheatreWhite hope in the Yearbook 2015 of ›Tanz

»Nicki Liszta’s dance hurts. In a very real sense, their dancers and performers throw themselves on the stone floor, popping against walls, hovering over glass flakes. In Stuttgart, where the free scene, in spite of patient parrots through the city, regularly falls next to Ballet Comedy and Gauthier Dance, the choreographer sets a real counterpoint apart from the usual off-locations. …

Their last production was in a dwelled multi-family house in the most despicable area of ​​the city: every apartment, every cellar, and even the wiped lawns contained dark secrets. In ›A Piece of Cake‹ for two hours the public gets chased like voyeurs through questionable single-room parades and private homes. Together with her co-directors Christian Müller and/or Isabelle von Gatterburg, Liszta staged the horror under the smooth surface. She is a master in gradually revealing bad memories. Again and again, childhood trauma is its theme, cruelty within the family. …

The horror comes slowly, composed of puzzle pieces gradually, from minimalistic texts, atmospheric live music and especially from the angry attack, with which their dancers throw themselves on the ground and at the walls, from the pure force of the movement. Liszta makes use of the physical approach to the boundaries, the direct vehemence of dance as an irrefutable language. …

Usually she is approaching her audience threateningly ›Absent‹ pursues one of the biting smell of raw meat. In ›A Piece of Cake‹ the public drinks camomile tea with an exorcist and stumbles through dark and cold front gardens. Often enough, after these pieces, you feel that you have just escaped again.« Angela Reinhardt, Tanz – Journal of Ballet, Dance and Performance – Yearbook 2015

 

White hope in the Yearbook 2011 of ›Tanz

»The dance scene in Stuttgart is a rigid structure. It is hard in the next to the Stuttgarter Ballet, which with Eric Gauthier’s company now is also present in the Theaterhaus Stuttgart. … The appearance of Nicki Liszta seemed like in a Western when a stranger steps through the Saloon door and places the Colt on the counter. « Andrea Kachelrieß, Tanz – Journal of Ballet, Dance and Performance – Yearbook 2011