LADIES FIRST (2007)
Fritz Lang meets Marilyn Manson, Marlene Dietrich meets Dita Von Tesse. The smoky and sultry nightclubs and cabarets of Berlin in the 1920s and ’30s provide the inspiration for “Ladies first”. Dimmed light, music, sex and transvestites – social and cultural anarchy were in the air; rigid gender roles were breaking down; cross-dressing was the ‘dernier cri’. Drawing on this hothouse atmosphere, “Ladies first” is a contemporary version of a cabaret with six male performers. Like cinema and theater icons, the dancers endlessly play, shifting from moments of pure exhibitionism to never grotesque poses and geometrical compositions parading on stage; to instantly line up motionless and transform into contemporary caryatides. A certain sense of solitude reigns throughout the performance. A larval and spasmodic solitude travels from states of deep quiet to unexpected explosions obsessively looking for a union without ever being able to reach it. Choreographers Nicola Mascia and Matan Zamir play with the concepts of androgyny, gender bending and the ambiguity of bodies and sexuality and are interested in how this former subculture has influenced the nowadays pop-culture. Internationally renowned Berlin based Spanish visual artist Pablo Alonso and young Israeli fashion designer Yonatan Zohar created the original abstract black and white film noir like decor and the mesmerizing hand made ‘70s/‘80s glam rock inspired costumes for the work. “Ladies first” is not just a simple, realistic and historically correct reproduction of an old cabaret – it merges the aesthetics and images of the golden twenties and the present entertainment industry into a contemporary version, that preserves the essence of the past. “Ladies first” is matanicola’s tribute to Berlin.
Nicola Mascia, Matan Zamir
Soundtrack design and original composition
Light design/Technical direction
“Ladies first” is a production of matanicola in co-production with Sasha Waltz & Guests, Tanz im August – Internationales Tanzfest Berlin, Grand Theatre Groningen, Civitanova Danza and Amat. Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V. and Radialsystem V and Galerie Jan Wentrup.