Joshua Monten, Switzerland

Choreographer: Joshua Monten

Dancers: Konstantinos Kranidiotis, David Pallant, Noa Van Tichel, Jack Wignall

Technician: Henning Günther

Dramaturgy: Guy Cools

Light Design: Mirjam Berger

Costume Design: Catherine Voeffray

Set Design: Romy Springsguth

Music Design: Moritz Alfons

Coproduction: Dampfentrale Bern

Running time: 55`

The Swiss-American choreographer Joshua Monten was born near New York City. He studied literature and cultural anthropology at Duke University before discovering dance at the relatively late age of 20. As a dancer he performed with Bern Ballett, Stadttheater Heidelberg, Öff Öff Aerial Productions and DA MOTUS! He has worked with choreographers such as Stijn Celis, Hofesh Shechter, Irina Pauls, Konstantinos Rigos und Tino Sehgal. In 2012 Joshua Monten founded his own dance company which has subsequently given hundreds performances at festivals and theaters around the world. Joshua Monten regularly choreographs for theater, opera, ballet, museums and arts outreach programs. Indeed, his work as a choreographer is informed by these encounters with diverse audiences and varied forms of artistic expression.

Even today in the age of Tinder, Grindr and online dating, dance continues to play a central role in how many of us find a mate. This dance production for four Romeos (one of whom is performed by a woman) explores the idea of dance as a thrillingly up close and personal form of courtship. Each spectator can slip into the role of Juliet and witness the dancers’ struggles to impress — with their artistry, charm, athleticism, slick moves and at times nothing more than naked desperation.  The audience sits on seating areas distributed throughout the performance space. Their reactions and interactions are visible to all, thus the audience becomes characters in the very performance they are witnessing.

The four barefooted Romeos look like caricatures of themselves. Although, they work with full physical effort. The big courtship becomes a huge crescendo. Several times you have the feeling that now is the end. But then the game goes on for another round. The wild quartet bursts with macho accented steps.

Marianne Mühlemann, Der Bund