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Witness is a studio performance for 6 dancers and a voice embedded in the soundtrack, commissioned by Ballett Chemnitz.

Following the 2 previous pieces created by Zarhy - Ausencia (2021) and Presencia (2023), this work deals with the relation between dance-movement and memory.

The practice of dance demands the repetition of sequences. This sort of movement is neither mechanical, nor obsessive or involuntary. It involves the fine tuning and achievement of precision through doing, feeling and analyzing. This is the actual craft of the dancer. 

Witness starts with a whispering voice proposing to accompany the audience’s thoughts while watching the piece. After that, the actual practice of rehearsing is set in a repetitive sequence as the structural base for the piece. The relation between thinking and doing - having an intention and sensing through one’s body - is then reflected both in the audience’s and in the dancers’ roles. 

Zarhy sets the ground to ask deeper questions regarding the agency of the public. Witness puts at stake the role of the spectator as an essential component, without whom the piece might remain just another rehearsal. This raises questions about the role of the witness in a performative environment, but also in any other context in life.
At a certain moment the whisperer asks: “When this piece is shown next week, you will not be here. Will it be another piece?” Witness, as every other piece in fact, is evidence of a process. It documents a specific moment in time, with the dancers, the public, and the place where it is taking place. It’s a momentarily document that takes place in the perception and imagination of the viewer.


Choreography: May Zarhy

Original music: Daniella Ljungsberg

Soundtrack text translation and assistance: Antje Cordes 

Dancers: Isabel Druenne, Valeria Gambino, Adèle Roulmann, Tim Hutsch, Dávid Janik, Koh Yoshitake.

Images: Nasser Hashemi
Commissioned by Ballett Chemnitz, artistic director: Sabrina Sadowska. Städtische Theater Chemnitz gGmbH.


25.4.2024 | Opernhaus, Chemnitz Germany

3.5.2024 | Opernhaus, Chemnitz Germany

23.5.2024 | Opernhaus, Chemnitz Germany

30.5.2024 | Opernhaus, Chemnitz Germany

13.6.2024 | Tanz Moderne Tanz Festival Chemnitz

20.6.2024 | Tanz Moderne Tanz Festival Chemnitz

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