POST ENGAGEMENT. DIPTYCH. PART II
Choreography: Tatiana Baganova
Music: Delicatessen by Nicolay Sudnik, Songs, Hymns and Dances by Georgiy Gurjieff and Vassilis Tsabropulos, Die anarchistische Abendunterhaltung
Costume and set design: Tatiana Baganova / Olga Pautova
Lighting design: Nina Indrikson / Maxim Sergachev
Running time: 55 minutes
The piece was commissioned in the United States by the American Dance Festival as a part of the International Choreographers’ Program with support from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Trust for Mutual Understanding, and the ADF Stephanie Reinhart Fund.
World premiere: July, 2006 – United States
Russian premiere: April, 2007 – Novokuibyshevsk (PoMost Russian Theatre Festival) with support from the Ford Foundation
The piece was awarded the Golden Mask for Best Production in Contemporary Dance (2008)
Restaged (updated version) in 2017
What comes after engagement? Maybe just an obsession with something else?
The images in POST ENGAGEMENT: dark or surreal, scary or funny, escape fathomable interpretation. The show is full of mysteries and understatements. It takes us to the world of subconscious where each element has a suggestive archetypal power.
There is a giant transparent ball on the stage where it is always snowing. A long-haired princess with wings on her back and light bulbs on her chest is floating or wandering inside the ball. Her locks are darker than black wood, her skin is whiter than snow, and her lips are crimson red like blood. Is she a fairy? Snow White? An angel? Eager to get hold of the princess, the other characters climb on the ball, then inevitably slide down, succumbing to inexorable gravity.
A tornado of flour appears on the stage. The dancers achieve their ecstasy moving masterly in the white storm like children playing in the snow. Baganova creates her absurd images without sacrificing the pure pleasure and power of dance.
And the wall here is never just a wall. It is a barrier and a point of support; at any moment its role can change. Dancers get caught in it, support themselves in complex lifts, and cast their shadows on it.
What does it all mean? Even if the choreographer has the answer, she knows very well that it should not be stated with words. The understatement programmed in this algorithm of perception will make the audience rewind the images and scenes over and over again, trying to understand their subliminal meaning.
We did not show this piece for a long time, but, at the request of the audience and the dancers themselves we decided to return to it in a slightly different interpretation due to a change in the context of life, the experience of dancers and my own experience. One of the most obvious changes is a new visual design of the piece. Although, there will be many new things in the choreography as well. The original idea of the play was inspired by the color of the Caribbean countries, their music, the specific plasticity of movement of the locals, the general atmosphere. In the updated version we put more emphasis on the costumes and the elements of the scenography. This will make the audience feel closer to the characters, their interaction and the whole atmosphere of the plot.
Provincial Dances" tell us a story about a total power of illusion over the human mind. This is a story of a voluntary obsession, when the ideal, drawn by the consciousness, is infinitely far from the reality. This is a story about how to find the strength in yourself to be born again and again to go for your own happiness. Post Engagement is the choreographer’s reflection on the nature of human perception, on passions and illusions.
Tatiana Baganova’s Provincial Dances Theatre from Ekaterinburg has become the best in modern dance again. Her Post Engagement. Diptych. Part II marks a new stage, obviously aiming at making the Russian contemporary dance more professional.
[...] The Mask for the best performance went to Post Engagement. Diptych. Part II from Ekaterinburg. Provincial Dances Theatre is the only competitive professional company in Russia, entirely corresponding to the definition of the genre. Although the Russian contemporary dance is apparently experiencing a drought, Tatiana Baganova production looked as if it was staged in the highly professional environment. The ability of the Provincial Dances to build the artistic illusions miraculously extends to the real life.
[...] The troupe of Tatiana Baganova’s Provincial Dances presented a piece with a complicated title: Post Engagement. Diptych. Part II. Surprisingly intelligent bodies of the dancers and their bright personalities create a variety of mood in Baganova's incomprehensibly turbulent fantasies: you stay captured in this poetic detention for quite a long time. The multifaceted and changeable world of the piece brought Provincial Dances Theatre an unconditional victory and the Golden Mask for the best performance in modern dance.