The Cockpit Theatre

February 2019

Kreislauf explored, and was inspired by, the human heart, from both a biological and social perspective. This theme explains the piece’s title: a German compound word formed from two parts: Kreis (circle), and lauf (run). Functionally this can be translated into English as Circulation (of the blood).

The body is a complex machine made of seemingly disparate, independent parts - the feet walk, the heart pumps blood, the lungs breathe - they do their own things, whirring away in the background largely unnoticed. But when viewed as a whole, and when all component parts are engaged and in flow with one another, the “machine” is revealed as a work of miraculous ingenuity and beauty, capable of amazing endeavour. Society too is made up of individual parts - you, me and the 7.7 billion others with whom we share this planet.

We live in disturbing times, times of rapid, unpredictable change and shifting patterns. We face a mood of confrontation and blame and a political chaos that in many ways feels more backward than forward. All this combines to fool us into believing we have more that separates than unites us.

Kreislauf was created as a small reminder that while we are all miraculous individual entities, we nonetheless depend on one another and that through cooperation, acceptance, tolerance and respect we are able to come together as a powerful, positive life force. There are many, many small interconnected communities that make up a much larger, more potent one: The human race.

A Summary

Kreislauf centred largely around the idea of individualism. We all have our own unique and distinct personalities, our own heartbeat. The first scene of Kreislauf (the red scene) explores our individualities, our uniqueness, and also our loneliness. We come into and go out of this world on our own, and our individual experiences makes us who we are.

Yet we are also social beings who want connection. These connections are as yearned as it is difficult, depending not only on compatibility, but also on timing. Meeting the right person at the wrong time is just as damaging as meeting the wrong person at the right time. Kreislauf’s second scene contemplates this need, its complexity, and its implications.

In the third scene we contemplate the loneliness that can come from constant rejection and change. This resolves, however, when two dancers connect, and harmonise - finding a true connection.

Sometimes, however, we continue to struggle with the process of recovery. Without direction, but with an overwhelming feeling of loss, the blue scene explores loneliness and sadness. The narrative pivots around the choice to acknowledge and accept help from those around us. The path to acceptance can be hard, with sadness and despair resulting in misplaced anger towards the best of intentions - but it is a path that must be walked. The scene ends with a sense of camaraderie, and a moment of piece and reflection.

Finally, comes the resolution. It is the machine coming together in synchrony, with each dancer working individually and in harmony. After their long journeys, the piece ends with unity and togetherness.

The Cockpit Theatre

The previous piece in the resilience trilogy (Ebb & Flood) was performed in the historic and atmospheric St. Leonard's Church, in Shoreditch. Kreislauf was performed in the welcoming, passionate, and supportive Cockpit Theatre in London's Marylebone.

The genau team enjoyed taking their philosophy of site-specific works into a more traditional performance space: attempting to see the space with fresh eyes. The team utilised the three-sided thrust layout of the theatre to create an immersive space for audience, musicians, and dancers. The choreography also explored the theatre's many levels: a first-story gallery, and collapsed seating. This lead to a constant change in the epicentre of visual and audial activity - with the audience never being prepared for a piece of movement or music.

Thanks and Credits

Kreislauf could only “laufen” (run/work), because it got such amazing support from countless angles and people:

A great thank you to Dave Wybrow for giving us the opportunity to perform at the Cockpit, Fayaz Zayat, and the whole Cockpit crew; to Triyoga and the super support from Jonathan Sattin; Harley Street Physiotherapy, always so encouraging! Dexter Moren Architects, I don’t know how many rehearsals we had at their office, with lovely supporting faces of their architects and designers, truly amazing! Osca Whiting for designing the Kreislauf image and Thomas Wilson for designing the programme. Armelle Morgan and Luz Echenique for designing the genau logo and our social media. Lisa Hauck, the hair and make up artist, Mike Deelman, in charge of photography! The fantastic talented collaborators, Jonathan Samuels, Ciaran Parson, Michael Haslam and So Takao.

Andrew McGonigle, Charles Abbott, Henriette Brorson, Herbert Lui, Kaori Whiting, Mencia Scott and Oscar Veillard.

Dorothy Judd, Julia Paton and Gwyneth Williams; and last bit not least, Lynne Gentle who, in moment of great crisis, helped to keep Kreislauf laufen.