Premiere: February 13th 2009,
arm – a human extremity,
in German, the opposite of rich,
also a weapon - to be armed.
Dancer and choreographer Hideto Heshiki devotes his newest project, "arms" to the character of the hunter. A hunter is someone who kills his quarry, and at a precise moment delivers a deadly shot to his target. A hunter is also someone who, for the most part of his work, waits hidden for his prey and who wants to be as silent as possible, invisible even, and watches his surroundings with great attention. It is in this second aspect of the hunter's character that Hideto Heshiki takes a special interest and in this half-hour performance takes "arms" as his theme. Hideto Heshiki only begins working on a new piece when he finds a theme that creates a strong physical impression on him, a real physical reaction even. This individual approach to a theme allows the dancer and choreographer to have a very personal journey of discovery.
Three people on the stage: a dancer, a musician and a narrator. Three men who are on the hunt, each alone and each one unique and with his own possibilities. The dancer, with just his body at his disposal, discovers and conquers his territory with constantly changing arm movements. The musician elicits sounds from his instrument which becomes more and more like a weapon, seeming to transform him into a martial arts fighter. And the third hunter delivers a personal monologue that is inspired by Yasoushi Inoue's story "The Hunting Gun".
Hideto Heshiki's first choreographic works were created with a combination of dance and live music, but since "Lost Dog" (2005) there has been a third element – the voice, the introduction of the spoken word. And so "arms" was created in this trio-combination. The three elements are portrayed by three performers. Hideto Heshiki as the dancer, Christian Buck as the live musician and Daniel Mouthon giving voice to a text. Hideto Heshiki is also curious as to what happens when the boundaries between these three elements are weakened or even completely broken down. By the act of playing his instrument the musician becomes a dancer, the dancer's movements draw sounds from his vocal chords and the narrator's sentences cannot always be distinguished from the music. The choreographic material was developed from a starting point of arm, hand and finger movements – which are of great importance to the hunter. The hunter holds his weapon with his hands and he feels every movement of his quarry through his arms.
The music of "arms" is both archaic and acoustic. In its composition and its use of electronic and acoustic, almost naturalistic sounds, it reflects not only the hunter theme but also the idea of a far away, fantasy world. When Christian Buck plays his guitar he becomes a performer, someone who dances with his musical instrument. The novella, "The Hunting Gun" by the Japanese author, Yasoushi Inoue serves as the starting point for the lines spoken by Daniel Mouthon. The source of inspiration is less the content of the story but more the atmosphere described within it. At the beginning of the story "The Hunting Gun", the narrator writes a poem about a hunter who climbs a mountain and loses himself in the solitude and calmness there. After the man in the poem finds himself again, he sends the narrator three letters from three different women. The three letters describe the hunter's character from three different perspectives, just as the dancer, musician and narrator portray the different characteristics of the hunter.
Choreography & Artistic Management Hideto Heshiki
Dance Hideto Heshiki Music Christian Buck Vocals Daniel Mouthon Dramatisation Luigi Archetti Sound Jakob von Rotz Lighting/Stage Niki Good Project Manager Sarah Maier Financial support from Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Pro Helvetia, SSA, Goodtraining