We went to the first public dance performance by the Gross Dance Company, called “what do we know”. The dance is an interpretation by choreographers Sagi Gross and Jeroen Fransen of stories they heard of LGBTQ refugees from Syria and other countries. They combined these with elements of Kafka’s description of bureaucracy in “The Process”. We saw an intense, emotional and beautiful dance performance by six dancers.
An emotional dance performance
The dance piece asks you to make your own story based on the movements of the dancers. It is and is not telling a story: you decide on what you have seen. The basic premise of the piece is what happens with refugees waiting in a refugee camp. Tensions of war trauma, cultural conflicts about sexuality and frustration about the bureaucratic processes escalates quickly.
In a combination of group movements, soli and duets and elements of acting this is expressed by the 6 dancers: 3 men and 3 women. In the movements we saw the elements (the sea), human actions (struggling, surviving, traveling, loving) and also emotions (despair, love, hope, anger and hate). Sometimes they used, what seemed to us, a non existent language to emphasize the human interaction in a scene.
This pseudo language also emphasized the cultural differences and alienation between refugees thrown together by fate in one camp. The difficulties and frustration of not being able to communicate in words became very obvious. The body language takes over and this resulted in several beautiful movements. Especially two duets by two ladies and two men respectively and a solo by one of the male dancers touched us.
What we thought about it
The dance performance is challenging: it makes you think about the stress and trauma of the lives of refugees. It is also emotional with some intense and raw scenes, which not only show conflict but also love and tenderness. The very good staging, lighting and music is also worth a special mentioning. We were very impressed.
Get an impression of this performance by watching the interview (in English) with the creators and dancers of the GrossDanceCompany by our friends of MVS media