Booty Looting choreographed by Wim Vandekeybus, performed by Ultima Vez in Museum Quartier Halle G, Vienna – Impuls Tanz Festival, 11pm, August 8, 2012.
Having drunk a mélange and eaten a chocolate brownie before the show just so I would stay awake during this very late performance I went into the theatre having heard mixed reviews.
The piece had a very strong theatre element to it – there was narration almost the entire way through. However, I was also impressed by the extreme physicality of the movement and risks taken. In fact, some of the movements were so daring and crazy that I couldn’t quite comprehend how they managed to execute such extraordinary moves. As one would expect from an Ultima Vez performance, many wild tumbles, jumps off one another and flips were incorporated. Certainly I would classify this as a daring work.
The narration followed the life of an actress called Birgit Walter. She had a troubled past and the piece showed various aspects of her life from multiple perspectives; from her children, the narrative, a photographic perspective (live camera work) and then we as an audience were encouraged to take the opportunity to choose which perspective – if any – was the truth.
Throughout the work the photographer took many photos, which were projected up onto a screen at the back. Some of them were very strange and included Birgit’s face covered with mud and excessive amounts of make-up. There was even a photocopier on stage and when Birgit died at the beginning of the work one of her ‘fans’ lugged her body over to the machine to photocopy each of her body parts. He then stuck all of the images together to form a strangely contorted life size image of Birgit.