Raimund Hoghe and his company have arrived in Minneapolis and are working with the Walker’s Events and Media Production department to set the stage for their premiere of Boléro Variations this Friday. If you missed Philip Bither’s eloquent and impassioned comments about Hoghe at last week’s performing arts season preview, you might turn to Bither’s colleague, Walter Jaffe, a co-founder of White Bird Dance in Portland, OR, who interviewed Hoghe recently in conjunction with the U.S. premiere of Boléro Variations at Portland’s TBA (Time-Based Art) Festival.
Hoghe and Jaffe cover an array of topics, including Hoghe’s admiration for ice-dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean (whose Olympics performance to Ravel’s Boléro was a key inspiration for Hoghe), and the ways in which great singers are also great dancers (he mentions Callas and Piaf and Peggy Lee, among others). About his process, Hoghe says, “I’m fascinated when I feel that a little movement can tell a big story. If I could express it with words I would do it but I can’t—and therefore I do my work with dancers. Otherwise I still would work as a writer.” Read the full interview here.
Speaking of Hoghe’s work as a writer, well before he created his first dance pieces, Hoghe had developed a journalism career that included celebrity profiles for the German weekly Die Zeit as well as pieces on avant-garde or “fringe” artists—including Ana Mendieta, whose rarely seen films screened here last March. Bringing things full circle, it turns out that Walker director Olga Viso—curator of the retrospective Ana Mendieta: Earth Body, Sculpture and Performance 1972—85, author of the recently published scholarly tome Unseen Mendieta—is an admirer of Hogue’s writing and referenced it in organizing the Mendieta exhibition. No doubt she will be in the audience this weekend, perhaps looking for parallels between the Hoghe’s choreography and Mendieta’s performance pieces, both of which have strong links to ritual.