List Grid

Blogs The Green Room

Raimund Hoghe > Ana Mendieta > Olga Viso

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 […]

Raimund_Hogue_Bolero_3041b_PP

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.

  • While I was working with Faustin Linyekula on his Minneapolis debut performance of Festival of Lies two years ago, I asked him in passing which choreographers he had seen recently had caught his attention. His answer was Raimund Hoghe.

    It seems that since that casual conversation, Linyekula has had the privilege to work directly with Hoghe and this last summer Hoghe choreographed a piece in duet with Linyekula for the prestigious Montpellier Danse festival. Here is what the festival had to say about the finished work named Sans-titre (untitled):

    For Raimund Hoghe, creation is a committed action. “I chose Faustin Linyekula, he comments, because despite our visible differences, a strong and invisible bond is forged,as if, unbeknown to us, there were fraternal links : we refuse to pose as victims or to rest on our past. Creation is a struggle, to keep our dreams alive.” More than a mere encounter between Africa and the West, Raimund Hoghe has conceived Sans-titre as a confrontation.

    This weekend is the Minneapolis debut for Raimund Hoghe. I have waited for this moment and am so excited to be in the audience finally experiencing his work firsthand.