An actor among dancers. As talented in terms of movement Toni may also be, and as much as he tries to be part of the world of dance, he is undeniably different. Toni is lonely is a dance-theater performance where the loneliest moments of life are examined. This is related in a dance piece by a man who is not a dancer. The Canadian dancer and choreographer Jasmine Ellis, who lives in Munich, uses the obvious physical difference as a code for the desire to connect with other persons. Like the piece Empathy (2017), Toni is lonely was also created in close collaboration with all of the participants. Here four bassists are also onstage and comment with their music on what happens onstage.
Jasmine Ellis quotes a U.S. study that reported a quarter of those interviewed said the number of persons they trusted was "zero," and that was the most frequent answer to this question. How does this observation relate to our constant presence and availability in social media? Are we more inclined to isolate ourselves than to ask for help? What amount of collectiveness and community is still possible at all? Questions such as these make up the background of Jasmine Ellis' piece Toni is lonely, which places the theater actor Philip Dechamps in a dance environment. The more virtuosic the dancers are, the more manifest his inability becomes, and yet he builds an emotional bridge into the audience.
As if in a casual manner Jasmine Ellis – who has danced in Toronto, studied at Codarts in Rotterdam, and danced for, among others, Constanza Macras / Dorky Par – contrasts (West) German post-dramatics with North American dance traditions.
Jasmine Ellis has been part of the Munich dance scene for several years, and she received a debut grant from the City of Munich for Empathy. Here too she broached the subject of our readiness to cooperate.
Director & choreographer: Jasmine Ellis
Actor: Philip Dechamps
Dancers: Breeanne Saxton, Eden Solomon, Joseph Piciotto, Nicholas Garlo
Bassists: Julia Hornung, Maximilian Hirning, Nils Kugelmann, Luis Gómez Santos
Composer: Maximilian Hirning
Dramaturge: Martina Missel
Artistic support: Merryn Kritziner
Lighting designer: Rainer Ludwig
Costume designer: Sarah Kaldewey
Artistic Production Management: Rat&Tat Kulturbüro
In cooperation with the Residenztheater.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts; Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. Grâce à la contribution financière offerte par le ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie dans le cadre de la coopération Québec-Bavière. Besonderen Dank an Springboard Danse Montréal.
This event / project is made possible by the Bavarian State Association for Contemporary Dance (BLZT) with funding from the Bavarian State Ministry for Science and the Arts.
Photos: © Ray Demski