Only seven piano benches stand parallel to the auditorium on an empty and dark stage, which the American choreographer and dancer Trajal Harrell enters. He stops, blows his nose, looks into the auditorium and nods in greeting. Expected. The spectators too. They are excited about the performance, which is based on the legendary Keith Jarrett concert “The Köln Concert” from 1975 and can now be seen as the Austrian premiere as part of the closing Impulstanz Festival.
Harrell is dressed in a white shirt and black pants, with a slip dress hanging around his neck. When the audience calms down, his head moves to the sound engineer and he begins to move to the sounds of “My Old Man” by American singer Joni Mitchell as if he were the expressive singer: he raises his arms towards the audience, sways in the Cycle from one leg to the other. His face reflects numerous emotions. The other six dancers also enter the stage to the following songs “River” and “Both Sides Now”. They walk back and forth on imaginary catwalks in whimsical attire in typical Vogueing fashion. A skirt that is too small, tights simply pulled over panties, a pair of simple shorts: Nobody is perfectly styled, everyone is what they are.
A statement that then continues to the sounds of Keith Jarrett’s “Cologne Concert”, only they now wear black clothes and sit rigidly on their piano benches. One after the other they start dancing, stumble, catch themselves, seem to be thrown back and forth. Everyone fights with themselves and is ignored by the others. Harrell and his dancers show characters in their diversity and their struggle to find a place in society. A dance piece that touches deeply.