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June 26, 2022

‘Requiem. You don’t know anything about me,’ encounter of two solitudes

By A. Anghel

I am glad to have been among the spectators of the last representation in Bucharest of the ‘Requiem. You don’t know anything about me’ tour which took place at the Odeon Theatre, on November 29. I had heard that the premiere was rewarded by salvoes so, I refused to miss it. It turned out that I was right to go, because I was the eye-witness to an emotional demonstration of what knowledge through dance can mean.

‘Requiem. You don’t know anything about me’ is actually the story of two dancers who come from different corners of the world, who do not know each other and who have come for an audition. They are both at the age of artistic maturity an age which, in dance, become critical, but they are each living their crisis at their own intensity, expressing their frustration in distinct ways: he does it through a loquacious personalisation; she does it through silence and inner torment. Razvan Mazilu and Motoko Hirayama, the two protagonists and choreographers of the show, manage to transmit the chills of loneliness, dance limitation, human weakness as well as of the joy of knowledge. The score signed by British composer Karl Jenkins is simply overwhelming, managing to build in perfect harmony the journey leading to the discovery of two solitudes, two distinct personalities, each living his or her own dramas and joys. Each of the two protagonists eventually comes out of their parallel monologue, of their loneliness bordering nothingness, taking steps towards knowledge and, implicitly, towards rebirth in a harmonious and bright duo.

‘The first steps with this project we took via e-mail. Razvan sent me the details of the programme and the agreement was that part of the show would be done individually: by me in Japan and by him in Romania. We would often send each other video recordings and discuss them’, Motoko Hirayama told a press conference before the opening.

‘To an artist any new project is like jumping into an abyss. You take a lot of risk, you never know where you will end up. I and Motoko worked from a distance, which was actually one of the challenges with this show. I had the opportunity to go to Japan five times. It’s a fabulous country. On one of those occasions I saw Motoko dancing in a three-minute solo act. It was enough to impress me so that I could remember her’, said Razvan Mazilu, who tanked JTI for making it possible for him and Motoko to work together.

Dancer, choreographer and associate professor of the University of Tsukuba, Motoko Hirayama is one of the most acclaimed figures of dance and choreography in her country. At an international level, Motoko has created choreographies for important dancers from the American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and has collaborated with reputed Israeli choreographer Imbal Pinto.

Razvan Mazilu is the artist who has made a crucial contribution to the dissemination of contemporary dance and dance theatre in Romania. With a track record of numerous awards, with shows put on and performed in prestigious international contexts, Mazilu can easily tackle a verity of styles and hypostases, from theatre direction to choreography, from contemporary dance to musicals, from acting to stage costume design.

‘Requiem. You don’t know anything about me’ is a charity show presented by JTI Romania as a fund raiser for Japan, a country that was violently affected by the earthquake on March 11.

The cities the show next travelled to were Sibiu (November 30), Cluj (December 1) and Timisoara (December 3).

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