Can I come? 

BETWEEN SPACES – BETWEEN FACES by choreographer Nikoleta Koutitsa in collaboration with LUNA PARK is showing from 8 to 11 February at UFER_STUDIOS. Unknown spaces are explored and the familiar reinvented.

A gigantic slide rule, various balls, body parts move back and forth. Two dancers, different versions of them as shadows on the wall, move asymmetrically, in sync, find common ground and dismantle similarities. They hang on and climb through scaffolding constructed from gymnasium benches in the middle of the stage at UFER_STUDIOS. With the buzzing of an alarm clock, they both awake from slumber, or a previous reality. They start exploring new spaces, extracting themselves from the scaffolding and their familiar environment. New encounters take place, questions arise: “Do you come here often?” “Why do you like that?” Their feet rhythmically explore the space. This playful exploration is accompanied by the live composition  – currently saxophone music – of Orfeus Grammatikopoulos, who responds to Nikoleta Koutitsa and Caspar Sebastian Stuart’s movements and carries them both through the space.

Tired from all their exploring, all the novelty, and various impressions, the dancers make their way back to the bench-scaffolding. The old and familiar, dressed in blazers, is reconned, with torsos, heads, and faces disappearing in the process. Are the dancers now grown up, immersed in routine work life, taking things seriously? Before I can finish considering this question, I am pulled back into the lightness of the happening. Even here, the interaction remains playful, and the situation gives way to funny elements. Articles of clothing are exchanged, snatched away from one another, and ultimately fly through the air. The two performers meet again, but this time without clothing, as more authentic versions of themselves. This encounter offers unknown possibilities, closer contact based on trust. A partnering sequence with lifts, turns, and jumps – over, onto, and through one another – propels the dancers through the space. The momentum also delights a young audience: two children sitting behind me have stood up and joined in the dance.

Having explored unfamiliar spaces and rediscovered one another, the performers are now also ready to change the familiar. The scaffolding is dismantled, the individual benches are now visible. But before they can transport me back to my gym classes, they have been transformed into new constructions: two slides, where the dancers find new qualities of movement, then a disco, where they discover a common language. Old spaces are opened up, transformed into new possibilities to find oneself and encounter one another.

At the end, a long line is drawn through the room, the benches are lined up from the back end of the stage to us, the audience. Nikoleta Koutitsa and Caspar Sebastian Stuart make their way into the unknown together, past each other, over each other, with each other. “Can I come?”

BETWEEN SPACES – BETWEEN FACES by Nikoleta Koutitsa in collaboration with LUNA PARK is showing from February 8-11, 2024 at UFER_STUDIOS.