Stimmen aus der Universität Hamburg – Flyway

Seminar: Aktuelle Hamburger Theaterfestivals unter der Leitung von Prof. Dr. Martin Schäfer


Aphids: FLYWAY

zoomin’ the sunset

Who is Lz Dunn? Who is this extraordinary creature? Asks the audience after participating Flyway. ‘Flyway / Site-specific’ – says the programme booklet. Site-specific performance? How should one name this type of action? Should we call it performative bird watching? Not only. Maybe a performative tour dedicated to common voyeurism. Voyeurism on the things beyond our normal seeing capacities. We are enabled through a special equipment, a binocular and through the company of Lz to spend time with contemplation. Or as one participant of my group notes, with “flying”.

In the very beginning, there is no entrée of the actress. Lz is waiting for us nearby the panorama tower of Baakenhöft and speaks very natural. Her first sentences are humble: ‘I am from Melbourne. I am a stranger here. In Australia, there were earlier some 250 Aboriginal languages. But I only speak English.’ She patiently teaches us how to use and set the binocular. After that, we plug in our ears with meditative sound collages based on bird sounds and harmonic composed music, creating a 2,5 hours lasting sound atmosphere. After placing the headphones, speaking is no more permitted. This disables and enables us at the same time. We achieve a different way of communication. Move together as a group of animals. We follow Lz without telling us to do so. Her presence is so strong that the eye immediately finds her, even though she wears a grey costume. The clothing tricks the eye, as she looks like as a two-dimensional character instead of three, thanks to the unique material and the reflections of the sunset. Her steps are slow and harmonic but determined, airy but direct. It is very clear from the first moment, that she has a trained knowledge about her body and her movements. When she stops and starts to examine something, we all want to see what she would like to share with us, so we grab our binoculars hanging down from our necks. We realize birds on the distance sky, a duck sitting on the eggs waiting for the babies being hatched, hidden screens behind shop windows or office windows playing surprise videos about birds. During the walk, there are less and less expressions on our faces. We are all in a different dimension, a meditative way of sensing, meanwhile keeping conscious and staying together with the group; one should imagine this similar, when birds fly together. We feel like being a part of our surrounding, a part of all the details we discover, a part of all living organisms and the non-living ones. The ending is almost sorrow. Lz puts down her binocular to the ground and leaves us very slowly, still without a word. Everybody stands frozen, follows her slow steps with the binocular until she is still visible.

I am sure, that we will hear about Lz Dunn, who is not only the leader of this participatory group activity, but also the creator of it. After a short research, an extensive video playlist of her creative works is available through the internet, which motivates us to follow the carrier of the young choreographer/director in the future.

Kotka Gudmon

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