Social Democratic Dance

27 Oct

The opening scene in how many Hollywood movies when the protagonist is released from prison. We se him walking corridors moving towards freedom, a brief halt when some dumb ass looking guard returns his now historical possessions (please, nothing with sexual connotations), a watch, a mobile phone… and then he is standing there outside the gates smelling the air of liberty and we know this movie will be so boring, so shit boring whatever it is Hudson Hawk, something featuring Ice T or Steve McQueen, Wall Street, perhaps George Clooney can get away with it – but only once – We know it’s just a detour, a ride around the block and the dude will of course not do anything else than run the same course again and again. So tiring, so embarrassingly tiring. Don’t do comebacks, it’s no sexy – SVP – you are not worth it, and your fans don’t need you resurrected, stay dead and enjoy it. New versions, is so uncool, don’t build your celeb status on already earned graces. Buy in to super bad, start from scratch, from the freakin beginning.

The release scene could be understood as metaphor for choreography. This is how we do it, we get out and start again as if nothing had happened. We adore our sentence, and serve our time real well so we get released in advance, and then we continue doing more of the same. We are so eager to get back in the saddle that we don’t waste a second on rethinking. “-Have to make piece! Have to make piece, new piece!” – we stutter like some Frankenstein’s monster, and it’s just a matter about days, hours, minutes, seconds, instants and we are back in the can again.
Choreography is like contemporary social democracy – the very epitome of stability, self-pity and self-glorification. Choreography is: “-Oups we lost the election, like major, what we can do? Let’s not change anything at all and put all our savings on a deus ex machina.” Oh, yeah, we know that politics is theatre but does it really have to be Greek theatre, look what happened to their economy? Social democracy a curse from day one – as long as it lasted it was a brilliant answer to the sanded down reality of democracy – but today, it’s not even a joke, not even a Dutch choreography, not even in line with a German dance festival.

In the social democratic HQ, “-Hey Guys, anybody have an idea of an argument to build a decent opposition?” Silence… More silence… Really a lot more silence. “-Yeah, I have one… this one is good.” “-Tell us, tell us…” “-Ok, here it comes: the others are wrong!” And the social democrats celebrated all night long. Bright idea! Let’s build a future on the motivation that the others are wrong. But shit we forget what the alternative is, they’re just wrong. Very wrong, and more taxes preferably and more money to retired people. Total absence of vision. Same story with choreography, let’s change nothing at all, and by the way the others are really wrong, i.e. everybody who have just a tiny bit of a different ambition. However, in dance and choreography the situation is even worse than in politics, as the guardians of the system – whatever the system could be called – are also faithful social democrats. And this is a mysterious thing, in dance and choreography everybody is against everything and yet it’s the liberals that are in parliament, or perhaps the parliament is empty we just didn’t check. Because, even if we could get out of our precarious situation we are fuckin happy with the comfort position, playing the underdog that knows he will never get the chance to run the country.

But perhaps it all started with Pina Bausch. The bitch from Wuppertal is the Vater der Nation, that royal social democrat that made things livable, danceable or something -eable and now we all live in a scabby utopia cut of a second rate Guy Ritchie movie with Brad retouched. So lame. Ingmar Bergman wasn’t cool, Liv Ullmann no thanks, “Scenes From A Marriage” however am-a-zing television it might be renounce it, curse it, voodoo the shit out of it. Spit on Bergman like you spit on Woody, spit on social democracy with the same diabolic energy as you spit on the Freud House. Send social democracy and choreography to eternal life on Maresfield Gardens, to breathe the pestilent stench of Berggasse. And that’s obviously where the prison scene comes back – the moment when Gordon Gekko exited he could as well exited psychoanalysis becoming a well-behaving social democrat again. Demand life, no chance of release. Demand lifetime.

It’s pretty much amazing, not only are social democrats curiously lousy in producing opposition. When the Swedish losers of red and green coalition today put out their alternative budget to the one proposed by the winners they proposed a something so void of potentiality, vision, ambition, desire, life, prophecy, cool, sexy, attitude that even their most devoted fans cried all the way til afternoon tea. This is choreography: since it didn’t work last year let’s try one more time.

No, certainly not. I’m totally convinced about choreography. It’s my cup of tea, it’s what I do for a living, it’s the way I live, it’s the print on my damn socks, the name of my dog, fuck you too – I dig it, and I’m surprised – group dynamics I guess – but how come that choreography hasn’t spiced up its self-image since the invention of gun powder. Get it, nobody fancies liberal politics. It’s like French cuisine in Manchester, like Veuve Clicquot in a paper cup – exactly – great but for the wrong reason. The sole reason why liberals have any chance in Europe today is simply because they are funkier than the grey sauce of cemented rhetoric that has opened up a disco on the leftwing – yes, absolutely non alcohol – totally – what were you thinking. Choreography today is so free from risk that it can but lose and on knock out. Or in other words, social democracy is as groovy as the New York dance scene.
Who the fuck does the branding for the social democratic parties around Europe? A laid off dramaturge with two weeks course in graphic design financed by they unemployment office? Or is it the same agency that does the marketing for all the seven hundred and ninety six black box theatres in Europe including Tanz im August, oh I get it. Yeah, cool. For Christs sake PAF has a better campaign. I’m not saying that dance and choreography is about marketing and simply attitude but check it out, that does not say that we should practice politics as if a marching band was the only marketing instrument around. We won’t win with a bunch of clarinets, dude.

Barely a month ago social democracy lost the Swedish election with bigger numbers than ever before, what do they do? Yes, it’s the second lose in a row, never happened before, so what do they do? They proudly announce to the population that they trust the party leader and are convinced that next time… What the fuck, what do you think, that the greyest woman in the history of mankind suddenly will start to groove like Beyoncé or go as angry as Pink, nope – it’s more likely she will sing another duet with Rod Stewart or start a barbershop ensemble with “We Shall Overcome” as the newest hit. What kind of music did you use for you last piece? Oh, another really interesting minimal techno collection. Sexy!

So we know we are fucked, what do we do? Yeah good idea, we hook up with the green party and the leftovers of the communist party and since we are so totally convinced about our own excellence we are completely unprepared and the first thing that happens is that we dive head first into the wall of more, less, more, less, a lot, a little, more, most, less, nothing, taxes, climate, jobs, taxes and are still convinced that we will win the election without a single element of consensus. No way, I totally don’t argue for consensus as the mode of collaboration, but for the love of Satan get real and don’t make a scene on direct television. If you don’t know how to open your mouth, or even say your name, select one person to talk for the whole orchestra. No, the left is so keen to govern the country and so convinced of themselves that they will of course collaborate but will not change their policy for anything. Soon soon soon, you will see – like an eruption communism (which is a word that the left has already forgotten) will flourish and we will bring back the world to justice, good tone and public space is public space and only one television channel. Long live…

Communists, leftists, greenists, dancers, choreographers, festival director and bloggers get your shit together. What do you want, what is your vision? No no that’s being realistic! What’s your fuckin vision? That everybody is given a chance, yeah rule the world on that basis and it will certainly be brave. Openness, yeah – also a great concept. Open to what on what basis, to everything? Also a smart concept to run the business. You have no chance, you will remain small, insignificant, comfortable and not even laughable. Clench fists, stop fuckin collaborating, stop listening understandingly – take decisions, run the others over, show no remorse, ban house music, point with your whole arm, fire your producer, dramaturge and your set-designer husband. Stop admiring anybody at all! Beat somebody up, throw yourself headlong into the fight, it might be the last one (fights are rare these days). The others are not wrong, it’s you! So stop fuckin complaining and make it happen. Complain louder, loudests! Say NO!


5 Responses to “Social Democratic Dance”

  1. PeO October 27, 2010 at 22:18 #

    Pina is just a steepstone. 13+ years ago? Shall we start all over? *all* from years 1? Higher or lower? *How* to pay the tabb? Swe taxpayer? or your *dad*?
    *out of Europa* pay day*

  2. Vladimir Putin October 28, 2010 at 10:31 #

    Marten, it’s Vova Putin. I want you have in my country. We not afraid to take decisions. Good decisions.

  3. Billy-Bob Thornton October 29, 2010 at 07:39 #

    Just because the social-democratics do it, should you too? Play the blame-game, I mean.
    It’s hardly Pina’s or Ingmar’s faults that they are popular.

    • Marten Spangberg October 29, 2010 at 08:51 #

      BBT is back, new hard evil. Of course it’s not their fault, and we love them both, the questions is just for what reason. Pina Bausch made dance into German sentimentalism, a sort reversed nationalism and Bergman is after all a psychologizing nightmare taking utter pleasure in the ghosts keeping us in place. Bergman is nothing but a guardian of traditional hierarchies and state authorized violence. No wonder Woody Allen loves him, no wonder we have a Bergman festival in the Royal Dramatic Theatre.

      • Billy-Bob Thornton October 29, 2010 at 20:36 #

        I am back, in black this time! What if everyone has misunderstood Bergman and Bausch? Bergman was doing comedy, not drama, for one thing. Yet he gets praised for his “serious psychological depth”. No wonder Woody likes him as he wants to be a stand-up dramatist, instead of a comedian.

        Bausch.. Well, I have never seen something on the stage with her. To me she is a good film-maker though. A certain one remind me of Herzog’s best, but without the fuzz with realism.
        The point is, the tellers of the tale (like the Royal Dramatic Theatre, and throngs before them) are usually the ones who creates the structures.

        Many artists wouldn’t look so bad if it wasn’t for the hype. But then, there are also a lot of bad artists.

        A shitty piece is a shitty piece, regardless of the name of the author.

        However, if you feel that these guys are your nemesis, and more to the point: the structures formed from the interpretations of these guys are obstacles that you’d like to destroy, then I certainly won’t tell you that is wrong. Good for you!

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