“Everything bounces everywhere with almost no loss.”
It starts – as ever – with two lovers. She has a charming voice and he is pleasing to the eye. If only he, Narcissus, had looked back more often at her, Echo, instead of looking at himself, then there would have been no ‘but’. But the love of a couple that prefers their own voice or likeness to that of their partner is doomed. To cut a long story short, Narcissus pines away from hunger and thirst beside his own eternally elusive reflection in the water; and Echo is torn apart and scattered like seeds all over the world, where she forever echoes her heartfelt cry in mountains, gullies and caves. Echo – as though the mountains were answering back.
Echo is the first co-creation by Post uit Hessdalen and Zwerm. The two companies share an adventurous and elusive approach of their artistic disciplines. They bumped into two age-old mythological figures, Echo and Narcissus, fortuitous in line with their own preferences for image and sound. Together they go in search of the resonances, associations and memories that lie hidden in the places where Echo ended up. A cursed love story transforms into bold music theatre.
Everything was forever, until it was no more
What strikes us in this myth? How is it that a century-old Greek story echoes today? Punished for her dissoluteness, Echo is torn apart and scattered like seeds all over the world, where she forever echoes her heartfelt cry in mountains, gullies and caves. Our present virtual identity, self-constructed and thoughtlessly put online, has similar consequences: we convict ourselves to an eternal live, saved as bytes on one of the millions of data servers worldwide. And never again we can silence our own digital seeds, despite the recent judgement by the EC Court regarding ‘the right to be forgotten’.
Echo examines this new way of virtual remembrance, and how we can deal with it.
The modern Narcissus is easy to recognize, as he gazes no longer into a pool of water but rather into the ‘black mirror’ of his smartphone. In this unlimited era, his name – derived from a paralyzing poison – may symbolize our intellectual immobility and fossilized principles.
In Echo both music and video are presented live on stage, thus immersing the audience. As a modern nymph, dancer Charlotte Goesaert guides the spectator through a sensory trip.
© Stijn Grupping