HIGHER is a dance performance inspired and based on the experience of clubbing and club dancing. Such form of dance, which is not easily ascribed to any category, taking the cultural role of social dance and also at times featuring various techniques, styles, and influences, is extremely explicative of what ultimately seems to be the purpose of dancing, intended as a human form of expression.
Philosopher Julia Kristeva once said: “As to be human, embraced political, sexual, religious, familiar identity, we are undergoing a time of major identity crises. We need to find a language that transcends the human in order to overcome such crises and awake a new Renaissance. This language can be dance”. To interpret this cathartic power of dance, as its being a form of prayer and celebration of existence, and a club is a place for such transcending activity, which entirely matches the often used association of clubs to churches, however, obscured by the most common understanding of clubbing as a mere recreational activity.
In this performance, while trying to transfer the magical essence of the club in the theatrical/representational context of the black box, and trusting in dance as the practice that compensates for the fact that we can never be each other, we attempt to become One.
Michele Rizzo’s research-based practice as a choreographer and visual artist draws inspiration from club culture and the experience of raving intended as a microcosmos in which the human exists and explores its most ontological characteristics: relationship with the self, relationship with the other, relationship with space and time. The landscape of his research is the nightclub, intended as an interior haven built with such technology that allows the neglect of local time and place, and in which to escape from the daily world. A place in which club-goers merge in a communal, undefined yet coded, protected yet monstrous space, that enhances the experience of catharsis. According to Rizzo the rave is the legitimate reign of movement which is not cultivated for the sake of productivity, but for the sake of pleasure. This pleasure is able to ignite a fire that goes beyond the walls of the club, soothes traumas, and heals identity crises.
Michele Rizzo, Italian choreographer and artist based in Amsterdam, graduated in 2011 the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam (SNDO), and in 2015 the Sandberg Institute Amsterdam in the Dirty Art Department Master program for visual arts. In the past five years, Rizzo has produced choreographic works for theatres and exhibition spaces, in which he has dealt with movement as an identity-forming agency. Although all his works are united by a distinctive interest in the poetics of transformation, becoming and transcending, the outcomes of such a multidisciplinary approach often crystallize in very different performances. He is a regular guest teacher in choreography and movement research at the SNDO in Amsterdam, and has taught workshops at, among others, ImPulsTanz Vienna, Sandberg Institute Amsterdam, ISAC Bruxelles, Studio 303 Montreal.