In Obnimashki choreographer Anna Aristarkhova plays with the ciphers of body language and creates a choreography consisted of various forms of a simple-yet-powerful gesture: a hug! Differences between hugging a crush or a friend; pressed bodies, interlocked legs; the abject object love: intimacy with a mic stand or a column; similarities of wrestling and foreplay… Such interrogations of the social codes of a hug slowly alter the intensity of the piece. The audience observes the growing tension when arms slightly grab the shoulder or another body passionately holds the other repetitively. In spite of some of the overwhelming facial expressions of the dancers that almost flirted with the danger of turning the piece into a plain mockery, the piece landed safely and ended by a big hug of 40 people from the audience − including the aforementioned mic stand − on the stage.
Anna Aristarkhova: Obnimashki. 08-09.01.2017, Tanztage, Sophiensaele, Berlin.