Latifa Laâbissi: White Dog. 16.08.2019, HAU 2 – Festival Tanz im August, Berlin.

In a landscape akin to a forest with shrubs, a group of four sits in front of a heap of sulphurously yellow rope, tieing themselves head dresses in perfect harmony, occasionally interrupted by the sound of a barking dog or a passing crow from a distance.

What follows is a progression of movement into the scenography, marked by loose gestures and creepy smiles full of shimmering silver front teeth, a fidgeting and curious hopping about that could not be more removed from the aesthetic self-consciousness often witnessed in dance performances.

The four, so it becomes apparent, represent a gang of gender- and culture-liberated weirdos, enjoying their freshly tied bond, they succeed in remaining in close relationship with each other even in the face of violence-flavoured situations, never losing their self-enjoyment – a hop around the tree, a jump over the branch – out of sight.

The soundscape, the occasional Hammond organ, the distorted samba and the repeated pop track towards the end of the piece, punctuate the characters‘ play, which is greeted with hesitant claps, then strong applause, intermittent cheers and a generally bewildered audience which seems to tacitly agree that „Wild Dog“ is somewhat out there, but where? Thrillingly hard to say.

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