Good Friends

The whole-body poets Nico and the Navigators demonstrate dancingly what friendship is For some years they have been a big drawcard on the small stage. They speak in quotes or wildly-associative, their movements are so obviously choreographed that even the act of running is aestheticised. Their movements often incorporate with the adaptable staging, and there is always music involved. Nico and the Navigators stage poetry, make Music-Image-Theatre. Their latest piece EVEN IF I KNOW YOU, which had its première in Hamburg at Kampnagel last Thursday, looks at Friendship. The Berlin-based international ensemble does not proffer a lofty eulogy to the principle of harmony, but, more to the point, openly confronts the “Even if”. Four figures from four lands plumb the forces, mechanisms and coincidences generated between friends, regard one another's interior disarray rather than, as Robert Musil puts it, make themselves "fine” before the other. They investigate when a third person trips up, or when two bury themselves under a blanket; they demonstrate how words like “shot” have affect?; when faces are so close together; and they ask what it is to have friends the world over via the Net without ever having experienced them in the same room - friendship in the 21st. Century. The show that the company is touring Europe-wide is a gem - the next step is to play the big rooms along with orchestra and song on the opera stage.

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