9 May 2010
Last week the Cairo Opera House (COH) hosted the Sasha Waltz and Guests dance company, which was visiting Cairo for the first time. The visit was organised jointly by the COH and the Goethe-Institut. On the Gomhouriya theatre in Downtown Cairo the German group held Egyptian audiences in rapture as it performed Zweiland to a full house on two consecutive nights.
Zweiland, which translates into “the land of two”, is an unconventional performance leading into a public space: the street. The dynamics and vibrant lifestyle on the street are reflected in rhythmic movement sequences. Social relations are depicted on the interpersonal level. The symbolic number “two” can be seen in various forms, together, togetherness and division, despair. The absurdity of everyday life situations are interspersed with character studies and fabulous pictures. German songs from different centuries are interpreted by the actors in scenes where music and dance merge into one.
Sasha Alexandra Waltz, who was born in March 1963 in the German town of Karlsruhe, is a German choreographer, dancer and leader of the dance company Sasha Waltz and Guests which she founded in Berlin in 1993 with Jochen Sandig. Together with more than 150 dancers from 25 countries who performed as “guests” the company gained international standing.
Waltz expressed her happiness at her first visit to Egypt which she described as the “golden gate” for all arts proper in the Arab World and Middle East. She said she especially chose Zweiland to perform in Cairo in order to introduce Egyptian audiences to scenes of everyday life in Germany. Judging from the standing ovation the group received, she obviously succeeded with flying colours.