TANZPROJEKT of Zurich

Dancer and Choreographer ELFI SCHAFER-SCHAFROTH

in the New York Premiere of

noa

Directed by Jochen Heinrich

  

Review from the October 11 - 13, 2001 run at the Mulberry St. Theater

 

Christine Bollinger - sound technician

Rene Kobelt - technical support

Rolf Zurfluh - artwork

Amos Pinhasi - technical support

Claudia Nüssli - production support

Martin Schäfer - stage design

Beat Escher - composer

Audrey Ross - NY publicity

David Howard - lighting design

Ruth Jäger - company administrator

Ruth Keller - costume design

Philip Howard - sound design

Theresa Moser - coaching

 

Circumstance has not been kind to Swiss dancer Elfi Schafer-Schafroth and her intrepid production team, but she has persevered, and performed “noa” on three nights for Manhattan audiences.  The phone lines, following recent events, were down at Mulberry St. Theater until the week of the limited performance schedule, and the airline transporting equipment went out of business, but in the greatest of traditions, the show has gone on.  Happily, the house was nearly full on the night I saw “noa.”

 

Over the course of an hour, solo performer Elfi Schafer-Schafroth becomes an unlikely and wary heroine, insuring the continuance of life by collecting and preserving eggs following a flood.  The material, which based on the subject matter could have easily become grandiose, is approached with alternating doses of introspective quietude, delicacy, and deliberate humor.  Dancing through the deluge, without any dramatic movements, but while employing the sort of deliberation that even an unwillingly savior would exhibit, Schafer-Schafroth perseveres, measure by measure.

 

The coat she wears functions as a costume, a prop, a dance partner and an ark.  The eggs, serenely gliding across stage above Schafer-Schafroth’s head in “Caravan of the Eggs” function in sedate contrast to the later, humorous “Chicken Dance,” where the performer strikes a number of fowl poses.  Important here too are the essential, but appropriately employed special effects.  Light patterns, projections and, of course, eggs, are crucial to “noa.”

 

Champion Elfi Schafer-Schafroth.  Champion her crew.  Champion us all for going to a show in spite of it all.

 

- Kessa De Santis -

Divine Dancers