BODECKER & NEANDER
ALEXANDER NEANDER - WOLFRAM VON BODECKER - DIRECTED BY LIONEL MÉNARD
In Germany mime is deeply entwined with Marcel Marceau, the French theatre hero who created the tragicomic clown, Bip. In Europe, particularly in the 1970s, performances by Marceau and Samy Molcho proved that mime was not a theatrical form to be easily dismissed. Back in 1909, theatrical genius and co-founder of the modern "director's theatre" Max Reinhardt also relinquished the spoken word in his sensory theatre experiments.
Bodecker & Neander have been producing their work for over 10 years, during which time they have captivated audiences and the press in more than 30 countries. Schwerin-born illusionist Wolfram von Bodecker and Paris-born Alexander Neander met whilst studying under Marcel Marceau in Paris. They graduated from his legendary school then toured the world as his stage partners before forming their own company. Their exceptional brand of visual theatre is packed with magic, the finest humour and illusion. 'Mime' is derived from the Greek pantomimus meaning 'imitator of all'. Bodecker & Neander use the term 'visual theatre' to describe their work: Silent theatre brought to life by a deft combination of mime and movement, masque, clownery, slapstick and physical theatre that also integrates elements of film, magic lantern and black box theatre.
No wonder their work ignores the boundaries of theatrical genre. The stories are joyous and enjoyable, thought-provoking and tragic. Mime makes room for the viewer's own interpretations - openings awaken the imagination.
With their visual theatre, Bodecker & Neander carry the audience to the country of their desires, to utopia. Two travellers between these worlds prove to be faithful guides who guarantee all sorts of theatrical, earnest adventure. We meet a world-famous pianist who has much to learn from the man turning the pages of his musical score. A simple music lesson turns into a nightmare. An Asian fairytale shows us a world where death and beauty sit side-by-side. Follow Light was developed using a grant and premiered at Dresden's Societaetstheater. Press reception was rapturous: "... mime at its best. The audience at the premier were so excited they went wild in the interval - clapping and stamping their feet. And again at the end. Justifiably so." (SZ)
Text: Reiner Ernst Ohle
Translated by: Cora Chalmers-Owen