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  • Spellbinding alchemy: Alexandra Pirici’s Attune at Hamburger Bahnhof

Review

Spellbinding alchemy: Alexandra Pirici’s Attune at Hamburger Bahnhof

Alexandra Pirici challenges our ideas about life on earth in Attune, her show at Hamburger Banhof. ★★★★

Photo: Edi Constantin

Mixing alchemical processes with flowing choreography, Romanian artist Alexandra Pirici’s latest performance is an upbeat and wonderfully bonkers spectacle in the giant hall of Hamburger Bahnhof. Dancers segue between periods of autonomous movement and synchronised coordination, rolling down sand dunes and waving phones from spiralling stairwells before wheeling around the hall rapturously in their search for connection.

It’s quite spellbinding

There’s lots of theoretical stuff attached to it – the performance aims to challenge the idea of the separation between spirit and matter. To prove it, they have elaborate test tubes of famous experiments like the Briggs-Rauscher-Reaktion – a self-perpetuating chemical reaction giving elusive clues about the emergence of life on earth.

At times, the dancers, empowered by this scientific knowledge, address the watching audience, and for an awful moment you think they’re about to start a TED talk. But it’s short-lived and most of it goes in one ear and out the other. The movement is more than enough, like when they all begin flapping on the floor, limbs flailing upwards like fish trapped on the deck of a boat. Suddenly one solitary dancer emerges and breaks out. Eventually, to a chirped chorus, they congeal again into one. It’s quite spellbinding. ★★★★

  • Through Oct 6, Hamburger Bahnhof, Invalidenstraße 50, Mitte, details.