The Ukrainian artist Viktoriia Vitrenko glides between speaking, screaming, singing and croaking in the programme called "Limbo". The opening "3 Songs" by the Polish composer Agata Zubel set the dramaturgical tone. The vocal part, which does without lyrics, seems almost existentialist, but its iridescence is all the more moving, which is intensified in an interesting way by the sound of the prepared piano. The clanging, plopping and grumbling of the piano creates a rich spectrum of colour. It is fascinating to observe how Viktoriia Vitrenko really consumes herself in the almost two-hour programme. She sings and accompanies herself on the piano and elevates the whole thing to a performance (directed by Titus Selge). The stage evokes memories of a prison cell with a barred window and a dirty toilet bowl. Wrapped in a blanket, Vitrenko initially crouches under the piano, crawls out and emerges as a living mummy, wrapped in white bandages. Little by little, she reveals herself, repeatedly exposing (made-up) injuries that go hand in hand with a political dimension. This becomes most apparent in Ying Wang's "Illuminations", in which a show trial in China and the Belarusian civil rights activist Maria Kalesnikava are shown in video clips. Wistfulness spreads at the end of Maxim Shalygin's song cycle "Songs of Youth". Echoes of traditional folk art characterise the seven songs with their melancholy gesture, which leads purposefully to the concluding "Agnus Dei", which is designed as a lament with a great final climax.


Markus Dippold
Stuttgarter Zeitung | 08.02.2022 | ECLAT FESTIVAL