u - bi e - ti - am sua vis - si - mus hor - tus es - tis
'in this you are also the tenderest garden'
The research Tongues Entangled roots in a research around the historical figure Hildegard von Bingen (HvB), who is known as a prolific abbess, scientist, composer and mystic from the early middle ages. By exploring her musical compositions and studying the records of her mystical visions, Carrie McILwain and Johanna Ackva delve into Hildegard’s universe. Drawn to the notion of Viriditas (Greenness), a metaphor within HvB’s work that points at the omnipresent sensorial experience of divinity in the earthly world, they reclaim this idea independently from patriarchal and anthropocentric Christianity. Their engagement with this “Greenness” is lead by an image of erotic entanglement and the potentiality to relate otherwisely to a contemporary world threatened by ecological crises.
A work-in-progress showing in the frame of Unfinished Fridays (Lake Studios, Friedrichshagen) was based on the vocal performance of specific “green” lines from HvB’s compositions. Looking for their resonance in the body, a sequence of still or slowly moving choreographic constellations arose. Intimacy and formal clarity going hand in hand, offering a space and time for contemplation to the audience seated in a circle around.
Concept, choreography, performance: Johanna Ackva & Carrie McILwain | Dramaturgical advice: Elisabeth Leopold | Thanks to: Marcela Giesche & Lake Studios Berlin | Video (Stills): Nobutaka Shomura
The 10 Commandments | revised | received through green message by HvB | i. I am the Earth, I am your home, I am holy. I gift and sustain your life. This is not about restricting your freedom, but you will never leave me. No matter how far you journey, you will always return to me. We can’t avoid each other. We have the most intimate relationship of all relationships. ii. I will stay unknown to you and you have inherited my mystery. iii. To take my name in vain is to curse your own. iv. Respect rest. Cherish what is. v. Be grateful to those who have supported and and fed your growth. vi. Nurture all living things, whether you understand their courses or not. Do not violently interfere in their paths. Life needs your love. Be aware of your role in the cycle of life and death. vii. Honor the power of erotic bonds. viii. Do not be moved by scarcity, it is an illusion. There is no such thing as owning. You can always only have a share. Be generous/generative with your entanglements. ix. Be honest. Practice listening. Do not betray yourself or others. x. All forms of life are of equal value inherent unto themselves. Do not fear difference.
Which exact limitations do you have in mind? the interviewer asked us.
Choreography: Grėtė Šmitaitė, Hanna Kritten Tangsoo | Dance: Johanna Ackva, Adrian Carlo Bibiano, Camille Chapon, Ewa Dziarnowska, Ivan Bjorn Ekemark, Forough Fami, Anna Fitoussi, Magdalena Meindl, Julia Plawgo, Lyllie Rouvière, Sigrid Savi, Sunayana Shetty, Alistair Watts | Light Design: Hanna Kritten Tangsoo | Music: Carl Reimers | Consultation: Jurga Jonutytė | Production: Suddenly, supported by Tanzfabrik Berlin, Kaunas Artists House, Arts Printing House Vilnius, Lithuanian Culture Institute. Part of the residency program was completed by bröllin e.V., supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the district of Vorpommern-Greifswald | Photos © Julian Weber | Videostills © Tanzforum Berlin.