da-nach: reviews

A Piece of Hope in the Apocalypse

First of all: “Da-nach” is a small but stunning production . . . and you shouldn’t miss it, because an Austrian dance production like this, which is so harmonious, clever and coherent, provided with great choreography and brilliant sound, first has to be searched for first. . . .

It is thanks to the creativity of Gudrun Lenk-Wane that the arte-povera props do not indicate a cheap production, but are used appropriately and repeatedly to cause amazement. . . .

The great thing about this production is that it is a total work of art. And it’s not one that flaunts this term on marketing banners. Stage, choreography and music, but also the dramaturgy of the story itself are convincing without any compromises. It is highly topical, but at the same time also of archaic force. In “Da-nach”, compulsive humanity is soberly confronted with a second, completely different side, which usually doesn’t occur at all in the current discourses on dystopia: namely, that of empathy, of joint action and willingness to help – which ultimately also contributes to the survival of the human species in this special context.

It may well also be this redeeming prospect of an everywhere predicted bleak future that makes this piece of contemporary dance so extremely impressive. Chapeau, chapeau and: thanks for that!

(Michaela Preiner, European Cultural News)



DANS.KIAS : Da-nach

Does humanity really need a catastrophe before it remembers its greatness? Do the seeds of humanity only germinate out of the ruins? In her most recent work, Saskia Hölbling draws an image of a person who, reduced to their bare existence, proves to be empathic, showing solidarity, a human being in the best sense of the word. Wonderfully performed and in perfect interplay with sound and light, “Da-nach” is a deeply humanistic work. Nietzsche had his Zarathustra demand: “Write me new tables, my brethren! New tables with new values!” Saskia Hölbling writes them.

(Rando Hannemann,  Tanz.at)



Life in the Flotsam

Somewhere in nowhere, forgotten and alone, lost – and yet not lost: these are the figures in Saskia Hölbling’s one-hour dance piece “Da-nach”. . . . Wolfgang Mitterer, one of the most interesting Austrian composers, has written the musical backdrop that seems so dangerous, oppressive, exciting, but also always somehow familiar. . . .

Hölbling develops a set of figures who gropingly explore the new environment. . . . What succeeds in barely an hour is a skilfully made study of the human: together the excellent dancers create a dark but not hopeless atmosphere of forlornness. And create a unity in Hölbling’s design that captivates!


(Oliver Lang, Kronenzeitung)


Radically Achromatic: Saskia Hölbling’s Dance Work “Da-nach

The world has tanked. But nevertheless, a few people were able to save themselves! In the new dance piece “Da-nach” [there-after] by Viennese choreographer Saskia Hölbling, they float on an unstable raft of junk on the wooden floor of a large room in the Semper depot. . . .
Perhaps the shock of the great downfall is too deep, perhaps the survivors had foreseen the (unnamed) event that drove them onto their raft. Anyway, now they have to get by without everything that was so incredibly important before. Because anything they possess besides their raft, they are wearing on their bodies as clothing. So they clamber around, on top of and over each other, in seemingly meaningless and aimless activity. Until they realise that, thrown together as a little group they at least have their community.

Hölbling refrains from blowing up the usual dramas from this miserable situation – so no fight, no knife, no shark with a mouth full of teeth. Only a patient searching and attempt to find somehow come together. . . .

The action on the raft is tenaciously carried through the waves of time by Wolfgang Mitterer’s vivid soundtrack. In the end, the audience saw the efforts of some people who do not seem to have anything special about them. In our present-day of gaudy stagings of the individual, it is precisely the dancers’ lack of colour in “Da-nach” that is a radical statement.

(Helmut Ploebst, Der Standard)

Surviving after the Catastrophe

What happens “Da-nach” [there-after]? A constant rebellion against external forces that lead to an energetic, straightforward and oppressed body language. . . .

What makes this choreography strong is that it directly conveys the search for one’s own position, of surviving on after an undefined catastrophe in which one is initially forced to concentrate on oneself. . . .

Body language is the only means of communication that remains intense and dense. . . . The emotional effect on the audience is enhanced by the brief, poignant appearance of the nine-year-old Oskar Mitterer, who integrates himself quickly and fully concentrated into this community of people on the run.

(Silvia Kargl)