Photo by Chelsea Rowe

KUNST-STOFF Returns W/Verve

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stephanie Donahue In Dance Since it's Bay Area inception in 1998, the KUNST-STOFF Dance and Theater collective have solidly sold out performances with their unique hybrid of theater, film, and dance. The quirky name Kunst, meaning "Art", and Stoff, neatly translated to "Stuff", sums up the group's philosophy and approach to making work. Collaborating with artists of other genres to create evocative performances that are uniformly their is the KUNST-STOFF style. As firectors and founders, Yannis Adoniou and Tomi Paasonen share a background in classical ballet (at Hamburg Ballet and Alonzo King's LINES Ballet), though their individual approach to choreography belie their traditional roots. Adoniou stresses that he wants to move away from the typical way ballet organizes the body and draw upon the wight of the body for his pieces. Similarly, Paasonen, who is currently working abroad, states, "I don't want choreograph in the traditional sense of the word, but give the performers tasks to cope with and watch them come to terms with situations created." KUNST-STOFF's newest offering May 13-23 at ODC Theater is intriguingly eclectic. The media/dance collaboration between Adoniou, sculptor Keith Doyle and filmmaker Evan Sieben, "Image/Word.not_a_pipe=Dance", slyly references the artist Magritte in titel and form, with Adoniou being cast in 16mm film as Magritte's everyman, whom he sees as a bridge between the performer and audience. "In-sight" finds Adoniou and Sieben using film and movement against a backdrop created by the internationally exhibited photographer Cara Judea Alhadeff. The collaboration with Alhadeff is particularly special to Adoniou, who observes, "Cara has very definite ways of composing The colonite ways of composing human [bodies]. I like that. She almost choreographs her photography."