We have all felt it in one way or another. How time seems so fast, so slow; our lives so memorable, so forgettable. Sometimes we're together, sometimes we're alone, our minds aligning and betraying our world. We lose cherished dreams to find new ones., and lose those to find old ones. The dancers focus on a meditative rhythm of minuscule changes, seeking holy forms and wavering relationships through repetition and rearrangement; experiencing wonder, solidarity, anger, and loss to grasp a celestial inevitability.
Clepsydra was produced through the ChoreoLab Residency hosted by Moving Rhizomes and ROXY Theater in Ulm, Germany. Ulm being Albert Einstein's birthplace, the residency utilized the famous equation "E=mc²" as its core. Clepsydra (an ancient water clock) is about Time Dilation: every observer perceives time differently depending on their mass and velocity.
Choreography: Max Levy
Original Composition: Max Levy
Technical Assistance: Thomas Colditz, Joscha Hutterer
Premier: August 23, 2019; ROXY Labor, Ulm, Germany
Performed by: Francesca Ciaffoni, Yuri Fortini, Aika Tsuchida
Photo: Guido Stuch
Meditations marks Berlin newcomer Max Levy's first evening-length work, selling out multiple nights to enthusiastic applause. Utilizing a background of classical education morphed by countless contemporary influences, the ex-soloist of Staatsballett Nürnberg paints a collage of self-awareness and self-critique; self-love and self-hate; digging into the essence of detail and finality: the surreal moments, when not looking at anything could open your eyes to everything.
“When I would become aware of a change, but not realize it happening until afterwards, I started to wonder how such moments could pass me by. How concentrated/lost had I been that so much time could pass without notice? How had I not seen the sky change colors as the day passed by? How had I not counted the drops of water before a cup overflowed? How had I not realized I was falling in or out of love until my heart was wide open? I would always realize afterwards. It was at these moments after the fact, that led me to ponder those gray in-between periods that I had been so focused and unaware. There was always something there, just out of the corner of my eye, that I couldn't ever acknowledge.”
Choreography/Direction: Max Levy
Performers: Kirill Berezovski, Max Levy
Choreographic Assistant: Malcolm Sutherland
Light Design: Alessandro Maestrini
Performance Documentation: Jubal Battisti
Ceramics provided by Jojo Corväiá
with Original Compositions by Max Levy
Additional Musical Credits: Remember, David Darling; Lock Bites Key, LORN; Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana, Pietro Mascagni, Evergreen Symphony Orchestra; The Antiphon (Epilogue), Kasper Bjørke Quartet
Premier: 4.07.2019; 20:00 ACUD Theater
Rehearsal space generously provided: TanzOffensive Berlin: Academy of Dance & Arts
Additional Thanks: Manon Andral, Claudia Greco, Davidson Jaconello, Mari Kawanishi, Sascha Koal, Dörte Kordzumdieke, Felix Levy, Hordur Mar, Michelle Murphy, Kihako Narisawa, Richard Oberscheven, Dario Rigaglia, Robert Robinson, Yuri Shimaoka, Miyuki Shimizu, Mana Tada, Miguel Toro, Saul Vega Mendoza, Jin Young Won, Ting-An Ying, Max Zachrisson
Meditations is funded completely through personal budget, and the generosity of viewers like you. The indescribable support of the following donors has brought this production to life: Steven Barrett, Andreas Bundi, Chia-Yin Chiang, Claire Davison, Ian Delgado, Amelia Eisen, Sara Ezzell, Joan Fucho, Joseba Gil, Nele Handtke, Zoe Henrot, CK, Raquel Lanziner, The Levy Family, Christine Maree, Daniel Myers, Wes Nguyen, O:ttanz, Stefanie Pechtl, SP & YP, Julia Rubinsky, Gabriela Rufino, Pablo Sansalvador, Amy Saunder, Vanessa Shield, Yuri Shimaoka, James Thiede, Gen Tomuro, Josianne Valbuena, Sophie Vergeres, Albert Woodard, and other anonymous donors.
Consumption is not simply the act of utilizing something, but depleting it. Exhausting it. Expending it. To use it up until it is completely drained.
Our lives are spent in this way of using, and being used. We take of the earth everyday, and one day it will take us back as ash. We give our hearts and trust to others, hungry for them to give back to us. We consume everything that surrounds us, afraid and excited of our own day when we can fade away.
Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Choreography: Max Levy
Dancers: Max Levy, Mari Kawanishi
Music: Max Levy, J.S. Bach, Alexander Sheremetiev
Lighting: Max Levy, Christian Scharrer
Special Thanks: Saul Vega Mendoza, Jin Young Won, Davidson Jaconello, Dario Rigaglia
Premiered: November 29th, 2018; Images - Neue Choreografie, Pfefferberg Theater, Berlin
Photographs: Jubal Battisti, Kei Tanaka, Marion Borriss, Daniel Barth
“I don't know how long I sat there everyday, looking at that shadowy reflection across from me.
This figure of another world, beyond the boundaries of glass and skin and time between us.
It was everything I was not, but in it, I could see the shapes of my voice, the sounds of my eyes.
And when it spoke, I could taste my own tongue. Those silent syllables of a lost language, sifting through my mind.
In its inhumanity I was repelled, but understood. Calling me from far away with a voice just like mine.
It spoke of beyond, and I saw before. It spoke of no ends, and I saw no beginnings."
This duet is an attempt to create an atmosphere of curiosity and anxiety by intentionally limiting conceptual choice. To see what can be produced as a result of intense monotony and unchanging apprehension. Instead of being allowed a playground of infinite options and widely varying dynamics, it attempts to put itself in a conceptual corner to focus its entire purpose on only one point.
An Excerpt of a Concept on Ritual and Monotony was a Top 10 Finalist of the 32nd International Choreography Competition in Hannover
Choreography: Max Levy
Dancers: Max Levy, Miyuki Shimizu
Music: Lock Bites Key by LORN
Choreographic Assistance: Miguel Toro
Additional Thanks: Kirill Berezovski, Claudia Greco, Kihako Narisawa, Ting-An Ying, Mana Miyagawa
Premiered: June 29, 2018; 32nd International Choreography Competition; Hannover
Photographs: Ralf Mohr
Silent Bell is a choreography developed in turmoil, made in tandem with self-conflict over love, change, and silence. It is the idea of frustration made visible on stage. Told through the days of a man whose sole purpose is to respond when he is called on, it tackles what happens when his discipline is wrought with obstacles, both as eye-opening experiences and misguided temptation. When a defined “self-purpose” is questioned, what does one do? How does one face the unknown existences around him? What does he lose? What does he gain?
It is a story of discovery or distraction; of estrangement, and loss.
Silent Bell was awarded "Best Dancer" at SOLOCOREOGRAFICO 2017
Dancer: Max Levy
Music: Richard Strauss
Sound Mixing: Max Levy
Premiered: November 26, 2017; "SOLOCOREOGRAFICO"; Lavanderia a Vapore, Torino, Italy
Lighting: Tobias Krauß
Photographs: Paweł Wyszomirski
Rejection is everywhere. It's in every instance of "no," "not now," "never," "not enough," "not the right one." It's in the depths of yourself, emanates from those around you, and finds itself in your words to others.
But do not let it blacken your eyes, to see only the darkness of those depths. Its pressure solidifies your fears of life's nowheres. Your fears of being roped down by imaginary needs. Of inadequacy. Of insecurity. Of thinking you're not enough for anything. Of being afraid of how much you'll lose. Do not let it be so.
Because defeat is simply a veil; a façade. Within that second depth is your ability to accept, to grow, and seek.
Dancers: Sayaka Kado, Marina Sanchez Garrigós, Natsu Sasaki, Hirotaka Seki, Malcolm Sutherland, Luis Tena, Charla Tuncdoruk, Saúl Vega Mendoza
Music: bugpanda/Raime, Aphex Twin
Premiered: June 26, 2015; "Exquisite Corpse 3"; Schauspielhaus Staatstheater Nürnberg
Lighting: Tobias Krauß
Photographs: Ludwig Olah
Thoughts on self-analysis and self-identity have been repeated countless times since the dawn of man's intellect. Personal reflections on moods, personalities, wants, and identities plague us everyday; from wondering what you want to eat for lunch, to cataclysmic meltdowns questioning the direction of your life and its meaning. It would be preposterous of me to propose that my approach is anything original, or that the ideas I present are anything more than the musings of a young adult. Great minds before and after will surely produce more than I ever will on the subject. Yet, times when I question myself and my reality are the most primal, most liberating moments of my life, no matter how microscopic it may seem on the ladder of the world's great thinkers. In a way, Observatory is a product of years of contemplation.
I have long been fascinated by the idea of mirrors in your own self; the different incarnations that your mind produces when you truly delve into the abyss. Initially, the questions arose from a morbid (but healthy) pondering on suicide. What did it mean to commit something like that? To kill yourself is, in a way, murder of the self. In short, Observatory is about what it means to not only think, but to be thought about. Not only to question, but to be questioned. I don't think suicide is still a part of the equation, but it is with this approach of seeing yourself outside of your own confines that I wanted to create Observatory.
Dancers: Malcolm Sutherland, Saúl Vega Mendoza
Premiered: June 29, 2013; "Exquisite Corpse 2"; Schauspielhaus Staatstheater Nürnberg
Lighting: Ernst Schießl
Photography: Ludwig Olah