Parade, of 1917, was a ballet conceived by Jean Cocteau for the Ballets Russes. With scenographic designs by Pablo Picasso, choreography by Léonide Massine and composition by Erik Satie, this ballet réaliste came to be associated with the modernist turn of the theatrical stage. The departure point for Linder’s reinterpretation of Parade is the publicity and high-performance imperatives which have pervaded the ‘stages’ of today. Nashat’s stage design follows suit by overexposing the conventions of the theatre. The faux marble edifice is overwhelmed with monogram branding, the props defy their habitual stasis and the evening programme serves as a theatrical mask. Costumed by Kaspar’s ornamental armour, the performers draw upon multiple choreographic grammars that are hard-cut, crossfaded and juxtaposed to create three collaged personas. The Chinese Conjuror springs back and forth between internal fantasy and the illusion of the gesture, the American Girl directs herself through a succession of career opportunities and the Acrobat rehearses the virtuosic flexibility of speculation. Cocteau’s Managers are translated into geometric chroma green props whose porous magnetism mediates the characters’ self-presentation.
Adam Linder’s Parade was premiered at HAU Hebbel am Ufer, in Berlin, on October 18, 19 and 20, 2013.