PRESS | ersatZtrip

The ersatz power

This is the story of an Austrian who represents French contemporary dance in a Franco-German festival. Du “jamais VU ! , to say it with the title of this exchange. But Christian UBL has made his choreographic career in France, including this ErsatZtrip which shows how we reduce passage, transfer and ritual in ersatZ material.
A whirlwind of human desires that evokes the mystery of the Noh, the Mexican-style day of the dead, the body carrying the evil Halloween-style flowers. Ubl questions the crossing of the mirror as much as the mirror larks, this society of always more with its regressive models of the male in power. Playing with the naked transgression, he plays with styles and genres, dance contact at Tanztheater, agit-prop performance, ritual mime.
Despite a hint of hypertrophy, the whole surprises, challenges and fascinates. Christian UBL is bubbling with discoveries, between weightlessness and darkness, rigor and ecstasy, flashy objects and breathtaking but sober projections. In short, a kind of Latin at the Germanic rigor.
Thomas Hahn, DANSER April 07

Deformed flesh …

With five accomplices (dancers, set designer, singers, sound players, videographers, all mixed up on the set), Christian Ubl presents a succession of experiments and attempts: the action man and chair dolls shaped or kitsch “are rather successful , the novel-photo / way of the cross is more tedious. The spectator approached the creative process, often mysterious, in the reflection of an artist immersed in a double culture with, in this case, a term “Ersatz”, very negative in French, and rather rewarding in German language.
Denis Bonneville, La Marseillaise, June 12, 2006

Dance question, artists questions

Christian Ubl is Austrian. Although he has led most of his career in France, he keeps from this elsewhere distance and keenness on his professional environment. An exceptional artist, of intense humanity, he approaches the composition by questioning his dancer’s state, and in doing so, explores the concept of interpreter by dissecting it.
Aged in complex and virtuosic writing, improviser as fine as he is audacious, he reveals in the walls of a Studio that is familiar to him his first group piece, surrounded by artists from various fields of expression. Some share with him, as interpreters, many other collaborations; the others are visual artists, space, sound and image.
Michel Keleminis, june 2006

A cube in Pavillon Noir

Christian Ubl’s play is a dive into the world of childhood. We observe them with astonishment: children can play alone with Action Man plastic figurines that transform them into superheroes. Together they sacrifice for hours to strange rituals of which they alone seem to know the meaning, transforming familiar objects into esoteric symbols.
With the group CUBe, Ubl offers us a first collective piece sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing, abounding, as children can do. A house of Barbie sits at the center of the plateau, altar or tabernacle of the world parody. They make horrible grimaces, roam the space without apparent purpose, build little by little with familiar objects a Rosette-shaped painting, the one that has made it possible to decipher the hieroglyphics. Then everything gets carried away, we find ourselves in a kitsch nightclub, Superman and Superwoman fly away in front of you, but not in real life. Ubl questions the false semblance of our shoddy universe, brilliantly.
Jean Barak, La Marseillaise, december 6 2006

The beauty and relevance … 

The collective Cube occupies the scene with a disconcerting simplicity. We walk, we grimace, we wear a mask, painted on the skin. Individuals bring objects and build a totem. We enter a ceremonial, in the world of memory: between now and adolescence. Impulses are expressed by the video, the song, the sample. The dance becomes a medium, projected on a T shirt, conveying objects, a form of ritual. Christian Ubl intersects the courses and assembles them, on the edge of disorder. We are close to the minimum of movement. The beauty and relevance of ErsatZtrip is that undecided side, where the order of things can change.
Karim Grandi-Baupain, Ventilo, june 21 2006

Codes diverted …

“Man desires eternity, but he can only have his ersatz: the moment of ecstasy.” This thought of Milan Kundera is the starting point of Christian Ubl’s dance creation. It is a question of considering the other as matter body, as sensation, as energy. The work of the scene deals with the human expression which replaces and replaces reality. (…) On stage, four dancers and three non-dancers mingle. Begins a succession of paintings …
Like a child, a man plays with his Action Man. Four dancers then move while holding the same toy in balance on one hand. In a musical atmosphere composed on stage, they become warriors, reptiles. The dancers move in lines to offer objects familiar and almost identical to a golden skeleton that orchestrates the scene. Everyone leaves the mimicry in turn and stands out. By video projection, a magnet repels the dancers. The second part is unexpected … An incursion into the night world with its codes diverted and its sexuality exacerbated.
Mathilde Chlon, Kesako magazine, December 2006

The ersatz body of others?

The cycle proposed by Michel Kelemenis extends and renews the public rehearsals usually organized in his studio. It is not a question of presenting completed works, but works in progress (…). Christian Ubl’s play explores the relationship of the real body with anthropomorphic representations: articulated little soldiers, robots, images projected onto bodies, fetishized clothes, photos, personal objects …
The work, unfinished, presents moments of great humor, and questions the representation of dance. Does not giving his body a show, bending it to the demands of a choreographer, to the theatrical space, to the desires of the public, is it not equivalent to transforming the dancer into the ersatz body of others? In simple support of fantasies? In substitute of individual?
César Magazine, June 2006

The essence of an invention 

An analyst of his own experience as an interpreter, “a filter within a living representation”, Christian Ubl approaches the theme of ersatz, which, while designating a lesser quality, brings the spirit back to the essence of an invention. First group piece, ErsatZtrip assembles dancers and non-dancers, without hierarchy or judgment or questioning about their presence. The intended aesthetic will be plastic and energetic. Inter-body weaving, plastic installation, video, music and voice.
Monaco Dance Forum, December 2006

CUBe association is based in Marseille (FR) and supported by the Minister of Culture, Art and Communication DRAC PACA, the Conseil Régional PACA, the Conseil Général des Bouches-du-Rhône, the city of Marseille and the Culture Forum of Austria in Paris.