the choreographer Peter Breuer dance is a direct and emotional confrontation
with individual and collective history. He has shown this both as
a dancer and as a very successful artist with many choreographies
for example of Chaplin in Halle (Germany). The evening with
the ballet of the Salzburg Theatre (Austria) is a careful as well
as sensitive approach to the phenomenon of Klaus Nomi, which Breuer
calls a dance-event.
Klaus Sperber, who later assumed the name Klaus Nomi was one of
the first victims of AIDS and died at the young age of 34 in a New
"Dying young" was only a first step to immortality. The
radical wanderer between worlds, tore down frontiers and broke traditions
as well in his life as in his music. Categories such as man or woman,
homo or hetero; were superfluous according to Nomi, who was not
himself easily labelled. The dancer Eric Assandri experiences as
from his deathbed fragments of Klaus Nomi's life. Assandri takes
on the role of Nomi the man, while the Art and stage figure is danced
by Muriel Estanco. Scenes show an apparently insignificant existence,
marked by permanent lack of success, petty bourgeois stupidity,
and hatred of the human body which are successfully spread by his
mother, followed by the fleeing to New York in the hope of being
able to make his musical dreams come true. Klaus takes on odd jobs
in the American metropole, including as a dish washer. Meetings
with loud and queer drag-queens in the legendary time before Stonewall.
His coming out as a gay man pinnacles in a moving pas-de-deux with
his lover, Adrian (Alessandro Bizzi).
In his trips through the nightlife he got to know Lisa who later
became his wife. The creation of the central art-figure of Nomi
is the pivotal theme of the evening, the stage is for Nomi the place,
cleft and contradiction which is to be legitimised. In heavy make-up,
with hints of the future and baroque clothes - this is the picture
with which Nomi impressed the world. Light years distant from the
reality which time and again caught up with even Klaus Nomi. The
key scene is the moment of making-up. This intimate moment offers
him the possibility of strengthening his appearance. Legends and
key figures of Nomi's imaginary world populate the stage: Maria
Callas as Tosca, Elvis Presley, Marlene Dietrich, David Bowie,
Andy Warhol; their appearances give the stage-show a high entertainment
value - entertainment in the best sense of the word.
The music of Nomi challenges the dance, so that one asks oneself
why Nomi has been so widely disregarded by the dance-theatre. Pop
and classic; baroque and science fiction come together in an wonderful
symbiosis. In baroque-times composers as well as artists like Farinelli
achieved a popularity comparable to super-stars of the present.
Klaus Nomi had unsuccessfully auditioned at opera houses. A shaking
of heads, a slight smile, absolute rejection, were some reactions
of the opera-house directors. His appearances, viewed from today,
hat decisively changed the music-scene, long before James Bowman;
Derek Lee Ragin, Jochen Kowalski, René Jacobs, or Jimmy Somerville.
He strived towards the "total show" and thus opened the
way for artist like David Bowie or Michael Jackson. His dream of
singing and acting in a grand opera remained unfulfilled. Unusual
performances of arias from King Arthur, Samson and Delilah
etc enthused a new public for this genre. He played a decisive role
-parallel to the contributions of Joan Sutherland, Marilyn Horne,
or Emma Kirby – in the renaissance of baroque music. As his dream
career seem to border on becoming reality, AIDS caught up with him
and he died at the age of 34. Today Klaus Nomi has become a myth.
He is a meteor which briefly enlightened the heavens only to burn
itself out. Although his stage performances were spectacular, the
person Nomi remained unpretentious. What remains are five CDs of
an incomparable voice and music videos which made history because
they were ahead of their time. Klaus Nomi revolutionised the music
scene. That is the message of this fantastic dance-evening, which
also offers a total-show – just what Klaus Nomi wished it.