Springback

BSTRD

performed by Katerina Andreou - Bark

A square raised stage with white-taped diagonals interrupted in the middle, a record player, Katerina Andreou and her sporty moves: this is BSTRD. She’s us in clubs, dancing to the beat almost till she drops dead. Side jumps, glissades, kicks and back.  She’s always on the edge, never choosing which space, dance or emotion to explore. Are these house moves or hip hop? Is her face happy or tired? Is she among unseen others or alone with us? Is side A different from side B? Nothing’s decided, everything’s possible. That very thought of the in-between gives strength to BSTRD, but also let the gates open to doubts: is it even a constructed performance or an improvised display? As she stops, the stage becomes smoky from underneath, as if on fire. That’s her point: pure perfection would be cold; in-between is consuming.


Casually walking onto the raised, square staging, Katerina Andreou sets a record playing on a turntable. Abrasive floodlights begin to pulse and blind the audience as the soloist begins a loose, grounded jig to the deafening sound of militaristic drumming. 

Arms flailing with abandon, she is initially nonchalant, her eyes downcast and wild hair obscuring her face. Over time, the gaze lifts to reveal a mischievous smile that suggests Andreou is deriving pleasure from her ritualistic internal groove, even if the audience isn’t.

Elements of the staging change as BSTDR progresses: Andreou drenches herself in water, applies red lipstick, ties her hair back, and shakes smoky white chalk across the stage.  It creates a raw club-like aesthetic that I’m desperate to buy in to – if only the relentless movement language also developed to give the audience the variety it craves…


“Go!” comes a shout from the speakers, and Katerina Andreou obeys. Standing on an elevated platform, reminiscent of a boxing ring without ropes, she starts to dance.

At first, it’s easy to stay with her – the pulsating beat that propels her skip-jump movement also drives a current through us. Andreou’s loose limbs and hips lead down to bouncing feet that have no off switch.

But then the musical refrain and repetitive steps go on, and on, and on. The initial “Go!”, so filled with excitement at the start, is repeated – but this time only brings concern that these few bars of music may never change. And they don’t.

BSTRD is apparently inspired by the house dance community, which seems baffling when house music is so rich and joyous. By the time this piece is over, it’s bordering on torturous.


“Go!” comes a shout from the speakers, and Katerina Andreou obeys. Standing on an elevated platform, reminiscent of a boxing ring without ropes, she starts to dance.

At first, it’s easy to stay with her – the pulsating beat that propels her skip-jump movement also drives a current through us. Andreou’s loose limbs and hips lead down to bouncing feet that have no off switch.

But then the musical refrain and repetitive steps go on, and on, and on. The initial “Go!”, so filled with excitement at the start, is repeated – but this time only brings concern that these few bars of music may never change. And they don’t.

BSTRD is apparently inspired by the house dance community, which seems baffling when house music is so rich and joyous. By the time this piece is over, it’s bordering on torturous


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Spring Forward
5-7 April 2019
Val de Marne, France

Watch on demand: aerowaves.org/springforward

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