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 “A Piece of Clay” is a mix of dance and performance art. This exclusive show was presented as a "Late Night Show" following the premiere of “Dancemakers Series #8” on the 8th of June 2017 in the cultural centre Südpol. Besides intense discussions between myself and the dancer, we deliberately decided not to rehearse. The dancer's movements were thus not dictated by any choreography. My aim was to reveal the person behind the dancer: Instead of embodying a role, Dinuzzi used an approach consistent with performance art to bring his innermost self onto the stage. By doing so, he was able to share a moment of authenticity with the audience. Presence, process and inner experience were more important to me than show, result and exterior skill. Thus the boundary between art and life became permeable. A voice coming from offstage confronted the dancer ad hoc with a selection of statements that Dinuzzi had written one early morning per my instructions, similar to the “écriture automatique” of the Surrealists. Dinuzzi “worked” with the clay and left his traces. The dancer and his biography were confronted with the historicity of the clay, the medium which Gottfried Semper referred to as the primal plastic material par excellence. What emerged was nothing less than a new story – and a relief, which I exhibited as an art installation together with the video following the dance shows in Südpol. 


„Zwei Choreografien hat Dario Dinuzzi entwickelt. Beeindruckend ist, wie der Italiener am Ende des Abends selber als Performer auftritt. in ‚A Piece of Clay‘ bildet er das Finale des Finales. Nach einem Konzept von Barbara Hennig Marques, Praktikantin Tanz Luzerner Theater und Kunsthistorikerin, ‚trifft der Tänzer auf Lehm‘, der Mensch auf Urmaterie. 1,5 auf 2 Meter misst die Plattform auf Rollen. Sie ist mit 300 Kilo weicher Tonerde ausgelegt. Darauf postiert sich Danuzzi barfuss, nur mit etwas Stoff um die Lenden. Zu eigenen Worten, gesprochen von Zach Enquist, kehrt er langsam sein Innerstes nach aussen. Er dreht und windet sich auf seinem Lebenspodest, lotet alle Möglichkeiten aus. Zwischendurch wirft er Lehmballast zu Boden. Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft nehmen hier Form an. Sein Körper beginnt mehr und mehr zu glänzen. Nach langem Applaus entfernt sich Dario Dinuzzi. Dafür begeben sich Zuschauer spontan auf die Bühne. Sie stehen dicht ums entstandene Relief herum, bewundernd, als sei es ein Altar. Einige geben sich der Verlockung hin, die Materie kurz anzufassen, welche der Mensch in Körperarbeit geprägt hat. Ein starkes Stück aus weichem Material. Immerhin ist die Performance auf Video gebrannt oder gebannt. So bleibt uns Dinuzzi digital erhalten. Nach einer Saison kehrt er nämlich nach Kanada zurück.“

(Edith Arnold. Starkes Stück aus weichem Material. In: Luzerner Zeitung vom 10. Juni 2017, S. 8)

„This was an additional treat for those of us clever enough to hang around and catch this ingenious performance. Being someone that dabbles in sculpture myself, the idea of plunging myself into a bed of slippery, squishy clay thrills me to the core. Dario Dinuzzi performance definitely did Barbara Hennig Marques’ concept justice. To say that Dario Dinuzzi was writhing around in clay was an understatement at times he positively plunged himself into it with such passion and pleasure we all wanted to join him. The clay, representing earth and our organic attachment to it as biological beings was danced upon, smeared all over and caressed with great passion, Dario Dinuzzi’s movements expressed such awe and frenzied fear at times you find yourself living with him the notion of both earth and time slipping and flowing through his body and fingers. His performance was riveting and once finished almost the entire audience felt the need (and did) go and plunge their own hands into the clay to feel its pull and marvel at the hand marks and foot falls left on the clay bed like fossil remnants.“

(Francesca Duchesne,

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