Review 'Still There' 2011 Erlangen

JUH (Spots ARENA Festival), June 04 '11, translated from German


On stage at the Mark Grafentheater begins the 61 year old Neel de Jong, before
the spectators have come up, with her extraordinary dance performance. Hardly
noticeable begins the performance with a few delicate notes on the piano.
Simultaneously with de Jong’s performance the public can see a projection of one
of her dance video’s on a white background, where the Jong also starts to move in
real life. Graceful as the piano, accompanying the dance decent and respectful, Neel
de Jong puts her body softly in motion. Her arms formulate words, sweet words,
developing like the fragrant of flowers in the air. She hugs herself with conviction,
and then - like a free butterfly – she shakes her arms away from her body as if she
frees herself again. The soft movements changes towards staccato gestures and lively
eyes. She nestled her face –very sweet - against the hairy leg of a spectator, enjoys
the contact with the male skin and also her own. Then she focuses her attention on the
I on the video and starts to interact with her. The Neel on the screen throws words into
the room, pregnant like formulized incantations. The color of the theatre space changes
and makes a pleasant contrast. Previously, serious and cool by blue and green, now
it turns into soft orange. What makes Neel de Jong? In the glow of the lights she smiles
frolic to the audience with her touching little pigtail standing perky on her head. She
waves with a little hand and looks happy when some people wave back to her. She
says that words of late are losing their meaning for her, that’s why she prefers to dance
them.  Besides that she plays with light and shadow
on the back wall and with her image
of the film. De Jong dances that what she feels like a poem. It seems that she caresses
the little things around her, as if she brings a homage to the small details of life. The
perception of the viewers has become unfortunately to limited to be able to enjoy these
little things any more: "All of us live in little boxes with walls covered with written
laws…“. Her personal answer
: "I create my own  little world. Who tries that can
catch some moments of heaven on earth.“

Written by Yuh.


Still There, made and performed in 2011 during the Arena Festival in
Erlangen and in RO-Theater R'dam.