Johan Inger created Walking Mad for the Nederlands Dans Theater I in 2001, after some young choreographers had been asked to create dance for an orchestra evening. Inger was captivated by an old black and white tv-recording of the Boléro with the conductor Zubin Mehta and the Los Angels Philharmonic.
“A theatrical image; in the beginning the conductor is very controlled, well combed and correct in his entire conductor image, but parallel to the musical crescendo he becomes increasingly dramatic and excited, as though entering into madness, in an uncontrolled state. Erotic charge was naturally there but I wanted to get away from, or beyond, the more open/clichéd erotic lead that often accompanies this piece of music”.
The wall in Walking Mad is minimalist, just as the music represents an early musical minimalism. It divides the work into two different rooms. It is the reality the different characters relate to; a sounding board they work towards, and with. It start at the front of the stage to finish at the back and so completing a dramaturgical circle. The person in hat and coat who, at the beginning of the piece, steps into the Bolerian room, has then done a similar round journey. Something happens on that journey. As the piece develops he multiplies in his meetings with different women, who, like himself, eventually return to their given frames, perhaps a bit older, greyer.
* BOLERO, by Maurice Ravel © REDFIELD BV / NORDICE BV