others about zuga
Luule Epner "Teater. Muusika. Kino" 2011
ZUGAs dance performance "Old buddies" is organized with the possibility of mishap. Also ZUGAs performance, where they create the illusion of "me", is utterly filled with (self)irony.
Aare Pilv, “Teater. Muusika. Kino” 2011
Now about theatre itself. The taste, that the festival choice this time depended on, which means Priit Raud's taste, tolerated 16 issues that usually bother me with theatre - well-known tackling, performing works inner tissues laxity or mechanism which i saw for example in ZUGAs "Old buddies" (drafty order of scenes, witch was probably deliberate, but the absence of intensity was more understandable for the closer circle of the group, for whom the gaps were filled with all kinds of contexts.)
Another vector is the meta theatrical line that runs through many performances. Here as well are possible variations and shades. ZUGAs performance's theme is not theatre, but it uses the meta theatrical way as a tool for talking about other subjects (for an example the actors and their "prototypes" personal relations); with all the sympathy that i have for ZUGA, this was somewhat a closed circle story, though the idea to talk about friendship in general was understandable.
Anneli Saro, “Teater. Muusika. Kino” 2011
The United Dancers of ZUGAs "Old buddies" connects work and friendship, charm and pain. I was charmed, how the image of life experience and so to say the main values of human life were brought to the stage, that especially in the background of the negation of other performances. The most interesting were the abstract movement patterns, witch left room for fantasy. Scenes with voice sounded childish and even annoying. I know, that many love the so to say "cuteness" in modern dance, but others say it just leaves an unprofessional image.
23.09.2011 DRAAMA 2011 järelkaja
What was different, that rise up into such a powerful generalization, that many years after is still worth reminding? ZUGAs performance told in warm homeland dialect and with nostalgic tones for those, who have observed Kaja Kanns, Jarmo Karings, Tiina Mölders and Helen Reitsniks life in stage. The performance represented the inconsistency and strange stability of friendship, and at the same time was very mature and the human conflicts excessive whole. It formed a whole, though at first sight might have seemed a story loosely set with etudes, it touched my soul with its humanity, the fight for independence and team spirit values.
Veiko Märka. EPL. september, 2011
ZUGAs "Old buddies" is racy and funny, where besides dance acrobatics and english, with a terrible accent, were used. The borders of the art of dance were winden, the audience was entertained and all were one big happy family. ZUGAs social dance is something new in estonian theatre and deserves an applause and a deeper analysis.
"Selge eneseiroonia ja armas absurditaju"
Leenu Nigu 2010
With ZUGA, the simplicity was most important . It doesn't mean banality nor repeating the known-to-all. A bright taste of ZUGA comes from them not trying to look smarter, better, prettier or cooler, than they are. Even the mistakes or the bad english, that upsets some of the viewer, is a part of ZUGAs standpoint. In the blog of ZUGAs "Old buddies" they say, that it is important for them to "do thing for real", leading to that, that even the snacks that were shared after the show were made by themselves. That kind of attitude can be felt in the bigger picture as well, and that is what makes ZUGAs work feel cozy and warm. They take their time and relate personally. At the same time the ZUGA personality does not refer to ignorance or egoism, that is excluded with self-irony and sweet absurdness.Also they do not try to look like a harmonic group, but they put themselves on the stage emphasizing everyones personal differences.
*Pauli Päevik "Sirp" / sept 2006*
One of the most wrathful arguments came over the ZUGAs performance "The woman and the wolf". I just didn't understand why an amateur performance must be shown in the estonian drama festival: the performance deals with the inner feelings and problems of the performers. The possibility and impossibility of communication. Boring, isn't it? Also, why must the viewer bear the horrible english of Kaja Kann? The answer to a curious - demanding theatre audience: the performer doesn't care about communication. The performer answered something like that:" Let them bear my english, i know i can't speak it. So what? I don't care."
*Andres Keil "Postimees" / sept 2006*
So it happened, that during the first days of the festival ZUGAs "Woman and the wolf" became the hit. Honestly and with a great feeling of empathy a story of a person and his relations with another was told. The ability and disability of communication. This is theatre, that shows that only writing and learning the words, is not enough.
Instructive and comical actions Karin Saarepuu / Viljandi "Sakala" Febr. 2005
The flexible and tolerant attitude of dancers to the surrounding has an influence inspiring and relieving.
In the story there are in addition to tough acrobatics expressive images which refer to friendship, sympathy and love.
Their fear and desire, common sorrows and difficulties of finding their own way mirroring in state of static tense and there is indefinite intensiveness. Movements are open, intentionally simple and honest. The main message of zuga people seem to be handling life by the use of play and fantasy.
"ZUGA children piece" as a discovery journey Karin Saarepuu / Viljandi, Sakala, Febr. 2005
Performance as a discovery journey, result of what of the body can remain only a shadow on a curtain., but alive fantasy is finding even there again new images.
In supple movements of Kaja Kann, Helen Reitsnik and Tiina Mölder there is expression of creative energy, where one image is fluently changing to other one. The pantomime and acrobatics have contaminated influence and children feel speechless joy of the ability of their bodies.
They are using a interesting hyperbolic grip, where one is forward commands and other one is accomplish them word for word in the place she is at the moment, regardless of it can seem inappropriate.
The commands of adults are for children often same unreasonable and strange, but adults are demanding obeying to them same consistently.
Tiit Tuumalu "Postimees" / October, 2004
Collaboration of United Dancers of Zuga and Beggars Farm has moved from small studio to the big stage without loosing a bit of their genuine innocence. On the contrary, compared to the premiere (in March 2004) is the composition now even more precise, relationship between dancers and musicians more inventive and humorous. I believe I'm not exaggerating when saying that it is the most genuine dance piece premiered in this year (2004).
Andreas Berger "Braunschweiger Zeitung" / 13.09.2004
There is nothing constructive coming out of their playful thoughts. They are building components which are guiding us nowhere. /.../
Evidently needs the town of their intensions more closeness, so has it nor face nor living idea. /.../
Still this purposely not ready, passionless, purposeless performance doesn't lead us to the bigger genuineness, rather it's letting us the impression of senselessness. /.../
Musicians could create truly impressive atmosphere of emptiness and hopelessness.
Tiit Tuumalu "Postimees" / March, 2004
We have a reason to ask - why? Does this have to do with the apparent easiness of ZUGA that makes one think that this cannot be seriously considered as art? I dare say that I have been pondering myself was is it in fact the professional mirage of an independent creator or the babbling of an innocent baby. This is a fair play from the start till the end - persons on the stage are not trying to be anything more than they are. United dancers of ZUGA have always this smirk on their lips and therefore one can never know what they actually are thinking. They allow themselves to be guided by the questions of what art is and what they really want to do in front of an audience. They show offers a counter-balance to conceptual dance plah plah.
Steve Romas "The Baltic Times" / March, 2004
ZUGA dancers set out to build a city United Dancers of ZUGA will surprise audiences next, but whatever they do is always a bit mischievous, highly experimental and destined to push the limits of contemporary performance art. She characterizes "Zuga builds a city," which gets its name from an old Estonian saying about making grand plans but never carrying them out, as being nice, warm and, above all, "human." "It is slow and calm, this is the main feeling. But as in life, it's not that kind of feeling all the time," she said.
JENNIFER DUNNING, New York Times, 2003.
A member of United Dancers of Zuga, an Estonian modern-dance collective, Mr. Karing allowed his audience to wait with the dancer, retreating at times into private worlds in ''Open,'' a solo set to music by Veljo Tormis and J. G. Braun and performed with affecting subtlety by Annika Uprus. Part of the great pleasure of ''Walking Home Solo,'' set to music by Dicte Westergaard Madsen, Frans Bak and Liina Vahtrik, was the way the three dancers played off one another with an alert, easy-going complicity.
Mr. Karing also has a gift for work that seems to unfold in real time. The trio was as enjoyably rambling and hilarious as everyday life can be. But beneath its sly verbal musings and antic events, which also involved balloons, lay a telling and poignant consideration of individual and collective identity and the telltale ways each is formed. The three authoritative, immensely engaging performers were Mr. Karing, Tiina Molder and Kaja Kann.