We never belong to ourselves. From birth we are involved in relationships in which we can act or be observers. Sometimes we are obsessed with a thought or an idea. It blinds us so that the rest of the world disappears. Like Chekhov’s play "Three Sisters" we are obsessed with just one thing. But time passes and the most desired does not come our way. What comes after obsession? Maybe it’s just an obsession with something else?
Post Engagement stands out among the previous productions of the choreographer. It is not easy to recognize the author of the Maple Garden, Les Noces, Wings at Tea, who always had room for hope and enlightenment, in this stern and hopeless piece about the eternal incompatibility of the male and female beginnings.
The set design and costumes are demonstratively functional. A simple wall with empty frames is immersed almost in the darkness. The costumes are deliberately baggy. The choreographer is unexpectedly indifferent to the beauty of the stage scenery. Several men and women move on stage in a peasant-like manner, almost awkwardly. The differences of the individuals are reduced to zero. By pairing, dancers repeat a certain set of common movements, which rotates them in an infinite life circle: from first meeting to separation. In this cycle, there are no moments of enlightenment, no explosions of despair. Only Hervé Legrand music can afford it. The dancers are allowed only a feeling of loneliness, measured by a familiar hand. The balloons hidden under the dresses of women and symbolizing pregnancy, pop up with a terrible crackle, leaving no room for any illusions. No one can compare to Baganova in the art of bringing an idea to stage so clearly and skillfully. Having come back, she remains the leader of not only Ekaterinburg’s Provincial Dances Theatre, but also of the genre of contemporary dance in Russia.
Post Engagement is "the European" production, though the choreographer’s style is easily recognized. It is impeccable in the quality of dance, it has no national features. It is absolutely international both in the plot and in the form. This can be attributed to its commission by a European festival. The new production is perhaps the most categorical of Baganova’s statements. There is no room left for the irony and humor. This work is set in the Rembrandt-like colors. The characters dance in twilight. The rare rays of light spot the dark figures on stage who are in fact the characters with no personality. They are just men and women in general. The first are wearing dresses of green taffeta of all shades: from emerald to dark, bottle green color. The latter wear huge, roughly glued beards, reminding of the biblical prophets. The women in elegant shoes with high hairstyles reign on stage while men are creeping at their feet.