Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten – 21./22.05.2011 – S.10 – Stephan Wiegand
Within One’s Reach
Cultural meeting in the opera. Rain is the popular description of the fifth element.
It’s not obvious at the first sight how Rain influences the occidental High Culture. The Korean Star seems easygoing relaxed amused and plays with his talent. A glance beyond his facade is absolutely impossible; even in the opera, a place for high culture , the auditorium has to search vainly for seriousness. The 29 years old singer, actor and pop star with excellent love of entertainment was flirting constantly with his audience: With his numerous Asian fans, who were confident with every single line of his lyrics, and with critical visitors of the opera. Everyone who wanted to get involved with it, fell for his charm. That was also the self-feeding contrast program, a glance to Asia, a walk on a golden bridge, which the artistic director of the ‘Musikfestspiele’ (music festival) Jan Vogler intended and who enjoyed every single moment of this amusing mass migration.
Approaches like ‘Pop Meets Classic’ has been strained repeatedly in the past few years. In most cases the singer used to buy the suitable famous orchestra for this kind of variety, the musicians took over the part of the side decoration. An attraction, which is meanwhile predictable and does not surprise anymore. A symbiosis of Rain and Vogler is from its approach a completely different one. In this case a cellist discovered ‘the pop culture’ for himself and is furthermore careful enough not to leave behind any individuality.
Via video message Jan Vogler announced what the willing listener could expect in the next 90 minutes: an occidental overture, a colourful firework from the Far East, the meeting and fusion of both west and east and the following immediate parting of each other after this dialogue.
Jan Vogler accomplished with his cello an emotional entrance into an experimental evening Like the artwork of Bach, he was following along the elements fire, water, air an earth. An applicable animation was displayed on the screen in the background, which made it easier for the audience to recognise the elements. Big and small floes were moving, lights were flickering, rivers were plashing, and blossoms were swinging in the wind. The recordings in the background weren’t lavish installations, had semi-professional features, and seemed hastily composed on certain parts, however that suited the concept. Nothing had to be perfect, the elements, the audience, the artists as well as the thoughts only should be touching and complete each other. Hence the addition of an intangible fifth element to the four well-known element was very system-immanent – the spirituality. This accommodation unfolded its whole impact the moment when Rain enters the stage, within an blink of an eye one could feel the culture clash. Screaming teenies with distinct Asian roots were suddenly this near to their idol like they may have never imagined it. In Asia Jung Ji-Hoon easily fills entire stadiums and touches the dreams of girls and boys musician-wise, and suddenly this person is within one’s reach. The immensely high-pitched fan chants were mixed with electro sounds, with which Rain’s songs were designed; the opera developed into a pop-arena and in the rows there was no way back any more.
Every hip swing of the six dancers, every grasp region, every glimpse over the black sunglasses led to the limits of the tolerable. His songs ‘Rainism’ or ‘Hip Song’ are more of the western style, definitely less playful as been expected of an Asian pop song, and maybe because of that it is meeting the nerve of a new far east generation that is orientating on the western style, but is entirely individually socialized. Their parents have recognised the chances and the opportunities of it when cultures merge without neutralizing. They receive the best education the parents can afford, and they fortunately preserve their own character.
To show this was probably the biggest/greatest achievement that Jan Vogler accomplished. Curiously he was looking from the side curtain into the audience and was exceedingly joyful that his experiment was successful. The fact that he closes the circle with a dance of fire was almost a minor matter, it was more painful that the encore calls have not been heard, so the concert was ending abruptly.
Credits to “Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten”
scans by Makino @ re[mark]able
free translation by tiramixu & the remarkable team
Please take out with full credits!