Four stars, Anne Liisberg
Kirk and Knudsen manage to create an ambiguous and profound understanding of the fascinating renaissance man through their aesthetic exploration. A man who was both..and. Not only art, not only science, but 'both, and' in unison.
'Leonardo' combines installation and dance. We pass through gauzy curtains across the stage in and out between odd furniture with projectors and painting equipment, a white-painted Knudsen, who scribbles on one of the round platforms, past a puzzling Kirk wrapped up in a female recitation af Leonardo quotes before we a benched peepshow style. The tour across the stage is enlightening and rousing at the same time. Everything is fragmented pieces of Leonardo's universe that simultaneously triggers our imagination. Hereafter the show continues in a nice mix, where Leonardo's artwork and words are tied up against the dancing body and an everchanging scenography. The figure Leonardo is psplit between Kirk, who is constantly moving between the instruments and remedies and Knudsen, who with her dancing movements acts as his brush, his thoughts and his dreams.
Firstly we are introduced to the ideological position: everything comes from everything and become everything; everything is connected. This statement is backed up by intense mirror studies, dancing in flashes of light and hidden water writing. In order to understand the interconnectedness of everything you have to see everything from 3 different perspectives. Then the famous drawing Homo Vitruvianus by Leonardo is introduced. The drawing illustrates the proportions of the human body and their mutual connectedness, which further along in the performance is illustrated simple and humorous by Knudsen's staccato measuring of her own body.
Leonardo's curiosity is portrayed in the various activities and is also embedded in the choreography, as Knudsens incredibly precise moves are cut off just before they were to be full-filled. Moving on, away, further, around and then back again. The ability to link science and art is nice and figuratively redeemed in the three-double projection of a bowl, where Knudsen mixes colours, stones and papir and lets fire and then water change the texture and expression of the mixture, while odd scents expand our sensuous experience.
We are taken further through Leonardo's studies of anatomy, birds and flying. His paintings, his thoughts on colours. And the combination anatomy painting is poetically embodied by Knudsens painting her own face, that later expands into a joint painting with the audience on her body.
Leonardo then uses his own words (the female voice-over), Knudsens expressive and part abstract, part characterising dance and especially the impression-image storm in the scenography used to mediate a fertile and inquiring perspective of a man, we all know the name of, men consists of infinite facets, we might not know as well as we think. The performance leaves you a lot wiser and more curious to know da Vinci with this clear and yet wild performance. It is excellent mediation of a highly aesthetic quality.