After the first round of performances, here is a short overview of what the newspapers write about THE LEGEND OF SYD O’NOO.
Boris Gruhl of Leipzigs main daily newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung likes what he saw:
Tap dance? Oh yes, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rodgers, Sammy Davis Jr. (…) You may as well forget about all of that, when Sebastian Weber reveals facets of this half-forgotten art form that probably only a few specialists might be aware of. in the latest production at the LOFFT theater.
In „The Legend of Syd O’Noo“, one can experience equally strong and deeply touching dance scenes. (…) Webers dance and Christls sounds are highlights of this original production, to which director, filmmaker and actor Stéphane Bittoun created a textbook with Weber. (…) All of this in a mix of facts and fiction, dance and ballyhoo, acted scenes, that now and again blend with the atmospheric film documents.
(…) „There comes a time“, says one of the affectionately filmed tap legends, „when you have to carry your darlings to their graves.“ Great closing words (…)
Sound and movement correspond like they rarely do in dance theater — just one reason, why „The Legend of Syd O’Noo is long, but magnificent.
Maeshelle West-Davis shows enthusiasm in her english Leipzig Glocal Arts & Culture Blog:
The piece is part theatre and part dance. It is a fine balance of video, text and music. With great respect and reverence for its heritage, The Legend of Syd O’Noo brings tap dance into today by creating a dialog between the percussive nature of Sebastian’s footwork and the experimental jazz of Tobias Christl while using interactive video.
The piece addresses relevance on every scale and exposes the sacrifice artists make for their work, from the pursuits of funding a documentary to learning to ignore the racism facing African Americans in the 40s.
Excellent performances all around.
Leipzigs monthly magazine „Der Kreuzer“ gives a special recommendation to the „quasi-documentary worth watching“ and Tobias Prüwer writes in his review:
What’s real and what is fiction, may only be understood by the connoisseurs. Emotionally touching it is to anybody. […] Thus emerges the intense quest of an enchantingly torn artist in search of his art, in search of a depth in tap that wants to be more than entertainment.
And even the leading tanz Magazin issues a review. Steffen Georgi writes:
This play is primarily a hommage to tap dance and the artists that developed it. Not to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, who popularized it. (…)
Syd O’Noo. A magician of tap like no other. Yet, the man is nearly forgotten today. The German tap dance great Sebastian Weber and documentary film maker Stéphane Bittoun want to change that. (…) The production manages to dig into deeper layers. The trip to the United States turns into one through time and gives more and more substance and shape to that mysterious silhouette of Syd O’Noo. Film footage is cleverly weaved into dance and acting scenes that unfold a genealogy of tap. (…)
Syd O’Noo. No, he never existed – despite grants from the dance heritage funds „Tanzfonds Erbe“. The facts are fiction, the truth is made up.
In this piece, the legend becomes real, as a momentary reflection in Webers highly emotional dance.