Ballhaus Naunynstraße is one of the few (the only?) theatres in Germany that is committed to showing and supporting the perspectives of BIPOC and of those who identify as queer. It offers a strong impulse to development of postcolonial discourse and practices. Here, performance artist Nasheeka Nedsreal presents her first solo performance “New Growth”.
The Politics of Rest
Covid is stirring hard again. Due to corona precautions, the performance “Black Power Naps / Choir of the Slain (Part XX)” by artists and activists Fannie Sosa and Navild Acosta at the Sophiensæle needed to be cancelled. As an alternative, a live-stream was made available.
In “Retrospectrum – 5 solos for 5 decades”, which premiered at DOCK 11 on 15 October, choreographer Tomi Paasonen takes us on a deeply personal journey through his life, and his body of work thus far.
As a kick off to the Risk and Resilience festival, Olympia Bukkakis tells a very personal story of crisis, one in which she ties her own story as a drag performer with that of her female relatives, in “A Touch of the Other” at the Sophiensæle .
Twinkle, a Hormonal Dance
Inky Lee contemplates hormones, desire, and love in the context of attending Twinkle, a sound and movement gathering, and observing her cat’s hormonal explosion.
Between December 1989 and March 1990, the Central Round Table met in East Berlin to discuss making reforms to the GDR, and to draft a new constitution. As I enter Sophiensæle, I am informed that the year is now 2090 and those visions have been implemented. “POSTOST 2090”, by Rike Flämig, Anna Hentschel and Zwoisy Mears-Clarke, […]
My Survival Tactic: Fantasising
Inky Lee writes about her personal experience around rehearsing and performing in an unnamed work. The piece premiered in Berlin and consisted of three parts performed in three different locations.
Apes and Humans
On the opening night of the first part of Tanznacht Berlin Vertigo (9-13 September, the second part will hopefully take place in July 2021), Antonia Baehr and Latifa Laâbissi land in Studio 5 at Uferstudios where they merge with the chimpanzees Consul and Meshie.
Far, and yet so close: The Exhibit “Down to (planet) Earth” at Gropius Bau
Under the title “Down to Earth: Climate, Art, Discourse Unplugged”, this exhibit at Gropius Bau from 13 August to 13 September 2020 focuses on ecology and sustainability. It is part of the Immersion program series, which aims to experiment with new formats of looking and presenting and to dissolve the dichotomy between the viewing subject and the […]
Walking as an Act
It’s the fourth of September and five old men are playing a game of boules, while a soft sun peeks through the tall trees. I’m sitting in front of FELD Theatre for Young Audiences in Schöneberg, an area that is unfamiliar to me, and I allow myself to soak up the holiday atmosphere in anticipation of the premiere of Jo […]
This year, in lieu of its scheduled stage program, Tanz im August is offering an online selection of talks, films, and sound works, a digital conference, and two works in public spaces. Media and performance art collective LIGNA gives the participants in “Zerstreuung überall! Ein internationales Radioballett (Dissemination Everywhere! An international radio ballet)” an opportunity […]
In-Between Past and Future at Potsdamer Tanztage
The thirtieth anniversary edition of Potsdamer Tanztage was supposed to have taken place in May 2020, and has been postponed to 2021. Under the motto ‘We Need Art!’, however, a smaller corona-proof festival was created between the 5 and the 16 August. I visited three performances — from Jonathan Burrows, Matteo Fargion, and Michiel Vandevelde — in […]
Everyone drops, but no one falls.
As a finale to her four-day workshop, “Practicing Empathy”, Yasmeen Godder is showing her eponymous piece – a group ritual, which shows us that we must now urgently consider what empathy might mean – during the SUBMERGE Festival at Lake Studios Berlin.
An Oscillator Exchange
Performer, photographer, model, author and speaker Roland Walter was born with a lack of oxygen, causing spastic paralysis. In 2018 he proposed to choreographer Renae Shadler to develop a work together, which led to a research on the creation of a shared movement language. The duet “SKIN” premiered last Saturday 1 August 2020 at Uferstudios.
Minimal Movements: Isabelle Schad’s “FUR”
Sometimes you come across pieces that simply leave you speechless. Not because they passed us by and failed to move us. But because they touched us deeply. Regardless, I want to attempt to give an account of Isabelle Schad’s “FUR”. The showings with Aya Toraiwa were on 31 July and 1 August 2020 at the […]
The Human in Trans-Humanity
The first post-lockdown indoor performance at Uferstudios was the premiere of “Transhuman Hai” by Porson’s Khashoggi, 24 July 2020. This performance on the possibilities of artificial humanity fit well into Studio 1, which resembles an indoor swimming pool with the audience seated looking into the deep-end. These days, trans-humanity isn’t solely restricted to the realm […]
A PROPOSAL FOR CHANGE
Tanzfabrik’s Time to Meet: Down to Earth — a festival as an experiment — was curated by Juan Gabriel Harcha, Elisabeth Leopold, and Felicitas Zeeden and offered a playground for artists to unlock our imaginations in the courtyard of Uferstudios.
A Utopia Beyond the Norm and Anti-Norm
In a garish tutti frutti aesthetic, Angela Alves’ “NO LIMIT” (Zoom premiere 16 June 2020 at Sophiensæle) stages a distorted world in which the handicapped make up the normative majority and the unhandicapped suffer from syndromes like CCD (Can’t Calm Down) and KNL (Knows No Limits). The game show provides us with a lesson in […]
Back to the Classics
Event cancellations due to Covid-19 measures didn’t just affect the dance scene. How did major theaters respond during the pandemic? A brief glimpse at the Staatsballett Berlin to mark Polina Semionova’s appearance in the concert performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’ “The Carnival of the Animals” at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden.
On Bodies Communing: An Interview with Isabelle Schad
The plan was for Isabelle Schad’s trilogy “Collective Jumps“, “Pieces and Elements” and “Reflection” to be shown for the first time in one stretch at HAU Hebbel am Ufer in June. She talks with Jette Büchsenschütz about contemplation, the collective, and the power emanating from interlocking bodies – and it becomes evident how relevant her […]
Nah Dran – interconnecting the studio and the screen
NAH DRAN — ‘close by’, ‘proximate’, ‘intimate’. Attending this research series, existing through the continuous investment of ada Studio in young, Berlin-based choreographers, usually means gathering in the small studio number 7 at Uferstudios. As an audience member, you are almost close enough to touch the performers. This time, however, it’s different. There is no physical proximity, there is only […]
Berlin isn’t a German city / Berlin ist keine deutsche Stadt
No shows, no training, no touch, no perspectives: Covid-19-measures hit the dance scene heavily. Artists and institutions are longing for solidarity – beyond their own needs.
You OK, Bitch?
The Battlefield Nurse has existed for over 5,000 years. She is a hooker, healer, sister, lover, mother, and a midwife of the dying. Together with an army of other battlefield nurses, she cares critically, by addressing the structures that make us sick. In the online performance “You OK Bitch?” choreographer Jeremy Wade’s alter ego aims to unpack […]
City Expansion — (Out)Stretching the Senses to Our Urban Surroundings
After days of being homebound, practice lab EINS from Sabine Zahn’s project “Stadterweitern (City Expansion)” gave me a chance to rediscover my senses (and with them a piece of Berlin). During the first of four five-day labs to take place in different central locations in Berlin from May to November 2020, I had the opportunity […]
On the opportunities for performance art in the age of the contact ban and why the shuttering of theaters can also be seen as an opportunity. Reflections on the festival “Reclaiming the live aspect of the Performing Arts in the current times” initiated by Felix M. Ott and Diego Agulló and supported by Tanzfabrik Berlin
My Only Memory; A Choreography to Listen To
“My Only Memory”, by Juan Dominguez and performed by Joshua Rutter, premiered in 2018, and has now been transformed into an online performance for Radialsystem’s series “New Empathies”. This choreographed text is a brave attempt to create collectivity and practice empathy in times of physical distancing.
HOW ARE YOU?
“Von hier nach dort” didn’t premiere on April 23 in fabrik Potsdam as planned. When the news came in that the show was going to be cancelled, André Lewski, Lee Méir, Robert Konderosi, Lidy Mouw, and Lea Kieffer were already in the last phase of preparing this participatory project for kids on the topic of […]
Another Kind of Kinesthetic Empathy Is Transmitted on Screen
In the times of corona, when live dance events are (still) not possible, the digital format remains. You can love it or leave it, and not everything is suitable for filming. However, there are dance films, films explicitly choreographed for the camera and the screen: available for viewing until 6 May in POOL 20 – […]
The wide offer of online dance classes demonstrates how we can all stay connected to one another despite social distancing while dancing alone. On the complex interplay between closeness and distance in the time of Corona.
On Hospitality, Collaborations and Dining Culture: Questions for Sally De Kunst about the Book “This Book is Yours”
On 21 March 2020, Sally De Kunst was scheduled to present the book “This Book is Yours – Recipes for Artistic Collaboration” at the Berlin office of Vexer Publishing House with a cooking workshop. Like many things in Berlin and worldwide, this event – a collaboration with Tanzbüro Berlin – could not take place. So […]
A Different Kind of Ballet
During the rise of ballet at the beginning of the 19th century, romantic ballets were divided into two parts: a realistic one followed by a fantastic one — so Florentina Holzinger informs us during the intermezzo of the all-woman performance “TANZ” at Sophiensæle.
As part of the festival OPEN SPACES – Laughing & Loving, Karol Tymiński stages an erotic intesity zone of ecstasy with “Water Sports”. One in which the borders between organic and inorganic desire are transcended.
Entanglement, Collective Action, and Art as a Vehicle for Hope.
Peter Scherrebeck Hansen, Snorre Hansen, and Katrine Staub share an open rehearsal at the end of their month at the Lause Residency for Art and Activism.
Something Resembling Magic
“Witches” by Ursina Tossi played at Ballhaus Ost on 21 and 22 February 2020. The work sets out to interrogate the historical figure of the witch, doing so in surprising and often uncomfortable ways.
Out of the four days of the T.E.N.T. PALACE MINI-MEGA FESTIVAL (DOCK 11, 20 – 23 February, 2020) Inky Lee attends two evenings and relates on the ways T.E.N.T. ‘host dreams, desires, and basic necessities.’
Enis Turan glamorously stages his own death in “Club27”, a co-production with HAU Hebbel am Ufer.
In their latest show “Endangered Species”, performed at Sophiensæle as part of Tanztage Berlin 2020, drag house for QTBIPoC House Of Living Colors explore how not only text, but also dance can be instrumentalised as political satire.
Long Black Hair
Inky Lee embarks on a hairy journey, inspired by Areli Moran’s “La Postal de nuestra Existencia,” in which Moran becomes the goddess of ‘Hair, hair, long beautiful hair!’ “La Postal de nuestra Existencia” premiered at the Sophiensæle on 16 January 2020 within the frame of Tanztage Berlin.*
Expelling Oppression with a Loving Thrust.
“JUCK” — something between a celebratory techno-ritual, trauma release therapy, and a total exorcism of patriarchy — is more than a powerful, and finely tuned performance. The work, which featured at Tanztage Berlin 2020, is a survival strategy to ensure community and joy in the face of oppressive systems.
“Sarabande” by Sasha Amaya, and “Tricks for Gold (T4$)” by Frida Giulia Franceschini premiered at the Sophiensæle on 8 January in the frame of Tanztage Berlin 2020.
An Elegant and Generous Denial.
“Neptune”, a 45-minute solo by Lois Alexander in collaboration with Nina Kay, premiered on 8 January 2020 at Sophiensæle in the framework of Tanztage Berlin.
Four deaf performers, Steve Stymest, Jan Kress, Rita Mazza, and Athina Lange, create a musical, “Vier”, using the richness and diversity of German Sign Language and Visual Vernacular to access music from a different angle. “Vier – A Visual Musical in Sign Language” premiered 17 December 2019 at Sophiensæle.
High on Entertainment, Low on Criticality.
“Hillbrowfication”, by DorkyPark’s Constanza Macras and performed at the Maxim Gorki Theater, is a colourful of explosion of choral beauty that leaves the audience uplifted by optimistic energy, yet leaves behind unanswered questions, and, at least for myself, an array of mixed emotions.
Sustenance, Resistance, Self-Reclamation
Upstairs in the gallery of Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Colombian performer and choreographer, Jao Moon, manages to permeate through identities, boundaries, memories and aesthetics in his solo “Memory of Dislocation – Exactly the Same in the Opposite Direction”, showing from 7 – 10 December.
In the month of November 2019, Lake Studios Berlin offered “Double Bill Residency” to support the creation and the presentation of works by Grace Euna Kim – “Dance Party (the apocalypse is disappointing)” – and Agnė Auželytė & Stephen Doyle – “Undone (a breath score)”. The works premiered on the 6th December at Lake Studios Berlin.
With “Dance workshop Afrotrap” and the performance “Un truc d’ouf” hosted at Ballhaus Ost, performance collective La Fleur asks questions about the mixed identities of Europeans of African descent.
Ashes to Ashes
As a part of the NO LIMITS Disability & Performing Arts Festival, “Ashed”, performed by Unmute Dance Company at HAU2, takes its inspiration from the petrified figures discovered in the volcanic ash of Pompeii.
What the Body Remembers
In “Fan de Ellas”, premiering at Sophiensæle, Catalina Fernández, Juliana Piquero, and Alex Viteri dialogue with ‘three Latin American heroines’ through movement, soundscape, and objects.
Voices in the Dark
“Blind Date”, premiere Friday 1 November in the framework of OPEN SPACES at Tanzfabrik, is collectively authored and performed by Ayşe Orhon, Christina Ciupke, Clément Layes, Igor Dobriči, Jasna L. Vinovrški, and Litó Walkey.
Unfinished, Together – An Evening at Lake Studios
Once a month, the dance research and residence centre Lake Studios hosts “Unfinished Fridays”, an open studio providing an opportunity for residents and other invited guests to share their works-in-progress, followed by a facilitated feedback session with the audience.
The Golden Creature
In “Melancholía,” a co-production by HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Josep Caballero García / Queerpraxis create a sensual world of play where gender and ethnic identities are obscured.
Choreographic Processes, Not Products
At the close of the three-month AUSUFERN festival in Uferstudios in Wedding, the adjoining Heizhaus was inaugurated with a 25-hour performance series. It is set to become a space for process-oriented artistic encounters involving urban society.
A Complex Chorus of Voices
“STRICKEN” (“KNITTING”), 4 – 7 October at Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, by Magda Korsinsky attempts to unpack the complex relations between a black girl and her white grandmother and explores the ways in which racial and political issues manifest in the intimate relationships between family.
The Choice to Fail
As the final installment of Natal Igor Dobkin’s workshop “My worst performance ever – A Queer Performance Workshop”, part of the Hibernation Party at Raumerweiterungshalle 5 – 6 October, four participants share their works.
Graduation Shows: BA in Dance, Context and Choreography
From 21 to 28 September 2019 nine graduate students from the Dance, Context, Choreography BA programme at HZT, the Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin, are showing their graduation works. They offer a glimpse not only into their own projects, but also into this rather special programme.
A Witty Resistance to Pathologization
In her new piece “Inflammations” at the Sophiensæle, Polish choreographer Ania Nowak, who lives in Berlin, presents an absurd classification of bodily phenomena in which she relies more on the effect of the spoken word than on the body’s own experiences.
Floating in the Universe
Under the direction of Nadja Raszewski, “objects” at TanzTangente turns viewers into part of a puzzling interactive trip to spaces where natural and manmade systems clash.