Overview of Texts

say-my-name-say-my-name_Olivia Hyunsin Kim_©peter-van-heesen

No Names, Just Numbers

In “Say My Name, Say My Name”, by Olivia Hyunsin Kim / ddanddarakim and premiering at the Sophiensaele, an immersive world of futuristic designs is created through which Kim attempts to hold a mirror up to the past. 

“Retrospective”, Xavier Le Roy (2014, MoMA New York) © Matthew Septimus

How the Body Remembers – The Archive, the Canon, and Other Impossible Questions.

The event series “What the Body Remembers: Dance Heritage Today” (24th August – 21st September, 2019) hosted by the Akademie der Künste and other partners offers four weeks of performances and lectures, including an exhibition, a campus, and a publication all dedicated to the history and heritage of contemporary dance today.

"Auf meinen Schultern", Raphael Hillebrand © Zé de Paiva

Where Are You From?

In Auf meinen Schultern, premiering at Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Raphael Hillebrand shares the story of how he navigated his brutal exclusion from society through spoken word, dance, sound, and video. 

Tanz im August Review: Happy Island

In this review Beatrix Joyce is talking to David Pallant about the piece “Happy Island” by La Ribot.

"#PUNK 100% POP N!GGA", Nora Chipaumire

Tanz im August Review: #PUNK 100% POP *N!GGA

Alex Hennig inquires Beatrix Joyce about her impressions of Nora Chipaumire´s intense three-hour performance “PUNK 100% POP *N!GGA” at Sophiensæle.

Tanz im August Review: Liebestod

The tanzschreiber authors Beatrix Joyce and David Pallant analyze the emotional piece “Liebestod” by deufert&plischke in this chat review.

Tanz im August Interview Series: Claire Vivianne Sobottke

In her new solo “Velvet”, with music by Tian Rotteveel, Claire Vivianne Sobottke shape shifts from woman into animal. Immersed in a set composed of soil, plants and self-playing drums, she uncovers the primal forces of female sexuality.

Tanz im August Review: ten

In this Tanz im August Review David and Alex talk about the simplicity in the complexity in Deborah Hay’s piece “ten” at Radialsystem.

Tanz im August Review: WO CO

Alex Hennig and David Pallant talk about the unique relationship to time in Kaori Seki’s piece “WO CO” at HAU2.

Tanz im August Review: White Dog

In their newest chat review the tanzschreiber authors write about the symbolic and political aspects in “White Dog” by Latifa Laâbissi.

Tanz im August Review: Hard To Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer

In this chat review the tanzschreiber authors David and Beatrix talk about the intense performance “Hard to be Soft” by Oona Doherty.

Tanz im August Interview Series: Gunilla Heilborn

The wonderful moves the memory more than the ordinary. This sentence, originally the title of the piece “The Wonderful and the Ordinary”, moved choreographer Gunilla Heilborn to create a trilogy on the wonders, and burdens, of memory.

Tanz im August Review: Piece for Person and Ghettoblaster

In their first review the tanzschreiber authors Beatrix Joyce and Alexandra Hennig chat about Nicola Gunn´s performance. A report about humour, ducks and throwing stones.

Piece for Person and Ghettoblaster, Nicola Gunn

Tanz im August Interview Series: Nicola Gunn

A confrontation with a man cruelly throwing stones at a duck was the catalyst for Nicola Gunn’s solo work “Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster”. That encounter — and the misunderstandings inherent in it — inspired a piece in which communication, and miscommunication, take centre stage.

Portrait deufert&plischke

Tanz im August Interview Series: deufert&plischke

I meet deufert&plischke in their shared apartment. Not by chance is there a framed tarantula on the wall: Arachne, mythological figure of weaving and heroine of story-telling. In “Liebestod” love stories are woven into music and dance. 

"#PUNK 100% POP *N!GGA", Nora Chipaumire

Tanz im August Interview Series: Nora Chipaumire

Nora Chipaumire returns to Tanz im August with her latest work, “#PUNK 100% POP *N!GGA”. Provocative, joyful, and challenging, this three-part live performance album is demanding for performers and audience alike.

On the Surface of Love

The Staatsballett Berlin dances John Cranko’s “Romeo and Juliet”, a layer cake of virtuosic duos, festive dances, and group chaos.

Where can we dance?

Entering K77 Studio for the “AMALGAM SoloFest”, as part of PAF festival, is like stepping into a whirlwind. Bodies are scattered across the space, some sitting, others standing, some group together facing in the same direction, others split off independently to tend to organisational matters. With no clear stage area, the audience has no choice other […]

Distancing Acts

Radialsystem recalls Ginevra Panzetti and Enrico Ticconi’s “HARKLEKING” to Berlin as part of their series New Empathies.

The Craft of Listening

Zwoisy Mears-Clarke presents a moving and thoughtfully crafted work “Worn & Felt” at the Sophiensaele’s Hochzeitsaal.

Political Symbols, Political Signs

Choreographer Yasmeen Godder and collaborative partner Tomer Damsky return to the Potsdamer Tanztage with their work of political and sonic force, “Demonstrate Restraint”.

Interview Series: Tanzhybriden – Clément Layes

From brooms, buckets, and boxes to chairs that snap like scissors of their own accord, Clément Layes creates choreographies with everyday objects. The on-stage element of his latest research, “The Emergency Artist” (2018), is set against the backdrop of a large, wooden angle, bent at ninety degrees. Half-way through the piece, the structure is turned […]

Three Thoughts on The Triadic Ballet

“Das TriadischeBallett” is a Bauhaus classic. Oskar Schlemmer’s sculptural costumes and mechanical choreography – based on the influential school’s modernist principles of uniting colour and form – are set to a squealing, post-war composition by Hans-Joachim Hespos. The Potsdamer Tanztage celebrated one hundred years of Bauhaus with a tribute to this seminal piece, enlivened by […]

Interview Series: Tanzhybriden – Tim Etchells

Tim Etchells has ventured into almost every art form under the sun. As director of theatre collective Forced Entertainment, he has made more than 50 performance works over the past 30 years. Alongside performance, his works have included writing projects, neon sculptures, drawings, photography, video and sound works, and a novel. I was interested to […]

A Tribute to Techno

“Dad & Son #2 (Ribbon Dance)”, by Frédéric Gies is a dance for two male bodies, performed at DOCK 11 by Samuel Draper and Frédéric Gies, to techno producer Fiedel’s relentless beats.

The Escape Artists

“Tropical Escape” sees Csaba Molnár and Márcio K. Canabarro explore the politics of utopia, and the power of silliness.


Zé de Paiva’s “CYCLOPS” casts the camera as the eponymous beast, but is this one-eyed machine a monster or a god?

Berlin’s palaces and the Panama of Brandenburg

After her South-African township piece  “Chatsworth” and her choreography for Yorgos Lanthimos’ Oscar winning “The Favourite”, with “Der Palast” Constanza Macras will stage her first premiere at Volksbühne under the interim director Klaus Dörr. But her engagement with the much debated theatre started years ago… Astrid Kaminski asks the famous Berlin-based, Buenos Aires-born choreographer about […]

Interview Series: Tanzhybriden – Manon Parent

In the Berlin Freie Szene, multidisciplinary approaches are the new normal. It is not uncommon for dancers to train in-depth in more than one art form and bring their acquired skill-sets to the stage. Sometimes, the switch from one to the other discipline even happens within the same performance. Manon Parent is both dancer and […]

Body Talk?

“HYPERBODIES”, by bücking&kröger, places its focus on movement, with enigmatic results.

Meat Market

Alexandra Bachzetsis’s “Escape Act” examines the role the body plays within the artifice of modern day visual media, recreating the most toxic of late-night YouTube binges.

Let’s Make Something Queer

Sorour Darabi’s “Savušun” and Teresa Vittucci’s “Hate Me, Tender” form a double bill to open the Queer Darlings festival at Sophiensæle, delivering timely truths laced with offbeat humour.  

Shuffle, repeat, play

Sandwiched between ascending tribunes, the stage is open and white. Large, wooden slabs are lying flat on the ground like abandoned kids’ bicycles, ready to be picked up and ridden at will. One performer, female, dressed in dark, everyday clothes, flips a chair upright and takes a seat. Three other performers are scattered across the […]

No Rules

NAH DRAN, ada Studio’s long-running performance series, is a space for experimentation. The format features multiple works in progress and, in a true spirit of openness, encourages emerging artists to take the plunge and bring their ideas to the stage.

Messengers of Hope(lessness)

Watching Sergiu Matis and his dancers move is a bit like being hit by a double-decker bus – many  times, in just a matter of seconds. Bodies crash to the floor or glide through the air, expanding in full flow orpin-pointing the focus, razor-sharp, on a single finger. Each gesture is a statement and each […]

Encounters at the Intersection

Dialogues around race and racism are necessarily fraught with tensions. “Unrestricted Contact” raises many difficult questions, including: ‘How do we escape the white imagination?’ – this work from Grupo Oito and choreographer Ricardo de Paula has some suggestions. 

Big Wigs & Space Suits

Every January, the Berlin dance audience flocks to the Sophiensaele for Tanztage, the annual inauguration event. The ten-day festival, which has existed for over twenty five years now, kicks off the new dance year by focussing on emerging choreographers making work in Berlin.

Let’s Get Personal

Anjal Chande / The Soham Dance Project present “This is how I feel today”, a Bharatanatyam-rooted work charting the individual experience within its societal context.

Almost seduced by a peacock

The peacock knows how to impress. It struts along, unabashed, displaying its long, languorous feathers that sprout from its fluffy behind. Its spectators have no choice but to marvel at its divine beauty. Nature has endowed this bird with the power of seduction, strong enough to dazzle not only future mating partners but also us […]

Game Theory

Opening Tanztage Berlin 2019, Mirjam Gurtner’s “Skinned” places improvisation within a strictly delineated frame to create a contradictory, challenging work which belies any cohesive interpretation. Combining intuition and artifice, “Skinned” sets itself a difficult task, yet a generosity at its core entices us along for the journey.

Tanzschreiberinnen Review 2018

By Sasha Amaya, Alex Hennig, Christine Matschke & Johanna Withelm The tanzschreiberinnen quartet met up for a joint glimpse back. In addition to individual dance performances, they keep coming back to writing itself. What follows is the confessions, strategies, highlights, and annoyances of the four authors.  

Water finds its way!

With “Water Will (in Melody)”, Ligia Lewis presents a different kind of pre-Christmas fairytale in HAU2. Her grim, grotesque movement theater takes the audience on a ride to a dystopian future world where women reside as freaky artifacts of a bygone era. We don’t really want that.

To the Fullest

Christoph Winkler’s new artistic triptych “Boldly: The Julius Eastman Dance Project” animates the previously lost works of the striking American composer.

Three Views on Instant Composition

Three improvisations between musicians and dancers at the monthly Common Ground series provide different approaches to instant composition.

Boxed in by [Fear]

With “The Emergency Artist”, Clément Layes provides space for the openness of meaning in language and action. In times of increasing political isolation, it can be interpreted as a kind of artistic protest.

The Strangeness of Species

Kat Válastur’s new work brings together sculpture, performance, and video to give perspective on our human experience.

Heads in the Clouds

The new work “A Millimeter in Light Years” by Potsdam’s own Laura Heinecke combines big questions, fog machines, and ensemble work at fabrik Potsdam.

Defy Unrest

The “Permanente Beunruhigung (Permanent Disturbance)” Festival opens on Friday evening with “Your Devices”. With it, Ballhaus Naunynstraße celebrates 10 years of post-migration theater, aesthetics, and cultural diversity, and the courage to show perspectives beyond the mainstream discourse.

When Dreams Get Torn

With “Cassures Sublimées”, Morvarid K, Yuko Kaseki,and Sherwood Chen present a transdisciplinary hybrid of Butoh, photography,performance installation, and contemporary dance at Acker Stadt Palast.

Grey in Blue

Choreographer Milla Koistinen, lighting designer Ladislav Zajac, and composer Paul Valikoski create a subtle and powerful response to the paintings of Canadian abstractionist Agnes Martin in “On a Clear Day” at Berlin’s Uferstudios.

So So Happy. Or: Everything is a Question of Practice

In “Happyology – Tears of Joy” Dragana Bulut provides the audience with (unsolicited) training in self-optimization poses

We’re Punks and It’s All About Nothing.

Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter is something of an international superstar in the world of contemporary dance. One whose pieces have been successfully touring the world for years. He is now a guest at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele with his piece “Grand Finale”.

The Illustrated Life of Jean-Michel Basquiat

RambaZamba Theater and choreographers Sara Lu and Rubén Nsue create a colourful, trance-like picture of the painter’s life in “Heroes – Mythos Basquiat, just for one day.”

On Seeing Dance Outside the Scene

Victoria McConnell, Joshua Tennent, and Alexander Windner Lieberman take their improvising trio to Escheschloraque’s no-rules stage.

The Secret Garden of the Mind

Luxembourgish choreographer Jill Crovisier delves into the images, impulses, and connections of our imaginative mind in her work ”The Hidden Garden.”

Collective Future Perspectives?

During this year’s anniversary edition of Tanz im August there was also space for young choreographers and emerging dance talents. With “Paradise Now (1968-2018)” young Belgian choreographer Michiel Vandevelde does an exemplary job of entrenching the vision of a new, politically ambitious dancer theater for a present day young audience.

Moving Thoughts

Within the framework of Tanz im August, French choreographer Noé Soulier attempts to explore the relationship between movement and thought with “The Waves” while Spanish choreographer duo Mal Pelo creates simultaneously delicate and powerful body poetry with “The Fifth Winter”.