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