Overview of Texts

Repetitions and Their Happy Delays

Hermann Heisig’s “happy sisyphos” is a playful examination of the ancient Sisyphean myth for a young audience in which the seeming pointlessness of repetition collectively dissolves into thin air.

Atunwa

In “Re:INCARNATION”, The QDance Company from Lagos, Nigeria, celebrated their German premiere on 14 May at Potsdamer Tanztage 2022 with a joy so infectious that the audience couldn’t help but giggle, applaud, and, when the dancers returned for an encore, answer their call, “Oggy, oggy, oggy?” with “Oi, oi, oi!”. It was as if the Hans Otto […]

How Much Does an Answer Weigh?

“ROOOM #2” is the second of a four-part series conceived by Mirjam Sögner and could be visited 7 May 2022 at Heizhaus, Uferstudios Berlin. Created by Sögner in collaboration with Fernando Belfiore, “ROOOM #2” was a performance without performers in which, for me, meditations on the weight of experience floated to the surface.

Coming Full Circle

In “M.O.S.T”, an acronym for “My Ongoing Silent Transcendence”, which ran from the 15 to 30 April 2022 at the Pfefferberg Theater Berlin, dance company Chaim Gebber-Open Scene plots a timeline of events that chart, in the company’s own words, “universal and personal transformations.” As the choreography suggests, such transformations are not always linear, but […]

Moving Communication

At the Sophiensæle, Saša Asentić, together with Diana Anselmo, Scarlet Yu, and Alexandre Achour, render the score from Le sacre du printemps in the language of movement while simultaneously criticizing the ableist and classist structures that persist in societies.

You are conducted to this pressure

TANZPLATTFORM 2022 >>> In “Overtongue”, Michelle Moura carries her audience off into the polymorphic world of ventriloquism and dissociates the perceptions of sounds and physicality. The performances from 23 to 27 April at the Sophiensæle will take place as a follow-up to Tanztage Berlin 2022.

High Space, Low Space

“We Are Going to Mars: A Choreographic Concert” by Company Christoph Winkler, playing from 7 to 10 April 2022 at Sophiensæle, is a kaleidoscope of music, movement, and image that locates the final frontier within its audience as well as beyond the reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Scrolling unto Freedom

Team Volume & guests present a re-mix of dreams about freedom and love in “Degrees of Freedom”, which premiered at DOCK 11 from 7 to 10 April 2022.

Performing Decolonisation Is One Thing, Decolonisation Another

In an interview with Jana Lüthje, curator of the participatory dance project Moving the Forum at the Humboldt Forum, the question of if, and how, the institution was implementing change proved inevitable and, ultimately, inconclusive. The third of its four chapters called “Inhabiting” ran from 14 Feb to 26 March 2022, with the final chapter, […]

What a Table’s Dreams Are Made of

TANZPLATTFORM 2022 >>> In “Telling Stories – a version for three” by Fabrice Mazliah / Work of Act, playing 17 – 19 March at Radialsystem, as part of Tanzplattform 2022, three dancers play with invisible objects that their imaginations, joined with those of the audience, make real.

Ecstasy in Pose

TANZPLATTFORM 2022 >>> Choy Ka Fai entangles ballroom and Shamanism, bodies and technology in “Yishun is Burning“ (HAU2, 16./17. March 2022). This text was written as part of a two-day tanzschreiber writing workshop during Tanzplattform 2022 and under the direction of Mareike Theile, Johanna Withelm, and Alex Hennig. Inspired by a passion for writing and […]

Sit-Stay. Re-envisioned.

TANZPLATTFORM 2022 >>> At Radialsystem, Antje Pfundtner in Gesellschaft performed the solo “Sitzen ist eine gute Idee (“Sitting is a good idea”) on 16 and 17 March. These two texts were written as part of a two-day tanzschreiber writing workshop during Tanzplattform 2022 and under the direction of Mareike Theile, Johanna Withelm, and Alex Hennig. Inspired by a […]

Herd Behaviour

TANZPLATTFORM 2022 >>> “PACK” by Miller / de’Nobili, presented as part of Tanzplattform on 19 March 2022 at HAU2, showcases the virtuosity of its performers, and plays with group dynamics on multiple levels.

Cutting it up on the dance floor

TANZPLATTFORM 2022 >>> Having premiered in 2020, “Flush” by Sheena McGrandles was shown as part of Tanzplattform 2022 on 16 and 17 March, and takes video-editing techniques as an inspiration. Movement and speech become material to be cut up, folded, manipulated and stitched back together, to form an absurdist patchwork.    

Battle of the Superhero(in)es

TANZPLATTFORM 2022 >>> In “SHE LEGEND”, Carolin Jüngst and Lisa Rykena appropriate the archetypical narrative of the masculine superhero cosmos and reinterpret it from a queer-feminist perspective. The restaging of the 2019 premiere performance takes place on 16, 17, and 18 March as part of Tanzplattform (Dance Platform) 2022 at HAU3.

Towards a Broader Openness

TANZPLATTFORM 2022 >>> Moritz Ostruschnajak’s “TANZANWEISUNGEN (It won’t be like this forever)” was the opening performance of Tanzplattform Deutschland 2022, hosted in Berlin for the first time since its launch 28 years ago. The Deutsches Theater served as the venue for this occasion, showing the work on 16 and 17 March 2022.

tanzschreiber articles about Tanzplattform Deutschland 2022 in Berlin

All reviews can be read here >>> From 16 to 20 March, the Tanzplattform Deutschland 2022 in Berlin, hosted by HAU Hebbel am Ufer, brings together 13 current and remarkable positions of dance and choreographic creation. Authors and guest authors from the Tanzbuero Berlin’s online review portal tanzschreiber are reviewing the 13 pieces selected for […]

There Is No Return After War

They say there should be five acts to any tragedy: 1) Exposition, 2) Rising Action, 3) The Climax, 4) Falling Action, and 5) Resolution. But then, this in no Ibsen or Shakespeare. This is Sasha Waltz & Guests, and this is a symphony of four movements. Which is to say, there is no resolution to […]

I Can’t Hear You, But I’m Listening

Would I write one of my ­_____ for the premiere of “Talk To Me”, I was asked? It seems to be the perfect form for a review on a piece that opens-up the question of ­_____________ and ___ __ _____________. Choreographed by Vanessa Huber in cooperation with tanzApartment cie., the dance ran from 10 to […]

Black Burdens and Black Crowns

“blackmilk:trompoppies” by tiran and “JEZEBEL” by Cherish Menzo, both part of Queer Darlings 3 at Sophiensæle (1 to 13 March 2022), seize archetypal figures and modern icons to unpack their origins, reorder the narrative on gender, sexuality and race.

Dance Partners and Thought Partners

Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop’s “LOVE:15”, playing 4-6 March 2022 at radialsystem, was all about how a pair-ship creates a new, unique, and never-finished world. Audience pairs can participate in this creative act, too.

Dream With Me

TANZPLATTFORM 2022 >>> In “CASCADE” by Meg Stuart / Damaged Goods, running 24-26 February at HAU Hebbel am Ufer, a collective dream of time becomes reality — or was real all along? The show is one of the selected performances of Tanzplattform Deutschland 2022 and will appear again 19 & 20 March at the Volksbühne.

From Meteors to Mycelia

Sergiu Matis’s “DRANG”, which premiered at radialsystem on 17 February 2022 as one of the featured performances of Tanzfabrik’s Open Spaces festival, keeps its emotional distance while still offering to suck audiences into its world by playing with size and scale.

Stop Following Me! I Need You

In “clair obscur”, a piece in the repertoire of cie. toula limnaios since Spring 2021 and performed at HALLE Tanzbühne Berlin, choreographer Toula Limnaios dreams up a disquieting and deftly executed dance of Doppelgängers.

ELEGY TO A HEAP OF CLOTHES HE WAS

As well as being a physical exploration and an excavation of the self, “Euphoria” presents Hoyoung Im’s sharp work as a video artist and embodied composer of sound. The performance premiered at DOCK 11 from 17 to 20 February, 2022.

An Interplay Between Dance and Music

The performance series NAH DRAN (CLOSE TO), which began in 2007, has once again presented three new pieces by young Berlin choreographers. They were performed live on 22 & 23 January 2022 at ada Studio and were subsequently available as a video stream for four days. Wholly different in image and sentiment, all pieces were characterized by a sphere of sound, which […]

What Feels Like Our Last Breath

In “erSCHÖPFUNG”, which premiered at Theaterdiscounter TD Berlin 27-30 January 2022, Janne Gregor asked a host of professionals—from a boxer and beatboxer to a Krump artist and contemporary dancer—to push themselves to and, ultimately, beyond the limits of exhaustion, only to find…that they just kept on going. 

Dancing to Someone Else’s Beat

She She Pop’s “Dance Me!”, which premiered at Hebbel am Ufer 18-24 January 2022, stages the gap between two generations as a showdown — a dance-off between Team Young and Team Old. How important is it to consider who issued the challenge and to understand its terms?

Walling the Desert

In “Death Valley Junction”, playing 21 and 22 January as part of Tanztage Berlin 2022 at the Sophiensæle, Lulu Obermayer staged a ‘solo duet’ with one of her artistic foremothers that got me wondering where — in this love song to a performer and to performance — the audience fits in.

Escaping the Flames

In heteronormative families, domestic violence structures are often reproduced across generations until there is a successful breakout. Rachael Mauney and Telmo Branco chronicle such an escape in the premiere of “Matrilineal” on 21 January 2022 at AckerStadtPalast.

Reveries at the Cusp

Showing as part of the online programme of Tanztage Berlin 2022, Layton Lachman and Samuel Hertz’s sonically-charged “DOOM (The Movie)” creates a world of catastrophe and creation. Parvathi Ramanathan steps into this world in a daze of delirious illness and imagination.

I Thought I Could Find The Words

The text that follows is not a review in the traditional sense, but rather what I would call a ‘concrete response’ to Ana Lessing Menjibar’s “Perpetual Archive”, which she performed at the Sophiensæle, 13 & 14 January, as part of the Tanztage Berlin 2022 festival.

Unruly Love

LAS (Light Art Space) is presenting This is Not a Love Show, a series of dance performances at Kraftwerk Berlin by choreographers Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar. The six performances run between December 2021 and January 2022 and include the Berlin-premiere of “Soul Chain” and “Promise” performed by tanzmainz, “Half Life” performed by the Staatsballet Berlin (2018), and L-E-V […]

Ode to the Structure

After a digital premiere in March 2021 and a series of live performances with pre-recorded music 24-26 September, Sasha Waltz & Guests’ new work “In C” finally premiered to a live audience with live music performed by New York based ensemble “Bang on a Can All-Stars” at radialsystem from 10 to 12 December. “In C” is set to an eponymous […]

Weaving Wonder

In the performance “Silkworms” (Radialsystem, seen on 3 December 2021) choreographers and dancers Renae Shadler and Mirjam Sögner interweave choreography with poignant visuals in order to highlight the skin as a sensual vessel. Through persistent attention to tactile feedback, they generate a choreographic structure that is able to channel the creation and dismantling of imaginative landscapes and […]

We Carry Worlds Inside Us

“BETWEEN” is a spellbinding virtual trip across space, multiple universes, and the indefatigable imagination of Berlin-based choreographer Howool Baek, in cooperation with sound designer Matthias Erian and media artist Jin Lee. Loosely based on Baek’s eponymous live performance that premiered in October 2019, this interactive web experience (running until 5 December 2021) is by turns […]

Digitizing the Fleetingness of the Moment

On 26 November 2021, Irina Demina streamed her performance “Perpetual Myth” from the basement of DOCK 11 as a real-time event in digital space during which she nimble-footedly took us into the complex and fascinating world of motion capture.

To the Rhythm of Eternal Return

The “Living Room” project by Public in Private/Clémentine M. Songe (aka Clément Layes) will be shown from 25 to 28 November 2021 at the Sophiensæle. The cooperation between Songe/Layes and artist Jasna L. Vinovrški, architect Morana Mažuran, light designer Ruth Waldeyer, and visual artist Jonas Maria Droste resulted in an acrobatic performance that blurs the boundaries between […]

Cosmic Solidarity and Radical Softness

T.E.N.T. – A Cosmic Drift Mega Mini Festival took place at DOCK 11 from 11 to 14 November 2021. Of the ‘four evenings of evolving stories that share space and collide on a cosmic drift’, I attended two. I was rewarded with two beautiful and dazzling shows and a performance lottery in which I won a cosy and thought-provoking nap in a lace-made tent. T.E.N.T. Festival did not send […]

Embodying Classism Through Dance, Identities, and Biography

“Working Class Dance Group” by Josephine Findeisen was created with, and performed by Agnes Bakucz Canário, Stephanie Benze, and Findeisen herself, on 13 November 2021 at Uferstudios Berlin. The piece explores the extent to which class inequality affects those who come from working class or economically disadvantaged backgrounds through an investigation within the frame of […]

“sinnestaumel”, an Expanded Dialogue Through the Echoing of the Senses

Laborgras presents “sinnestaumel” at the St. Elisabeth Church from 11 to 14 November 2021, as part of the “Early Music & Contemporary Dance” cycle, which began in 2020 within the Tetra Bach – Four Positions on Bach series initiated by Folkert Uhde Konzertdesign. “sinnestaumel” is an elegant piece that speaks to the senses through a […]

Body Undone

In “Assembly Instructions” (shown at Uferstudios 3 – 6 November 2021 within the framework of Tanzfabrik Berlin’s autumn season) Nir Vidan daringly disassembles his body into fragments, pieces, contours, and shadows. This black-and-white solo work is graphic, stark, and brilliantly paced. Thanks to his clinically precise performance and thoughtful dramaturgy, Vidan paints compelling and evocative images and avoids simplistic narratives. […]

Congregating in Sensory Landscapes

On 19 October 2021, Eszter Salamon’s new work “MONUMENT 0.9: Replay” premiered in HAU1. The nearly two-hour evening built on the 2004 group performance “Reproduction” and, under the gaze of the viewers, lays out a straightforward treatise on pleasure.

Stories of Bonds and Separations

“Forces of Nature” by Ivana Müller, shown at Uferstudios on 12 and 13 October 2021 in the frame of Tanzfabrik Berlin’s autumn season, is an hour-long exploration of the notion of interdependence and collective effort. Unlike many other works that question the concept of group dynamics, “Forces of Nature” is literal and straight forward and […]

A Suite for a Dancer and a Harpsichord

In “Elisabeth Gets Her Way” (shown on 6 and 7 October at Fabrik Potsdam within the framework of Potsdamer Tanztage 2021) Belgian dancer and choreographer Jan Martens pays a vibrant tribute to Elisabeth Chojnacka, who is widely recognised as one of the most prominent harpsichordists of the 20th century. Devised as a string of seven […]

States of Joy at ICC

As part of 10 days of exhibitions under the title The Sun Machine Is Coming Down at the International Congress Centre (ICC) curated by Berliner Festpiele, choreographer Tino Sehgal presents “This Joy”, an impressive voice-movement piece, where the lightness of the score is brilliantly executed by eight performers.

A Dance, a Prayer

“New Rear” by Mor Demer premiered on 30th September at DOCK 11 after many cancellations during 2021 due to the pandemic. Demer, an artist in residence at DOCK ART, creates a sensuous movement and aesthetic landscape that offers space to contemplate.

A Human Comedy

In “A Divine Comedy” by Florentina Holzinger, which premiered at the Ruhrtrienniale in August and which opens the Volksbühne dance season, Totentanz, orgasms, techno, an obstacle course, bodypainting, the dissection of a rat, a body set on fire, humour, a flying piano, and much more cohabit in a powerful theatrical piece.

Fall into Dance – Play, Desire, and Walking in a Circle

As part of Tanzfabrik’s four-month fall programme for 2021, “Wilson” by Sophie Guisset and “Invitation to Walk #1 – Kreisläufe” by Katja Münker offer the audience two distinct possibilities to experience movement and choreographic composition. The first sees the audience as a voyeur, and the second sees the audience as the maker of the movement path itself.

Choreographic Cosmic Axes

As part of Offensive Tanz für junges Publikum Berlin (Offensive Dance for Young Audiences Berlin) and a production of the Theater o.N., Isabelle Schad’s new dance piece “Harvest” premiered at the Tanzhalle Wiesenburg. In a fanciful mise-en-scène, the choreographer, three dancers, and a musician play with shifting landscapes, which unfurl through the interaction of sticks […]

Gosh, it feels like work!

How do you start a show? How do you end it? How do you break the fourth wall? And what does it take to be two onstage in front of the audience of many? Plenty of theatre and performance makers have reflected on these recursive questions to uneven, often hermetic, results — all bets were […]

As if Death Could Shine Like Stardust

How can death be imagined? The performance “TodAncestor — dust till down” is a solo dance performance by choreographer Yuko Kaseki and collaborators based on the combination of media, including video projections and live sound recording, with Butoh dance. Containing elements of ritual, it explores diverse aspects of death, such as fear and poetry. This live […]

Dramaturgies of Entanglement

Perth-born and Berlin-based choreographer Emily Ranford premiered her most recent work “Forcefields iii” at DOCK11, 19 to 22 August 2021. This skilfully choreographed piece concludes the “Forcefields” trilogy, that explores, as Ranford describes in her programme notes, ‘a network of interdependencies endlessly morphing and curling on itself into previously unseen shapes.’ I searched for the […]

Tanz im August 2021 Talkabout #2

For the second part of their Tanz im August talkabout, Eli Frasson and Evgeny Borisenko attended the world premiere of Thiago Granato’s “The Sound They Make When No One Listens” at the Sophiensæle on 19 August 2021. After the show they sat together in the Sophiensæle’s brick-walled courtyard to discuss a show that explores the different facets […]

Tanz im August 2021 Talkabout #1

Tanzschreiber writers Eli Frasson and Evgeny Borisenko decided to go to three Tanz im August 2021 performances together, and then to meet up after each show to talk about what they saw. In this first part of their conversation, Evgeny and Eli discuss “WEG” by Ayelen Parolin / RUDA, the show that opened the festival at HAU1 on 6 August 2021. In the […]

Who let the dogs out?

Rounding off the five-week SUBMERGE Festival 2021 at Lake Studios Berlin, Barbara Berti lets us participate in her performative work with dogs in “DOGOD. The Situation”, and we are all ears.

Symbols of Power

Flags ripple, flap, and cut the air. Shrouds wrap motionless bodies. Exotic creatures slip from mediaeval banners. Military snare drums roar. Fierce battles morph into revelry, and sports events transform into funeral processions. Ginevra Panzetti and Enrico Ticconi have always turned to historical events, art movements, and traditions for inspiration. In their new diptych, “AeReA” […]