Songs of Cranky Hope and Solidarity
Puddles the Pelican continues her tour and lands, silver-feathered, on top of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt for a short online concert within the framework of the conference ‘Diversity Affects | Troubling Institutions’ on 29 May 2021. This magic bird performs at dusk with her band, giving birth to an iridescent pearl to celebrate the reopening of HKW after a more-than-year-long closure due to the pandemic. She […]
Onto the Weight Bench
In “Being Pink Ain’t Easy”, Joana Tischkau gleefully stages gestures and habits of exaggerated masculinity derived from US rap. In the context of this year’s Performing Arts Festival Berlin – still available online until 3 June 2021 – Sophiensæle is showing the successful cinematic product of this previously live performance, which addresses white masculinity by citing Black […]
Perpetual Motion Machine
Jasmin İhraç’s most recent show “liú” premiered on 15 March 2021 and was shown on HAU4 digital platform from 26 to 29 May during the Performing Arts Festival Berlin 2021. In her delicate exploration of the cycles and rhythms of nature and human life, İhraç avoids far-fetched claims and declarations and leaves the audience face to face with the miracle of the infinite […]
To All Tomorrow’s (Open Air) Parties
“The Dying Swans Project”, conceptualised by Eric Gauthier and produced by Gauthier Dance / Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart, is a screendance project involving international choreographers made during the second pandemic winter. In her video “all tomorrow’s parties”, Berlin-based choreographer Constanza Macras provides a fascinating perspective on a post-party mood as an awakening from the post-Covid-19 […]
Set Me Free on the Hardcore Internet
“Hardcore Internet” documents the four-week research process by dance artist Julia Plawgo at ada Studio. Filmed and directed by Plawgo herself in the form of an open rehearsal, it was streamed online from 30 April till 2 May on ada Studio website. Dealing with themes such as digital space, video games, offline and online life, […]
Back to the Forming Futures. A Report from Lake Studios: Conversations Through Dance and Ecology
During the first weekend of May, Lake Studios Berlin hosted the first volume of ABOUT DANCE. Entitled forming futures, this forum for dance professionals was proposed by Mårten Spångberg and Alex Viteri Arturo, with online contributions by André Lepecki, Jota Mombaça, Nina Power, Filipa Ramos, Julian Reid, Jana Unmüßig, and Miriam Jacob.
Filming Utopian Body
“Vogel | 4 Solos” is a sequence of four solos, directed and choreographed by Christine Bonansea, and filmed at DOCK 11. Led by a powerful blend of stark lighting design and raucous soundscapes, this work aims to embody Michel Foucault’s notion of the utopian body — a daunting task for a string of four separate […]
The Dance Afterlife
On 23 April, the exhibit “The Absolute Dance. Female Dancers in the Weimar Republic” (April to August 2021) opened at the Georg Kolbe Museum in Berlin Westend with a preview for experts and journalists. Curated by Dr. Julia Wallner and Brygida Ochaim, the exhibit corresponds with the scenographic design and the work “Blaue und Gelbe […]
Monologue to Dance
Inky Lee creates an immersive sound monologue that addresses dance.
Collage of Loneness
The Corona pandemic provided some people more time to be alone. Sometimes, this may mean sitting with oneself without external distractions. Inky Lee, who lives alone, is one of these people. One night, she quietly sits in this state and observes the movements of her insides.
When the possibility of meeting and touching people has been restricted due to the Corona pandemic, Inky Lee reflects on physical intimacy.
When movement has been restricted due to the Corona pandemic, Inky Lee travels in her room.
The Expansion of Joy — An Interview with Anna Nowicka
‘Dear Anna, I hope you are well! […] Due to this second lockdown, we cannot review any performances in the theatres anymore. As an alternative, I would like to interview you on the topic of ‘bodily joy’. It comes from my realisation that, due to the distance, the lack of spontaneity, and the absence of live […]
What about a Time Warp Dance?
Here we are sitting in the mid of the second wave, and with the year and my contribution as a tanzschreiber drawing to a close, I would like to make a few reflections on dance/performing arts in this forced digitalization time. The longer we are sitting at home in some degree of lock-down, the deeper the […]
“Why criticism?” – a digital debate in three episodes
During the pandemic period, the reviews in daily newspapers and radio broadcasts continued to decline. In any case, art criticism, as a vain genre, is itself repeatedly subject to criticism. Does the current situation mean the swan song to it? Time at least for an inventory.
The Parallel World in Me …
Written by Akiles.* Finding your space in Berlin is not a simple task. However, with the support of the relevant institutions, many obstacles disappear. It was the same for me, only I had other hurdles to overcome first: political issues, bureaucracy, and a disease.
Be More Chinese
Inky Lee writes about “Exotic Animal”, a performance created and performed by Ming Poon, and co-produced by English Theatre Berlin. The performance took place online, via Zoom, on 3 – 5 December 2020.
Life sentences: on reviewing and renewing
As a keynote text for the “Why criticism?” debates to be presented by tanzschreiber and streamed online by Radialsystem in Berlin, Sanjoy Roy recounts how the current pandemic has led him to reflect on reviewing, to find renewed value in (a)live performance – and to search for the life within writing
Reading Tracks – An Interview with Peter Pleyer
Peter Pleyer has been an observant participant of the Berlin dance scene for 20 years, not only as a dancer and choreographer, but also as a dramaturg, lecturer, and Director of Tanztage at the Sophiensæle (2007-2014). He talks about his own past, the present with COVID-19, and the near future of more sensible and effective networking within […]
Commanding the Relentless Gaze
Goitseone Montsho* reckons with, and contemplates how, Black femmes use fashion to return, pacify, and engage the white, male, and cis gaze in Berlin’s performance scene.
Thoughts on Lockdown No. 2
Gob Squad first presented their 12 hour livestream performance “Show Me A Good Time” during the lockdown in June. For the second lockdown, they remade the piece into three parts, and HAU broadcast the first episode on 26 November 2020. I decided to use it as an opportunity to reflect on this latest closure of […]
“isson – a solo for two men” by cie. toula limnaios has a transformative history. Already in 2003, the performance, then called “isson – a solo for two women”, had its premiere. For its 20th anniversary in 2016, it was restaged with two men, and then remained in the repertoire. Leonardo d’Aquino and Alessio Scandale were supposed to dance it live again […]
Something Remains Astir in the Silence: On the Importance of Dance Residency Programs
Whether we anticipated it or not, whether we processed the events and emotions of the first wave or not, the second (partial) lockdown has returned us to a similar situation as in March, as we – Annette, Jette, and I – had just begun reporting on Berlin dance events for the tanzschreiber portal. It’s been a few […]
Rhea Ramjohn* reflects on the metaphorical and physical masks that shape our day-to-day movements and interactions. The “performance” of creating space for one another during the Covid-19 pandemic has brought physical distancing to the forefront, and has exposed what many marginalised people have long-known as the pandemic of being othered.
On 14/15 November 2020, Josefine Mühle is showing a video work on the ada Studio website as a teaser to the performance “LOTUS. the child was stung”, which has been postponed until next year. In this video work, she weaves aspects of prenatal psychology with our own fantasies into a lush dream landscape.
Squirming Like Disco Stars
Inky and Imari imagine themselves as worms, and plot their way to continue squirming in creative arcs after being stepped on.
You Are Not Invited
Berlinklusion’s Kate Brehme* reflects on “You Are Not Invited”, a protest action created by the organisation in 2019 at the Haus der Statistik. This ‘un-exhibition’ — an exhibition that no-one was invited to, was Berlinklusion’s exploration of the relationship between gentrification, the temporary use of non-arts spaces for cultural purposes, and the neo-liberal structures that […]
Sajan Mani – Tyger von otherspur
Review written by Nine Yamamoto-Masson.* This performance was part of the festival Radical Mutation: On the Ruins of Rising Suns, curated by Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Saskia Köbschall, Tmnit Zere, in collaboration with Wearebornfree! Empowerment Radio, 23.9.–4.10.2020, HAU1+2+4.
Forming Bodies / Embodying Forms
Julian Weber’s “Allongé”, which premiered on October 31st, 2020 as part of Tanzfabrik’s OPEN SPACES festival, takes the sculptural work of Constantin Brâncuși as a jumping off point, and the movement vocabularies of pole dancing and ballet as its material.
Do Not Write
Inky Lee thinks about her personal relationship to dance and writing after attending an event in Berlin about dance and writing. After ardent attempts, she fails to articulate.
At first glance, Emmilou Rößling’s “The Fraternity”, performed during OPEN SPACES – How to get in Touch with… from 22 to 24 October 2020 at Tanzfabrik Berlin, seems like research on the topic of female togetherness. Beyond that, there is an emphasis on something more subtle, something which merges that which is felt with felt cloth.
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”.
We Have to Learn to Repair the Denial: Inverted Landscapes, Action in the Streets and Stolen Lives.
On September 11, 2020, Pêdra Costa* went to see “Inverted Landscapes”, a performance directed by André e. Teodósio (Teatro Praga) from Lisbon, which began inside with an exhibition by Teodósio and Bruno Bogarim, and was then taken out onto the streets. It was presented at the gallery Kunstraum Botschaft – Camões Berlim, by the performers […]
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.
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