Overview of Texts

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 […]

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” […]

Performing Memory

How can an archive be performed? How can a research process be shown on stage without the result being dull and didactic? How can a dance be devised about a show that premiered more than 40 years ago? In “Try Leather”, Britta Wirthmüller, William Locke Wheeler, and Justine A. Chambers explore the political and performative […]

Hearing Your Skin: soundance festival is Back in Town!

From 11 to 27 June soundance festival Berlin is submerging our senses with an interlacing of digitally presented dance and music works, physically experienced video installations, fully breathed open air performances, as well as a programme of talks and lectures. Led by artistic director Jenny Haack at DOCK 11, the Zionskirche Church, and the garden of EDEN […]

Bodies that have fallen out of history

The dance piece “Still Not Still” by Ligia Lewis, which was planned for April 2021 in HAU1, was presented for the time being in film format (in collaboration with film director Moritz Freudenberg) on 11 June and released on Vimeo. The work’s focus is an emotional corporeal mise-en-scène, which relies heavily on humor to express […]

How to Bee a Dance: On Love and Waggling

“Bee Dances” by Indonesian choreographer ninus and Berlin-based choreographer Kareth Schaffer, online from 10 to 23 June 2021 for Open Spaces – Making It Happen #2 by Tanzfabrik, offers choreographic thoughts on what it means to create a dance piece together from within a cross-cultural perspective. An ensemble of six international dancers (including both choreographers) performs an […]

Uncanny Birds

Danilo Andrés’s most recent piece ‘Schräger Vögel: A Queer Choral’ was choreographed and rehearsed in the darkness of Berlin’s pandemic winter. A filmed version premiered 29 May 2021 during the Performing Arts Festival Berlin. Devised for a group of non-binary and queer performers, this short and intense study into the physicality of guttural singing and yelling […]

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.

Crumb Drawers

When the possibility of meeting and touching people has been restricted due to the Corona pandemic, Inky Lee reflects on physical intimacy. 

Kris Pourzal in Costume ©Inky Lee

Moving Puzzle

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 […]

Together Together

“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 […]

Veiled Motions

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.

Oceanic Rushing

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.

Wiggle Worm Photo by Clipart Library

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.

Emotional Participation

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. 

New Growth

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”.