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.Continue reading “What a Table’s Dreams Are Made of”
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 an exchange about dance and dance critique, the authors had an opportunity to challenge and expand their own writing practice. Text: Alica Minar.
“I leave the theater and realize that the colors of the city appear much more vibrant. My sensitivity is heightened. I hear the beats of Berlin’s turbulent rhythm and feel connected to a different world metropolis. I’ve been transported to Yishun, Singapore. I am proud of what the contemporary scene has to offer and how dance builds bridges, opens the doors to freedom of expression.”
Choy Ka Fai embarked on a journey to Yishun with dancer Sun Phitthaya Phaefuang (Amazon Sun) to participate in multi-religious celebrations. They transport this experience and research for the piece in a contemporary context and interconnect movement material and transcendence with voguing, ballroom, queerness, and multi-media.
By examining the relationship between Shamanism and dance, Choy Ka Fai taps into a colorful world between here and there, between now and then. He offers us a whole series of realities. An elaborate dramaturgy, divided into smaller parts, creates a complex albeit comprehensible composition in which the various worlds may encounter each other.
The viewers can marvel at a whole range of technologies, including live-streaming and pre-recorded videos, combined with the analog dance performance by Amazon Sun and instructions by Choy Ka Fai. Technology does not play the role of fancy tool. Instead, it is a useful and indispensable cornerstone of the performance.
The stage becomes a setting when the scent of incense and the introduction of the members of the live band from Singapore reach the senses. The documentary film on the one-week Shamanism celebration ritual exudes smoke and steam from the screen into the theater.
Interviews with a Shaman and a dancer question the relationship to body, sexuality, and transcendence. Sun sees the connection between Shamanism and ballroom as a gender performance that makes surmounting the body’s own limits and attributes, and even the human condition, a possibility. We are offered the opportunity to experience the role of gods and kings and queens in Shamanism and in the ballroom, without prejudice or interpretation.
As if simultaneously both here and there, we see the main dancer, Amazon Sun, traveling back and forth between documentary film material from a past time and the analog performance of today. Imagination fully unfolds as Sun, dressed in blinking, neon, sensory jewels, engages in a playful, circular dialog with his six-armed god-like avatar on the screen. How far can our being expand? Is there even a limit on possible modulations?
A ritual electric party beat accompanied by shrill text reveals the polyphonic call of Yishun. The show reaches its final climax as three voguers enter the stage and present a ballroom event while dancing to 80s disco songs. The analogy to the film “Paris Is Burning” is now fully appreciated.
“Yishun is Burning” is an ode to the freedom of expression and a prayer for an expanded awareness of ourselves. A diverse, energetic, well cut, and nevertheless respectful journey to the celebratory rituals of our times, where tradition and hyper-reality meet.
English translation by Melissa Maldonado
Photos: “Yishun is Burning” by Choy Ka Fai © Singapore Arts Museum
Concept, Documentation and Direction: Choy Ka Fai / Dramaturgy: Tang Fu-Kuen / Spiritual Presence: Kali and Kuan Yin / Choreography and Dance Performance: Sun Phitthaya Phaefuang / Sound Design and Musical Performance: NADA (Rizman Putra & Safuan Johari) and Cheryl Ong / 3D Visual Design and Technology: Brandon Tay / Visual Artist: Sven Gareis / telematique / Light Design, Installation, Technical Direction: Ray Tseng / Technical Direction Singapore Studio: ARTFACTORY / Stage Management: Sanja Gergorić / Touring Administration: Tammo Walter / Production Manager: Mara Nedelcu / Guest Dancers: Magia Prodigy, Loki, Pavka, Jade Mugisha
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 passion for writing and an exchange about dance and dance critique, the authors had an opportunity to challenge and expand their own writing practice. Texts: Heike Brunner, Doreen Markert.Continue reading “Sit-Stay. Re-envisioned.”
Continue reading “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.
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.Continue reading “Battle of the Superhero(in)es”
Continue reading “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.
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 the Tanzplattform 2022 on tanzschreiber.de. Individual texts are written by the participants of the tanzschreiber writing workshop “Texte in Bewegung” under the direction of Mareike Theile, Johanna Withelm and Alex Hennig.Continue reading “tanzschreiber articles of the Tanzplattform Deutschland 2022 in Berlin selection”
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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?
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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 and political connotations of the act of listening. The next day, on 20 August, Eli and Evgeny went to the Lilli-Hennoch-Sportplatz to attend the world premiere of “Breathe” by Milla Koistinen, in which she interacted with two huge brightly-coloured inflatable fabrics and the audience on the football pitch. After the show Eli and Evgeny found a spot near the ruins of Anhalter Bahnhof to sit and discuss the show.
Continue reading “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 second part of their Tanz im August talkabout, they will discuss Thiago Granato’s world premiere of “The Sound They Make When No One Listens” and Milla Koistinen’s “Breathe”.
Continue reading “Bodies that have fallen out of history”
TANZPLATTFORM 2022 >>> 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 the exclusionary mechanisms of colonial and neo-liberal structures.
Continue reading “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 time-loop. This laid-back and quiet show made me want to log these images and my thoughts, minute by minute.
Continue reading “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 live performance venues.
Review written by Nine Yamamoto-Masson.*
Continue reading “Sajan Mani – Tyger von otherspur”
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.
Continue reading “Waves Swarm”
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 to practice a dispersed collective with the help of acoustic prompts, while still keeping to themselves.
Continue reading “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 pieces are today.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “Hello Death”
Enis Turan glamorously stages his own death in “Club27”, a co-production with HAU Hebbel am Ufer.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “Tanz im August Review: Happy Island”
In this review Beatrix Joyce is talking to David Pallant about the piece “Happy Island” by La Ribot.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “The Strangeness of Species”
Kat Válastur’s new work brings together sculpture, performance, and video to give perspective on our human experience.
Continue reading “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
Continue reading “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”.
Continue reading “Love as Practice”
Maija Hirvanen’s ”Art & Love”, a German premiere at HAU3 for Tanz im August, is full of challenge but even more charm.
Continue reading “The Body as a Place of Longing”
Thiago Granato presents the final piece of his trilogy “CHOREOVERSATIONS” with “Trrr” at Tanz im August. In “Trrr”, Brazilian dance choreographer Thiago Granato asserts his body as a transcendental archive repository.
Continue reading “Otherworldly Introductions: the Transformative Experience of Ola Maciejewska’s Bombyx Mori”
In the frame of Tanz im August Ola Maciejewska recreates Loïe Fuller’s form in sound, light, and sociality.