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 was pertinently filmed in the middle of the huge, brick-built nave of the Reformist Church in Moabit. Andrés’s idea of questioning social norms through the embodiment of unconventional vocal techniques is highly appealing, however, the show ends too quickly to allow it to fully unfold.

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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 culture and through conscious clashes.  

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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 than to be just as active as the members of the collective. Each solo requires us to rearrange our stools, in order to reset, reposition and reorganise the conditions for action. It seems we are all performers in this haphazard reshuffling of focus.

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