The piece Yebo Yes! by dancers from the company Afia is celebrating its premiere in Germany on 24 May 2024 at fabrik Potsdam during Potsdamer Tanztage. It is as moving as it is thought-provoking.

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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 Theater had been turned into a festival stage and a song and dance had been made about the Yorùbá belief system in the cycles of life — of birth, life, death, and rebirth — both literally and figuratively speaking. 

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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 solos masterfully executed by Martens himself, the show ostensibly explores the rhythmic universe of harpsichord music and the vastness of Chojnacka’s repertoire. But Martens also wants the audience to get to know Elisabeth Chojnacka more intimately, and amplifies the work with archive materials to draw a poignant portrait of a strong-willed and influential musician. And the show, initially envisaged as a solo tribute, becomes a dazzling dialogue between two uncompromising performers.

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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 which past and future intertwine. 

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Plastic Buckets and Silent Speeches: Two Visions from Potsdamer Tanztage

This year’s Potsdamer Tanztage brings together another unabashedly diverse programme. While German, Belgian, and Canadian components are heaviest (this year celebrates the fifth anniversary of the frabrik’s residency exchange with Quebec), works range from Yasmin Godder (Israel), Delavallet Bidiefono/Compagnie Baninga (Brazzaville/Paris), and Zsuzsa Rózsavölgyi (Budapest), as well as the HZT, who finds its place here with a selection of Masters student works in the late evening.

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