Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
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 “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.
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.
These days, trans-humanity isn’t solely restricted to the realm of sci-fi movies. The real-world possibilities of altering the body through technology — and thereby moving beyond its physical limitations — have grown and are growing every day. From pacemakers that regulate the rhythm of the heart to bionic hands that are capable not only of receiving commands from the brain, but also of touching and feeling through connections with the nervous system. At the other end of the spectrum, a humanoid robot named Sophia had social conversations with her visitors, and robot dogs are used in elderly care to fight loneliness. These are just a few examples in a vast and thought-provoking world, some elements of which are simply beyond the bounds of my imagination. What would happen to our identities if we didn’t have physical bodies anymore, but rather existed merely as uploaded minds? Could one fall in love with a robot? Or is this distinction between robot and human already far too binary?
“Transhuman Hai” by Porson’s Khashoggi (Xeni Alexandrou and Andrea Rama) aims to tackle some of these questions. Their work is dedicated to “the vision of overthrowing the established notion of the human body as an organic system.” In order to do so, they’ve created a sterile laboratory for “Transhuman Hai” in which — according to their programme notes — personalities will be encoded into computer chips, and preserved brains implanted into the skulls of brand-new clones. That laboratory has been aesthetically portrayed by fifteen or so large grey cardboard bodies without feet that hang around the room. Many of them are suspended just centimetres above the ground. Judging by the curve of their hips, the female body has been taken as a model. These forms floating in the white space impart a deep sense of serenity that is emphasised by a living body that is slowly crawling around at the back of the performance space. The sound of dripping water makes me feel as though I’m looking into an underwater world in which time has been slowed down and movements are ponderous. This is even before I realise that the body at the back resembles that of a merman with a big blue tail instead of legs.
These first few seconds of serenity are brutally disrupted by a soundtrack made up of fragments of sentences repeated over and over again with apparent randomness. They seem to be texts taken from fiction or documentary films and each has a specific soundtrack underneath it. These snippets talk about topics such as morality, character building, psychology, claustrophobia, books. The soundtrack is so overwhelming — so intense and constant — that it becomes difficult to pay attention to what’s happening on stage anymore. I feel relieved when we’re given a break from the barrage of words, even though it is in the form a song, instead of the silence I’m longing for.
In the meantime, another figure has appeared on stage. She talks to us in Italian, but her words are drowned out by the soundtrack. She walks among the suspended bodies, touching and caressing them — but there is no warmth in her touch. The lighting design reveals the previously invisible transparent fishing wires the bodies are suspended from, with multiple bodies hanging on each thread. She slides them to one side, forming a group. It’s interesting how her touching and manipulating the bodies makes them seem even more inanimate — even more obviously made of cardboard. It’s the human body here that is unambiguously in control of the material. I let out a silent cheer for the one cardboard body which breaks as it is handled. The resulting bend feels like a sign of rebellion.
All the while, the merman has continued along his trajectory through the space. Due to the lack of water, his journey to the front of the stage has been heavy, as though he has had to drag himself. Even so, his arm-movements are still somehow soft and flowing. Half-man, half-fish, he survives by doing whatever he can in the conditions he is given. At one moment, the human performer leaves the stage, walks to the rail along the edge of the ‘pool’ and leans over it, looking down on the laboratory beneath her. From this position of apparent domination, even the merman seems to be under her control. “Transhuman Hai” left me feeling confused. I had expected an exploration of the messy interaction and intersection between the human and the non-human, and the possible futures arising from that. In the images that this work creates, however, humanity appears to overpower trans-humanity at every turn.
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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 the online medium.
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 “Aquaphile Transgression”
As part of the festival OPEN SPACES – Laughing & Loving, Karol Tymiński stages an erotic intesity zone of ecstasy with “Water Sports”. One in which the borders between organic and inorganic desire are transcended.
Continue reading “Choreographic Processes, Not Products”
At the close of the three-month AUSUFERN festival in Uferstudios in Wedding, the adjoining Heizhaus was inaugurated with a 25-hour performance series. It is set to become a space for process-oriented artistic encounters involving urban society.
Continue reading “Body Talk?”
“HYPERBODIES”, by bücking&kröger, places its focus on movement, with enigmatic results.
Continue reading “Grey in Blue”
Choreographer Milla Koistinen, lighting designer Ladislav Zajac, and composer Paul Valikoski create a subtle and powerful response to the paintings of Canadian abstractionist Agnes Martin in “On a Clear Day” at Berlin’s Uferstudios.
Continue reading “The Secret Garden of the Mind”
Luxembourgish choreographer Jill Crovisier delves into the images, impulses, and connections of our imaginative mind in her work ”The Hidden Garden.”
Continue reading “International Notice on “Wiederholung und Differenz. Drei Duette. Ein Tryptichon.”, Rubato”
Writers: A. Presting-Koité, H. Hegenscheidt und J. Hell/D. Baumann
Three texts about “Wiederholung und Differenz. Drei Duette. Ein Tryptichon.”, Dance Company Rubato. Premiere on 30.03.2017, Uferstudios Berlin