Dancing About, #2 – 2021

As a prelude to the new season, the festival “Dancing About” will premiere a total of 10 dance productions at HELLERAU and VILLA WIGMAN from 22 September to 3 October. The festival is also the conclusion of the two-year project TANZPAKT Dresden. Freelance choreographers, dancers and artists from Saxony were given the opportunity to participate in this process. They were able to carry out research residencies at partner institutions such as the Sächsische Dampfschiffahrt, the Fraunhofer Institute for Transport and Infrastructure Systems or the Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau, participate in the digital winter academy and develop projects that are now being premiered. Throughout the entire TANZPAKT process, the artists were in close contact with each other. In a chain interview via Messenger, they ask each other about their work and respond with a photo from their working process.

Christoph Bovermann

Christoph Bovermann @Maria Chiara de’ Nobili For your research you decided to work with the three partner institutions Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, vigevo – The Network for Sign Language Services and TU Dresden/Professorship for Technical Design. What was it like to link these different influences? 

Maria Chiara de’ Nobili Connecting the inputs from the three partner institutions allowed the research to swim into very different fields. After some initial wandering, I found that curiosity and the capacity to adapt to the consequences of the pandemic were the key-points to succeed: staying open to getting creative with all instruments available, switching the point of view when needed. 

Maria Chiara de’ Nobili @Isaac Spencer @Franz Ehrenberg How did the viewers connect and react during the live performance situations that you proposed? 

Isaac Spencer, Franz Ehrenberg Impressions from our partners were: ~very emotional ~like a day in the life of the performer ~breakable ~soothing ~many associations ~like being in a stranger’s flat. 

Isaac Spencer @Johanna Roggan @Benjamin Schindler Due to travel restrictions, movement and “moving” had to find other expressions. In what ways has movement nevertheless entered into your research, or what has moved? 

Johanna Roggan, Benjamin Schindler Our movement plans could not be realised last year. Instead of travelling through Europe and interviewing people, we had to constantly readjust, move, adapt. The residency in Poznań made us all the happier. Above all, the residency moved us emotionally. The stories of the artists fighting for freedom and against discrimination in the repressive political situation in Poland made us humble. Without haste to leave for the next journey, we were able to give them and ourselves the space to linger. 

Johanna Roggan @Nora Otte @David Le Thai What did you not find in your research/search and how does that influence your view or approach to what you found? 

Nora Otte, David Le Thai In petitions for mercy from Dresden families from the 19th century, old addresses were listed that we looked up. None of the nine houses can be found any more. War and urban development measures have greatly changed the cityscape. At today’s empty spaces, a wife, daughter, mother sat in a quiet chamber at that time to formulate the plea for mercy for husband, son, brother. If there had been more deserters, some of them might still be found today. 

Nora Otte @Caroline Beach @Ernst Markus Stein What role does the movement of the voice (between head and hands) play in your research? 

Ernst Markus Stein Hands make the apparatus or write the protocol, but actually they are the bearers of history. 

Caroline Beach I think there is a lot of unchartered territory between the head and the hands. Most states, most bodies, focus on these as control centres and enforce an illusion of order to keep them that way. The voice can help to show all the broken roads between these two sites of power, to decentralize so that the guerrillas can descend from the mountains once again and fight. 

Caroline Beach @Rosalind Masson How will you use the research from your residency in your proposals of paradises? 

Rosalind Masson Mainly through blurring the boundaries of performance and participation: Audience members will be invited to take part in interspecies somatic practices developed in the residency, entering into their own perceptual experience of plants and the surrounding ecology. I don’t think such a thing as paradise exists but imaginary ones, perhaps. 

Rosalind Masson @Fang Yun Lo How is your research into the art of puppets and puppet making influencing your choreographic approach for “Nano Giants”? 

Fang Yun Lo Choreographically, I find the tipping points interesting: When does an object become alive in the eyes of the audience, when does it become inanimate again? Who moves whom? Can a human being also appear inanimate? How do puppeteers use gravity? How do we as audience members deal with differences in size and changes in scenery, because in puppet theatre we often have very different dimensions and “worlds”. These are all very interesting questions for choreographic work with human performers. 

Fang Yun Lo @Anna Till @Barbara Lubich Your research was a lot about time and different speeds. How do you work with your audience timewise? 

Anna Till, Barbara Lubich In “Experiencing Time” we want to invite the audience to reflect on their own perception of time and to play with it. While they are on the move as flaneurs in the garden and the large hall of the Villa Wigman, they act as agents of time. They will be part of a never-ending yet transforming loop, they will enter a black hole, interrupted by time sequences created by sound, images and performers. They will forget time and remember time. 

Barbara Lubich @Cindy Hammer @Joseph Hernandez 

In your research you met your audience on the street. Where and how will you engage with the audience in your performance? 

Cindy Hammer, Joseph Hernandez The mission of our research and the project is to create awareness of the behaviour of our own bodies and other bodies in public and open spaces. So we will keep making small and “simple” suggestions to the audience and the spectators that can change or contextualise their experience and perception of the performance and the performing bodies in the open space. Perhaps the audience will become performing bodies themselves. 

Cindy Hammer @Lotte Mueller With reference to your artistry and circus background, how does your artistic approach influence the mobile/immobile performative setting of your production “Im/Mobility”? 

Lotte Mueller We explore “Im/Mobility” in vertical space as well as the encounter between performers and audience in shared horizontal space. 

Lotte Mueller @Alexander Miller What was your first impulse for your creation? 

Alexander Miller After observing the breaking scene in recent years and hearing how dancers from this environment are perceived by outsiders, it was my impulse to show a different perspective. I also always wanted to create a group piece with dancers who are able to switch fluently between styles. 

Alexander Miller @Katja Erfurth How important is the “outside eye” to you in the process of creating your choreography and how do you work with the challenge of being a dancer and a choreographer at the same time? 

Katja Erfurth I am familiar with taking inside and outside views, as I have been choreographing for myself as a dancer for over 20 years. Staging for an ensemble and myself is new. In doing so, I think in different levels and images, which I later superimpose. Through video recordings during rehearsals and through exchanges with Helmut Oehring, I can mirror, transform and further develop my intentions in the most diverse forms of expression. 

Katja Erfurth @Irina Pauls Does your artistic work for the TANZPAKT production “facing zero and one” with the preceding residency differ from your previous ways of working? And if so, in what way? 

Irina Pauls Yes, it is clearly different. I surrender part of the staging to the effect of the “technical processing” of human movement by the machine. This is exciting new territory for me and means even more risk than artistic work already entails. The production team is also newly assembled – all quite exciting. 

Irina Pauls @Heike Hennig In your social opera, which you are developing for TANZPAKT Dresden, you work together with the audience and artists. How do you describe your way of working? Do you rehearse together, are there different questions? 

Heike Hennig After a year without festivals, we invite you to a festival ceremony with intoxicants and tricks on the square in front of the Festspielhaus. Join in, copy it, do it better … lots of questions, songs, brass, violin, accordion and choreographed forklift on the grounds. You are welcome to come by bike and dressed up. 

22.09.- 03.10.2021 
Dancing About 

Wed 22/Sat 25.09.2021 
social opera 
hennig & colleagues (DE) 
A “social opera” opens the festival on the forecourt of the Festspielhaus with music, art pieces and dance, celebrating life, together with you. 

Wed 22/Thu 23/09/2021 
Miller/de’ Nobili (DE/IT) 
Six dancers, six guys, 40 °C in the studio. Urban, breaking, contemporary and everything that fits in between. One group, one PACK. 

Thu 23/Fri 24.09.2021 
Sailor on Aisle 5 
Caroline Beach (US) 
This multimedia production explores the inner workings of objects, people and ideas as they search for connections in an increasingly incomprehensible existence. 

Fri 24/Sat 25/09/2021 
Experiencing Time 
situation productions (DE/IT) 
The interdisciplinary parkour through the hall and garden of Villa Wigman with listening stations, video, performance, sound thematises the individual perception of time. 

Sat 25/Sun 26.09.2021 
facing zero and one 
Irina Pauls (DE) 
Five dancers playfully engage in various experiments, questioning how the interaction between man and machine works. 

Wed 29/Thu 30.09.2021 
Lotte Mueller (DE) 
The performance between contemporary circus and dance questions social orders, the rigidity of structures and the potential for change through one’s own physical and mental flexibility. 

Thu 30.09./Sat 02.10.2021 
Occupying Eden 
Anima(l)[us]/Rosalind Masson (GB/DE) 
This durational performance invites the audience to the Kulturgarten HELLERAU to create an imaginary ecological paradise together. 

Fri 01/Sat 02.10.2021 
Nano Giants 
Polymer DMT/Fang Yun Lo (TW/DE) 
In this play for the whole family, Polymer DMT/Fang Yun Lo explore the value of community on a journey through a theatrical wonderland. 

Sat 02/Sun 03 Oct 2021 
KASSANDRA | Zunge: reißen 
Katja Erfurth (DE) 
Katja Erfurth combines the theme of deafness with concrete and associative gestures and is accompanied by AuditivVokal Dresden to a composition and sign choreography by Helmut Oehring. 

Sat 02 / Sun 03.10.2021 
go plastic company (DE) 
The third and final part of the project “Asphalt Worlds” deals with the artistic thesis of a utopia: a group that renounces stability and security: a life without walls, without insurance, without rootedness.

More information on the residencies, productions and the Dancing About festival: tanzpakt-dresden.de