The project Tanz in der DDR: Was bleibt? (Dance in the GDR: What remains?) sets out to examine the relation between the dance scene in West and East Germany since the reunification from the multi-perspectival positions of international artists, who are related to, inflicted by, or reflective of societies in transition. At the centre of the piece is the notion of an imbalance of cultural acknowledgments – of what remains visible and what is placed ‘hors champs’ – beginning with the German reunification. As Dr. Patricia Hogwood states in her writings, “East German society today has been framed by the institutions, legal framework and ultra influences by a western state like no other post-socialist transition society”. This imbalance is particularly tangible in regard to dance practices from the GDR. It becomes even more tangible in regard to its (dis)continuities after the reunification, and its (unconsidered) impact and entanglement with the dance situation in transnational cultures and societies.
When societies change – what remains culturally visible and what is removed from view? Did the imbalance of cultural appreciation after the fall of communism devour the East German dance scene – or did its influences go into exile?
Together with international artists from post-socialist transitional societies, Asentić uncovers choreographic concepts and asks about their right to contemporaneity. Tanz in der DDR: Was bleibt? performance is the result of an intense, collaborative research process, encompassing historical archives, conversations with time witnesses, academic exchange, personal accounts on the socialist afterlife, workshops and public discussions as well as the investigation and ‘unmuting’ of memories embraced in bodies and objects. Consequently, the logics of a traditional theatre setting that separates the audience from the performer is no longer in use. In contrast, Tanz in der DDR: Was bleibt? suggests a meandering stage situation, in which audience and performers share the same grounds and will test parallel insulars of narratives.
Saša Asentić is a choreographer and performance maker. Since 2007, his work has been presented across Germany and internationally. Asentić is interested in exploring the relationship between the individual and society and analyzing it in terms of social choreography. He works in the filed of contemporary dance, performance and disability arts. After being a victim of right wing street violence, and fundamentally disagreeing with the corruption in public sector in Serbia, he moved to Germany in 2011. He constantly works on prolonging his resident permit in Germany.