Haben und Brauchen (To Have and To Need) - Public Discussion ZK/U Berlin

Tim Renner had some fun at the discussion.


Visible Undercurrent (Kick Off) Peter Pleyer - Sophiensaele Berlin - 11 Stepember 2014

Oral dance history - the Kick Off 'Visible Undercurrent' - Peter Player 

On the sofa (left to right):

Eva Karczag, Peter Player, Yoshiko Chuma, Sasha Waltz, Meg Stuart and Kirsten Maar

The latest gossip: Sasha Waltz and Meg Stuart stayed at the same loft for a while in New York. Sasha didn't remember anything about it and Meg version was: she was the ghost of the loft (making her not visible). 


Picture: Christoph Knoch 


Shared Office # 1 - Berlin Between the 27th of September until the 1st of October 2014 - How do we work

Dear friends and colleagues,

this is an invitation to the “shared office #1” between the 27th of September and the 1st of October at Uferstudios Berlin. In the occasion of the upcoming HKF as well as Berliner Kulturverwaltung/Interkulturelle Projekte deadline, we want to create a space for individual writing and common concentration. Also, if you won't be working on an application, you are warmly invited to join the shared office, to write your emails, check your budgets or finish your reports.

With the shared office project, we would like to change if not the economic conditions of our work then at least the social ones. We want to find a form of solidarity that does not deny different practices, perspectives and ambitions in our work and yet still finds a place where we can be together, give each other concentration in silent late night sessions, sit next to each other sweating on deadlines and be the context for each other's ideas. We would like to provide a concentrated space that allows for the verbal or non-verbal exchange, potential cigarette talks or coffee zips and the simple courage that appears when being together. Believing that we could be a scene in many more occasions than when we meet to watch each other's shows, we want to invite you to share the crucial moment of (application) writing with us. The shared office #1 strives for being solidary in a pre-dominant competitive relation and for a little more fun while working hard.


Dance and choreography has developed into a writing practice to a great extend in the past years. With the concept of a dance-maker as well as flattened hierarchies in the field, it seems to be part of almost everybody's artistic practice to sit on one's kitchen table, write emails, check budgets, create project plans, conceptualize working methods and - last but not least - write applications. The open-ing of who can be a dance maker and the discursive quality of our practice, in a funny twist, tends to individualize our work. The center of work, now, is not mainly the common rehearsal in a theater but the aforesaid kitchen table. Freelance project management and the individual pressure that goes along with it greatly affects a number of points that we care about, both for our lives as well as work: our mood, our confidence, artistic risk-taking, the exchange of ideas, the reflection on artistic practices and the support of others. With shared office #1, we want to make a first step to modify our working conditions as well as our mood.

Beyond the very practical or daily life effect, the loneliness of the kitchen table also reinforces para-meters in artistic production that we thought to have had a critical eye on already: individual author-ship and the discretion or competition with ideas and knowledge. Not denying the de facto economic and artistic competition which we are in and which we cannot simply put away with good will, we nevertheless want to support an understanding of artistic production that strives for collaboration and contextual working. We want to become a scene that gives context to each others works, that creates a social, political and artistic discourse together and that solidarizes beyond competition.


The office will be open between the 27th of September until the 1st of October 2014, every day from 10 am until open end. It will be set up in Atelier 62 and 64 at Uferstudios Berlin, Uferstr. 8-23. We will provide one quiet and concentrated working area with tables, chairs and sofas and a more social space with coffee and tea, a printer and some chairs and tables. Internet will be available in both places, including cable connections. 


Tanzbüro has generously offered support for anyone who needs an advice or information on an application. The Tanzbüro office is fifty meters away from ours and Simone and Anne will show by and are open for spontaneous requests at any time during the week. Please, let us know if you want us to ask them for a specific date.


We will be there and we hope to welcome you!


How Do We Work it*


*How Do We Work it is a new initiative of Berlin choreographers to meet, speak and reflect current working conditions in contemporary art in Berlin and internationally. We continued meeting after being once invited to the workshop “how do we work it” in the frame of the Life Long Burning Project. Rather than a group, How Do We Work it is a platform for anybody who is interested to share experiences, knowledge and ideas in monthly meetings.


Beauty of Accident: Quarto at the Uferstudios Berlin by Nanne op't Ende

Beauty of Accident: Quarto at the Uferstudios, Berlin, on 23 August 2014

By Nanne op't Ende


Anna Mesquita and Leandro Zappala accomplish something of a fakir’s trick in the performance ‘Beauty of Accident’. For 45 five minutes, the two artists work a 600-meter rope by hauling it in – over and over again, up to a point where they become a function of the rope. The result couldn’t have been more impressive if they had made the rope stand up straight and had climbed up to disappear in the sky.

Dressed in black sneakers, jeans and hooded sweaters, their faces covered by a shawl, the artists are reduced to two anonymous bodies in motion. Initially, their sole purpose seems to be to haul in the rope, reducing the large pile in one corner of the stage to form a new pile in another corner. The first associations I had were of a critical social-economic nature: hard manual labour with little reward; insatiable and pointless accumulation; taxation and redistribution; the benefits of collaboration.

Meanwhile, the pull in the rope creates a pulse every time it hits the floor. The sound is picked up by microphones and amplified by speakers. The pulse runs through the play like a heartbeat and the rope becomes a line of life, its amplitude and pace are signs of effort and excitement. It runs faster, slows down; at some point it is even reduced to slow-motion. When the rope has a lot of slack and is pulled in with broad movements from left to right, it makes that swooshing sound of a heart pumping blood through the body. 

Suddenly it hits me that the two artists standing side by side will not haul in a loose rope any faster than one of them would: the joint effort actually reduces their productivity  because exciting new patterns only arise when both performers are working the rope at different places and in different ways. Synchronisation here merely serves to create a sense of common purpose, harmony and – why not? – choreography, that is offset by the impression that the bodies have become subordinate to the process at hand.

Each time the performers reach the end of the rope, they take it to another part of the stage and start hauling again. The physical strain becomes visible; audible in amplified panting. The hands are the only uncovered parts of the body and their gestures are like poetic annotations to the tiresome process. Changes in amplitude – the extent to which the arms stretch and swing backwards behind the body – determine the lengths of rope pulled in each time but also influence the way the rope coils across the floor.

At some point the rope takes on a life of its own, writhing across the floor, winding away from the performers that haul it in, almost as in writing. Its movements have an hypnotising effect, almost as if the snake is charming us, the audience, rather than to dance to the tunes of the snake-charmer’s flute. The performers start moving around as they pull in the rope, dropping it in gestures reminiscent of Jackson Pollock’s action painting or more evenly distributed in lines or in circles. Occasionally, they work in opposite direction or hinder each other but even these situations give rise to new transformations of the rope.

Various ways of pulling; subtle variations in speed and intensity – even if the bodies seem to function only as machines that transport the rope from one end of the stage to another, they become instruments of intricate story-telling and pure dance. The greatest accomplishment of the artists is that they often appear to be the unconscious agents of the piece rather than its cunning, intelligent, creative makers and performers – thus allowing the audience plenty of slack to tell its own imaginative stories.


Brabants Cultureel - Danslandschap Brabant stuk kaler

Danslandschap Brabant stuk kaler door Rinus van der Heijden 

Juni 2013

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