Oh how the word shimmers: Lazgi. In French it sounds like “lascar,” a sly fellow. It puts us in mind of the word lasciviousness, or Lascaux for the more historically minded – of the cave paintings left behind by prehistoric humans. It was also the discovery of prehistoric rock paintings that saw the Central Asian Lazgi declared one of the oldest dances still practiced today.
Dancing the uprising
Uprisings in Iran come in waves. Again and again. But for the first time, women are dancing in the streets. The country banned them from dancing in 1979. Their headscarf, the hijab, falls. Their hands grab it like a flag in defiance. They set it on fire. Iran is in turmoil – a turmoil born out of hunger for food and freedom in a state that keeps its henchmen and inspectors alive with bureaucratic diligence. And its executioners.
The woman who knows what she’s about
In just ten years, Florentina Holzinger has appeared like a shooting star and then captured her own place in the night sky of European contemporary dance. Wherever she and her all-female troupe of dancers appear, they literally steal the breath away from their audience.
Culture is playing a different role. For eight years now, the independent state of Ukraine, since 31 years only, has been defending itself against the aggressor from the East. Only with weapons, as the news claims? What can defend the people who seek protection from invaders?
Mexico is the country that celebrates the dead. So it’s no wonder that cartels produce them like an assembly line, all the disappeared and murdered. And although no one believes it, in this country, dance is ensuring that the tide can turn again
The Body’s Art
Choreography has much more to do with a radicality and urgency of action than with consent and dancing along. This is true all over the world, without exception.
Documenta, Decolonycities and German Southwest Africa
A shadow hangs over Namibia–– and not just because of the low-hanging sun over the picturesque Etosha salt pan. Despite all the romanticism surrounding the desert, peace remains elusive even in the wake of the return of the looted artworks to the former German colony. The relationship with those who erected the first German concentration camps is anything but resolved.
Vancouver’s New Wave of Indigenous Dance
Rituals, Elders, Ancestors and lots of land in the Canadian West. Contemporary Indigenous dance is reviving in the Coast Salish Territories. In 1886, the urban settlement of Vancouver was founded here, the inhabitants were displaced. But now the wind is changing.
Still 2000 kilometres to the North Pole
A mighty festival on the island of Ingøy in northernmost Norway unites audiences and dancers under Arctic skies. Not far from the Russian border, the theatre is celebrating the landscape. Among us: Hans-Thies Lehmann, the late doyen of post-dramatic theatre. For him, landscape was both the adversary and the centre of theatre. A festive description and a last text by him.
The Marseille Miracle
The most artistically successful ballet company in the world currently hails from Marseille. Anyone can attend the rehearsals of the Ballet National de Marseille, even the administrative staff. Headed by a three-person collective, this giant company captures the spirit of the times in its productions. Covering everything from Lucinda Childs to Georgian folk dances, the (LA)HORDE collective invites everyone to enjoy dance again.
Digging for Beauty
With its roots submerged in time, nothing is remoter to our Western sensibilities than Indian dance. What’s more, statues of naked female dancers at Karnataka’s temples attract those tourists who yearn to look at bayadères, those Hindu dancers that have been denigrated as prostitutes. In truth, Indian dance is undergoing a continuous reconstruction derived from innumerable fragments of a history spanning centuries. Choreographer Padmini Chettur has embraced this task with great sensitivity.
In the german lausitz
They call themselves Sorbs and Wends. Strangers often only notice their existence in Germany’s easternmost region when they see the bilingual town signs that come into view as soon as they cross the rolling hills into this other culture. Here, people defend themselves against the loss of self-will with vigorous dances – both old and new.
Modernism would be inconceivable without the interplay of inspiration and appropriation, any by implication the global groove of art, dance, performance, and protest. From a historical perspective, the German expressionist painter Ernst-Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) was from an early stage enthusiastic not only about non-European cultures, but also for dance. This very intersection was precisely where the avant-garde found its starting point: in movements from elsewhere.
The desire to fight
He who fights is a warrior. Or an artist? And where is the border to dance? Israeli choreographer Yotam Peled explores the similarities between combat and dance practices. A conversation about (violent) fantasies, tenderness, pain and vulnerability.
The dancing cluster
Hong Kong belongs to China. New laws, including those aimed at containing the virus, are not making it any easier for the city to find its way into its still-new role. This is also the case for the dance scene. So is the dance scene: the departure on the one hand, the attempt to go new ways and to break with traditions on the other.
The inability to help
Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in Africa and indeed the world. Despite a recent military coup, it is the venue for a dance festival that allows guests to gain deep insights into the mentalities of the African dance scene. On stage, people argue, dance, and forge new partnerships. Europe has funded this festival – so that it may approach the scene on an equal footing.
Art and Lechery – The Tragedy of Jan Fabre
On 12 September 2018, 20 dancers of the Antwerp-based company Troubleyn published an open letter in the Flemish digital art magazine Rekto:Verso accusing the founder and artistic director, Jan Fabre, of having created a misogynistic atmosphere in which: “Humiliation is daily bread in and around the rehearsal space of Troubleyn.
Given my fascination with spirits, I kept asking myself how can we still get to know this endangered species that represent the oldest vision of humanity? At best, they are considered as revenants who cavort in virtual reality, in comics, in painting, and on stage, because they embody that yearning to make contact with the beyond.
All artists are “Made in Bangladesh
Millions and millions of kilometers of yarn are unwound unremittingly from bobbins worldwide – in the myriad textile and sewing factories on this earth. Mechanically speaking, bobbins perform an almost endless pirouette. The human body follows exactly the same principle.
Barriers ! What Barriers ?
Das Theater will dreifach gut sein. Gut zum Bürger. Gut zur Kultur. Und gut zum Zeitgeist. Gut zu sein, gehört zum Wesen des Theaters, das sich nicht vorwerfen lassen will, etwa rassistisch oder nicht wirklich klimaneutral zu sein. Doch verträgt sich dieser Anspruch wirklich mir der Realität innerhalb der Institution? Der Fall Raphael Hillebrand lässt daran Zweifeln.
«tanz.dance» is a journalistic project, edited by Arnd Wesemann, longtime editor of the German magazine “tanz”. The project is independent of publishers in order to critically and with relish describe movement, thus change, thus the future in the arts – in well-researched reportages with digital, bilingual storytelling by international authors.
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