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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Hong Kong is in lockdown. Laws, also to contain the virus, do not make it easier for the city to find its way into its still new role. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Theaters like to be the good guys in three ways: Good for the citizen. Good for culture. And good for the zeitgeist. Being good is part of the essence of theaters; they do not want to be accused of being racist or of not being really climate-neutral. But does this fit the reality within the institution itself? The case of Raphael Hillebrand casts doubt on this.
«tanz.dance» ist ein journalistisches Projekt, herausgegeben von Arnd Wesemann, langjähriger Redakteur der Zeitschrift «tanz». Das Projekt ist unabhängig von Verlagen, um kritisch und lustvoll Bewegung, damit Veränderung, damit die Zukunft in den Künsten zu beschreiben – in gut recherchierten Reportagen mit digitalem, zweisprachigen Storytelling internationaler Autor:innen.
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