residency for Dejan Srhoj at Uferstudios Berlin
After an open call by the partner Lokomotivathe artist Dejan Srhoj came to Uferstudios Berlin for a residency in the frame of Wild Cards. Part of the residency was visiting the perfomances of the Festival Tanztage Berlin, meetings with different artists and curators and the participation in a laboratory on feedback in artistice processes.
Involved artists and cultural workers:
Dejan Srhoj, Choreographer, teacher, curator in Ljubljana
Peter Pleyer, curator of the Festival Tanztage
Prof. Franz Anton Cramer, Professor at the University of Arts Berlin, head of a international research project about documenting and archiving performance art
Gisela Müller, artistic director of Tanzfabrik Berlin
Inge Koks, creative advisor, is a Dutch curator and creative producer.
Barbara Friedrich, Uferstudios, managing director
Report by Dejan Srhoj:
„In my motivation letter before coming to a residency I have expressed wish to learn of ways of CoExistence within Uferstudios and Berlin dance scene as such. Besides that I planned to share knowledge and projects done within Nomad Dance Academy with interested people. I was warmly welcomed by Barbara Friedrich and Inge Koks at Uferstudios and by Gisella Mueller from TanzFabrik. I had a privilege to learn of the ways Uferstudios were planned, built, financed and renovated. I also had a chance and privilege to attend a regular meeting of Uferstudios partners. On the first day of my arrival on 4th of January contemporary dance festival Tanztage has started and I as I have attended the opening I realized how many artists, theoreticians, dancers and choreographers from the Balkan region now live and work in Berlin. It made me feel happy for them and sad for the region to have been left of such great power. Observing and following performances of the festival was a red thread that framed my stay in Berlin. All the artists I have seen were completely new names for me and I felt fresh observing unknown and young creators of Berlin. I was amazed by the number of audiences night after night. Though I missed articulation of curatorial choices. I was not able to recognize reasons why certain artists were chosen, what was the logic behind programation of double or triple bills. As I spoke with curator Peter Pleyer I realized it would make a big difference if he and Arianne Hoffman spoke to audiences before or after the shows and explained and defended their choices. In that way a transparent debate between curators, artists and public could occur that would transform a festival to a platform of dialogue and progress of the Berlin dance scene. As Peter stepped down from his curatorial position I am very interested in how the festival will develop in the future.
On 10th of January at 12.15 pm I had a chance to speak with prof. Anton Franz Kramer about archiving of contemporary dance. Since he is an expert in this field I was interested to gain some knowledge and establish new links in order to help develop a project of archiving of Balkan contemporary dance by Rok Vevar and colleagues within Nomad Dance Institute.
Sunday 12th January at 5 pm I was invited to studio 9 to see rehearsal by Dalija Aćin Thelander and give my feedback on her work in progress.
On monday, tuesday, wednesday at 10 am in a big, huge studio 14 I proposed morning training as an art of coexistence. In a spirit of the Ignorant Schoolmaster training is a research on what warm up is, what is that one needs at the moment and how can we coexist while pursuing our needs. I am including a feedback by Eileen Szabo, one of the participants.
On tuesday 14th January Kitchen Talk on Nomad Dance Academy has happened. With Inge Koks and Barbara Friedrich we have organized and invited producers, students and artists to hear and discuss my presentation on educational, advocacy and Institute activities of NDA in the past years and present. Some 12 people attended a talk and as I presented different activities and lines of our network the most interest and questions from the audience was on our experience of organizing Advocacy Event in Skopje 2012, where we have invited politicians, artists and other decision makers and advocated of the importance of contemporary dance in the Balkan region.
Barbara, Inge and I spoke of possibly organizing similar event in Berlin in next years and invite German and Balkan cultural policy makers to coExist in the fantastic context of Uferstudios.
16th and 17th January. I finally made and took some classes at Tanzfabrik where I enjoyed the community of teachers, students and people that run the space. I was jealous of the choices of trainings Berlin dancers have each day. As I was welcomed by Gisella Mueller I had witnessed a training she had with her students and afterwards we spoke of possibly Tanzfabrik and NDA coorganizing educational program in the future. We are very keen to work on that idea in the future.
17th, 18th, 19th January teachback on feedback session was organized by Uferstudios and I was invited to participate. Well organized, precise with interesting participants and very well lead by Nik Haffner. What I missed was more time, no time, where unexpected could arise, where new knowledge might appear. I wish event could happen again and we could continue where we stopped and new people would join. Feedback seems just too important of a topic not to dwell deeper. I felt very privileged to have had chance to be a guest of Uferstudios and the team that works there and to have had a chance to see all the shows, propose a talk and trainings, attend a staff meeting and get to know all the people. I am planning to do an interview for Maska magazine with Barbara Friedrich and Gisella Mueller in April in Zagreb and in that way pursue my research and desire to
dig deeper into secrets of coExistence.
Feedback on Morning trainings in the frame of Wild Card#3 as an art of coExistence by Eileen Szabo:
Morning training as an art of co-existence. And “Learn without a teacher”. I was very interested in this mini-course for several reasons. On a personal level, I love the idea of morning training.I love the idea of practicing something and making it into an art. I love the idea of co-existence.Ideally speaking, I love the idea of learning without a teacher. (In this case one is both learner and teacher at once. )In those few days (unfortunately only 3 days) we shared the same motivations, space, time; we also had the option of having music, lights, some props. Most of all we had ourselves and the other(s); we were alone with ourselves and/or together with the other(s). We could choose, we had that option and to a certain degree that freedom to share / exchange / observe / be inspired stimulated active passive/play/create/take responsibility/make decisions / develop / grow / enrich oneself and the other.T he nature of the practice/art of training (warming up) takes among others discipline but with the notion that it can be experienced also as an art of co-existence immediately opens up the field into something broader, more interesting and particularly, more human.I can only encourage more of this kind of work. Eileen Szabo