Residency Shirley Harthey Ubilla at Uferstudios Berlin

Residency Shirley Harthey Ubilla at Uferstudios Berlin

In the frame of the Creative Crossroad activity, Shirley Harthey Ubilla was selected by MDT Stockholm to receive a 2 years structural support by the LLB network. This support includes a co-production support by MDT Stockholm and residencies at Tanzfabrik and Uferstudios Berlin, with a coaching option at the latter.

Residency at Tanzfabrik Berlin | Summer 2022

Shirley will work with her team on a newly formed piece that will be premiered in 2022.
View her experience report in the upper right column.

 

Performance presentation "Yet unfamiliar" at MDT Stockholm, Nov. 2021

Shirley Harthey Ubilla is a Chilean-Swedish performance artist and choreographer based in Estocolmo. Shirley’s work builds partly on the street genre and its traditions and partly on contemporary performative practices. Focusing on desire, shifts in power, and queer sexuality, she is interested in how projections of gender and racialization is created between bodies. In close collaboration with Hanna Kisch they created Abject of Desire (2018) where otherness and becoming was discussed through the abject and monstrous. This new piece, Yet Familiar (2021), Hanna and Shirley continue to discuss race and lesbianism through the abject but in the form of “vulnerable instead of threatening”. Shirley with her artistic team invites you to an analog reality, fragments of (sur)real memories, a glitch, a fragile distortion, a sci-fi dance show party takin place in a dimension that is “strange but yet familiar in a way”.

Yet Familiar is Shirley's new solo piece after Abject of Desire, created in 2018 and presented at several venues around Sweden since. Abject of Desire discussed otherness and becoming through the abject and monstrous. In Yet Familiar, Shirley and close collaborator Hanna Kish continue to discuss race and lesbianism through the abject but in the form of vulnerable instead of threatening.

Shirley is MDT’s chosen Creative Crossroads artist for the cycle 2020-2022. This is the first piece by Shirley that MDT co-produces, and it’s a starting point on a deeper collaboration where we want to follow Shirley’s artistry forward. For "Yet Familiar," MDT has supported the work with co-production fee, performance fee, residencies, as well as several weeks of working time with a producer and technician, to create as much stability as possible for the work. The collaboration with both producer and technician includes post production work such as writing a technical rider, reach out to curators for future touring etc. Producer and technician will also follow the piece on tour to two venues,


Idea and concept: Shirley Harthey Ubilla & Hanna Kisch
Choreographer/Performer: Shirley Harthey Ubilla
Costume design: Hanna Kisch & Nina Johansson
Set design: Hanna Kisch & Juli Apponen
Music and sound design: Maya Lourenço
Light design: Angela X
Producer: Sara Bergsmark
Artistic process in dialogue with: Rolf “Butcherqueen” Backman & Cajsa Godée


Experience Report:

"2020-2022 I was invited to be part of the Creative Crossroads artists cycle 2, in the frame of the European network project Life Long Burning, funded by the program European Culture. During this time, I, together with creative team, created a new solo piece called Yet Familiar that premiered at MDT in Stockholm in 10-13th November 2021.

MDT has given me the opportunity to continue my research and develop my dance practice by offering me a financial framework and studio time continuously during these two years. The main purpose of Yet Familiar was to create a second solo work and thus be able to deepen my artistic practice by having the opportunity to further contextualize my experiences as a queer lesbian of color in a performing arts format. The collaboration with an creative team with special expertise is various areas (costume, set, light, sound design) is something that has taken up more space than in my previous works, which I am very pleased with. All of us in the creative team share the experience that all parties have been given a greater artistic space to be able to reflect and process the content and the interaction we all had with each other.

As a part this artist cycle 2, I’ve also been invited to have two residencies in Berlin. In July 2021 between 16-26th, I together with Hanna Kisch (costume and set desin), visited Uferstudios. During our stay In Berlin I was able to try out new directions of the choreographic material I already had with me from earlier residencies by, for example, inviting Ivan Ekemark (based in Berlin) to a closed work in progress showing and then together reflect, change and try out different practices that were connected to my main idea of the performance. The dialogue we have had became an important and valuable component in the artistic process. I took the conversations with me and further used the different methods we had talked about to refine elements in the final performance.

During our stay in Berlin Hanna and I also initiated contact with Kitty Schumacher regarding visuals to the performance. Later on, our conversation developed to a collaboration. She, together with Maxi Galgenmaier, made posters and video material that included elements of VFX and CGI.

Due to the pandemic, the other residency I Berlin, at Tanzfabrik, will hopefully happen during 2022.

MDT and LLB has also co-produced Yet Familiar, supported me with a producer, technical residency and fees to me and crew. MDT and all the staff there has always been present and help me and my team with whatever question we had during the whole process. MDT has become our second home and we are very grateful for the opportunity Anna Efraimsson and MDT has offered us!"

Residency at Uferstudios Berlin

Artists involved: Shirley Harthey Ubilla, Hanna Kisch, Kitty Schumacher, Björn Ivan Ekemark

The Residency offered 10 days of thorough studio work of the choreographer Shirley Harthey Ubilla with her collaborator Hanna Kisch.

As a female, non-heterosexual, non-white body, Ubillas work intensily researches the non- conforming body, dissecting and deconstruction the normative and binary performances of gender, race, class, functionality and sexuality.

With her first sketch-performance "abject of Desire" - discussing the intersectionality of race and lesbianism - Ubilla confronted the audience with a very drastic and explicit exposure of the abject and the monstrous, of a chimaira-being of femininity, animality and monstrosity. Departing from this very close and confrontational relation with the audience, for Berlin Ubilla had decided to research on the more intimate, sensitive aspects of transformation and border crossing. Sticking with discussing race and lesbianism, they tried to encounter the abject from its vulnerable side, rather than from the threatening side, still offering a figure of in-betweenness, verge and unclosure. Ubilla worked mainly on solo-movement material, searching and dissecting practices from urban dance, feminine codes and post-human sensuality, deepening on movement material they had drafted in earlier residencies. With her collaborator Hanna Kisch they also experimented with fabric materials and objects as draft-costume and sculptural extensions of and on the body. The Berlin based choreographer and performer Ivan Ekemark was invited in the last 5 days of the residency as outside eye-feedback giver and movement advisor and experimenter on the discourse of cyborg imagery. Ubilla was also able to have first steps on experimenting on further visual design (video, VFX) with artist Kitty Schumacher, whom they want to continue working in bringing the new production to stage. The solo work will presumably be premiered on Fall 2022 at our LLB Partner house MDT Stockholm.

Coordination of the residency went smooth, although delayed and twice postponed due to pandemic travel restriction. With the coordinator Sara Bergsmark of Partner MDT arrangements were easy to communicate and organize. The offer involved a 24h hours accessibility to a mid-size studio, technical support by Uferstudios tech lead, as well as tech equipment upon request by Ubilla. In addition, the offer covered a research fee for Ubilla and Kish, as well as accommodation and travel fees. The feedback giver and dramaturg Björn Ekemark was rewarded an artistic fee.

The planned collaboration with Berlin based artist Cajsa Godée had to be cancelled due to pandemic reasons, as have been some planned tours, activities and performance attendances trough the city of Berlin.


Shirley Harthey Ubilla was born in Chile, raised in Sweden and works as an artist and an educator. Harthey Ubilla explores questions regarding gender, race, intersectionality and beyond. Being trained as a street dancer, the genre is evident in all her work, yet, over the past few years the focus has shifted and the work has become influenced by broader movement practices and various performative contexts. Shirley Harthey Ubilla is one of the members of the performance collective JUCK (thrust) which has had a great impact in Sweden. Recent solo work includes the debut solo performance Abject of Desire which premiered at Dansens hus in Stockholm in 2018- a dark performance where otherness was discussed through the abject and the monstrous.

"During the two years of Creative Crossroads my main focus will be on creating a new piece Cyborg Me (chapter 2). I am still interested in the abjectal but will shift my gaze from the darkness to a more romantic sci-fi world where my future self, in the form of a cyborg, lives in a utopia where I can be everything I want to be. This new piece will be the second chapter, my second solo work. Furthermore I also want to perform my first solo in order to continue developing my dance practice (learning by doing). I also want to broaden my network and share my work with people/artists outside of Sweden." Shirley Harthey Ubilla

Residency Shirley Harthey Ubilla at Tanzfabrik Berlin

28.06.22 - 05.07.22

Berlin, DE

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Premiere Shirley Harthey Ubilla - Yet Familiar

10.11.21 - 13.11.21

MDT Stockholm (SE)

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Residency Shirley Harthey Ubilla at Uferstudios Berlin

16.07.21 - 26.07.21

Berlin, DE

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Residency Shirley Harthey Ubilla

07.12.20 - 20.12.20

MDT Stockholm

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Residency Shirley Harthey Ubilla

13.07.20 - 26.07.20

MDT Stockholm

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Residency Shirley Harthey Ubilla

13.07.20 - 26.07.20

MDT Stockholm

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supported/organized by Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia


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