Tour through Tanztage Berlin for Costas Kekis

Tour through Tanztage Berlin for Costas Kekis

In the frame of Dance Hubs 2019/2020, Uferstudios offered a slot for the participation in "Tour through Tanztage Berlin" to the Viennese LLB partner danceWEB, who selected Costas Kekis for this slot.

Artists involved: Lola Lustosa, Agne Auzelyte, Lina Paola Gómez Arias, Antoine Carle, Enrico L'Abbate (all Berlin based), Konstantinos Kekis (Vienna) 

Exchanging Practices & Tour Through Tanztage is a guided & shared do-it-yourself exercise in watching and talking about the work seen in Tanztage, your own artistic interests, professional practice and experienced difficulties in creating dance works. Tour through Tanztage 2019/20 was an opportunity aimed at young to middle experienced choreographers who had already been creating several productions, yet never entered a strong level of circulation and networking. 

The performance-visits oft he festival are framed by intense afternoon discussion & praxis based exchange sessions within the small group, discussing the work seen, sharing thoughts on artistic, aesthetic and curatorial intents and exchanging on the daily practice and ones owns aesthetic practices and approaches. The sessions were accompanied by Berlin/Amsterdam based curator Inge Koks, and by Anna Mülter, curator of Tanztage and by artists featured at Tanztage. 

The local participants of Tour Through Tanztage were invited over an open call, with 42 applications received, the international exchange partners were invited by our partners danceWeb and ICI (ICI had to cancel last minute and will postpone the exchange to 2021). 

For this edition we gathered and decided for a group of choreographers who had an adjacent field of work in other artistic disciplines or who would intertwine their dance work with other disciplines and other fields of expertise, i.e. journalism, music, science. 

In preparation of the working sessions to be held during the festival we organized several jitsi session, where - under the guidance of the dramaturge Inge Koks – the group elaborated their agenda setting and discussion nodes of the meeting: the group identified common concerns, created a questionnaire of discussion topics and decided on whom of choreographers presented at Tanztage we should invite for a prepared feedback session. 

In Berlin, seven performances and seven rehearsals of selected productions were visited during the Tanztage Berlin Festival, which offered an ideal exchange of illustrative material and examples of the aesthetic discussions and curatorial issues in the local dance scene. 

As a new feature with this edition we also added concrete practical sessions, in which the participants could show eachother their daily praxis, self developed or adapted body work techniques or specific excerpts of their own body of work (or work in process of being created) in order to get input and feedback from their peer group. This change towards a more practical approach to the exchange was very fruitful, since the participants were quicker in contextualizing eachother through their artistic work and fastening the process of finding common aesthetic questions or understandings, giving concrete feedback on artistic questions but also on suggestions of networking-contacts for (co-)production, public and private funding opportunities, fitting cooperation partners, i.e. what venue in Europe could your line of work fit, what festival could you approach for showing your work, which residency program abroad would be helpful. 

Simone Willeit described various contact points, information portals, interlocutors and cultural policy 

organizations to which one could turn in Berlin/Germany and in the partner countries, with a particular stress on those agencies that promote exchange, touring and networking. Anna Mülter explained her own curatorial agenda and philosophy, but also elaborated on curatorial approaches of colleagues at other houses throughout Europe. Thus she provided a quite detailed insight and specific information about the varied profiles of festivals and dance programmes in the European context. 

Overall, the participants confirmed the need for exchange, even beyond production-related questions. The need to allow reflected expression of process making on a continuous and professional level seems an utter urge even to middle career artists, especially if their network - or rather lacking of network - does not allow an informal level of such exchange. Forming a group that grew together by intense exchange on theoretical issues, a shared experience at Tanztage and set aside from any competitive and self-marketing setting often confronted with at industry meetings, also allowed them to accept very open and also critical feedback on their own artist practice from peers. The support they experienced by exchanging on tips and hints for “fitting” context to produce and/or present their future work was also born from that peer-organizing and shared-support spirit the group gained within those 4 weeks. So all in all, the exchange succeeded in stretching the bow from very theoretical questions on aesthetic and politics, to practical exchange of bodily practices to very pragmatic circulation of knowledge on career opportunities. 

Tchivett/Antoine Carle: “The tour through Tanztage was a surprisingly exciting experience to me. I felt that my colleagues and i really commited to each other and to the festival, and through this very focused group process a special kind of alchemy happened. More than meeting colleagues and attending the festival, we processed these informations together, passionately exchanged ideas and contaminated each other’s thought process. It felt like a think tank maybe, in any case i really appreciated the quality of our discussion, it was quite transformative. 

But in order not to close this report only on a good note, here a continuation of Tchivetts report, which in content comes across through almost every report gathered so far 

Tchivett/Antoine Carle: “From this point of time now, i’m thinking about where do we go from there ? Maybe things will come out of it, through the networking, the new ideas, and so on. But my critique to the tour would address the « one shot » aspect of it, we created a group dynamic which had lots of potential, then we drop it and we go back to our other businesses instead of constructing something with it. I know it’s the nature of our field, but maybe the tour would be a good opportunity to initiate something different, to build connection and strength for the community on a more long term perspective.” 

This obviously is addressing a short coming both from the organizer, but also from the logics of project based thinking and structuring in our field stemming also from project based funding routines. As for the future, more thought and work on implementing a continuation of such formats as Tour Through Tanztage should be followed, especially considering that one LLB subheadline also refers to sustainability! 

Exeprt from the discussion programm meeting the artists of Tanztage – they were invited by the group for a feedback session and on an exchange what „a young artists“ wants to express on stage, and what „an audience“ acutally grasps. 

Dear Tanztage Artists, 

thank you for accepting our invitation! 

We thought of the following format and topics to be discussed: 

We chose for each work one or two topics which got us talking. See below for the topics. They will not really reveal so much for you now. We will say more on it tomorrow. Before we start you will have the opportunity to say something short about the piece you showed at Tanztage. Each work and topics have quite a tight timeframe of 25 minutes. 

The topics are broad and can also apply to other work or be informative for the other choreographers. We really hope in this way we can have an artistic exchange in which we all can participate. If there are any specific questions you have for us, you can ask them towards the end of our sessions. 

Concerning Lois Alexander's piece: Neptune the discussions we had centered around the following topics: 

  • • transformation of perspectives 
  • • choice of images 

Concerning Sasha Amay's piece Sarabande the topics were: 

  • • working with historical dance in contemporary context 
  • • decontextualization 

Concerning Frida Giulia Franceschni's piece Tricks for Gold (T4$): 

  • • performativity of entertainment 
  • • staging the fake 

Concerning Josefine Mühle & Suvi Kemppainen's piece A child has been beaten: 

  • • title in combination of the piece 

Concerning Amirhossein Mashaherifrad's piece Aftermath: 

  • • use of narrative strategies in political topics 

08.01.20 - 18.01.20

Berlin, Germany

supported/organized by Uferstudios