[8:tension] Young Choreographers’ Series Podcast

Artistic Director of the [8:tension] Young Choreographers’ Series until 2023, Chris Standfest, and writer Sean Pfeiffer teamed up for this new podcast.

The artists of the nine [8:tension] productions of last year’s ImPulsTanz Festival were in conversation with Sean Pfeiffer during their stay at the ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival in summer 2023. 

The first released episodes will be with Chara Kotsali and Anna Biczók. They are giving insights into their working methods and artistic approaches, the making of their pieces To Be Possessed and DELICATE, respectively, and their experience in Vienna.

The release will start on Thursday, with weekly new episodes. Save us on Spotify, Podcastaddict or Deezer.

 

Artistic Direction: Chris Standfest

Interviews & production: Sean Pfeiffer

Intro by Peter Plos, spoken by Hanna Bauer
 

Episodes

Episode 6 with Marga Alfeirão

Marga’s work opens up spaces in which she is able to explore feminine sensuality and sexuality at her own pace. She and her team joined writer Sean Pfeiffer for a conversation before the second showing of their “lesbian lap dance duet” LOUNGE.

They discussed the reciprocal effect between the music and the dancers and the piece’s ebb and flow of energy and slowness. They also talk about the difficulties in balancing the public and the private while performing intimacy on stage.

After its premiere in cold, dark January at Sophiensaele in the frame of Tanztage Berlin, the heat of summer brought another layer to the work. LOUNGE went on to win the ImPulsTanz – Young Choreographers’ Award 2023, awarded by an international jury of three: writer and scholar Anna Kozonina, choreographer, performer and 2021 award winner Tamara Alegre, and curator and dramaturg Mateusz Szymanówka.

Episode 5 with James Batchelor

James is a choreographer, dancer and dance teacher from Australia. Now based in Berlin, he works internationally. Before the second showing of his piece Shortcuts to Familiar Places at Schauspielhaus Vienna, James sat down with Chris Standfest. They discussed the ways in which James’ mentor Ruth Osborne as well as the legendary Gertrud Bodenwieser shaped the work.

They also touch on the specific excitement of showing it in Vienna, where Bodenwieser Lived before she had to flee from the Nazis. They further reflect on how expression or Ausdruckstanz is reentering the current dance landscape.

Episode 4 with Harald Beharie

Harald’s first solo Batty Bwoy is both bleak and playful in its re-appropriation of racist and homophobic stereotypes. By embodying this harmful imagery, they emerge on the other side as a newly ambivalent figure, impossible to grasp. 

Batty Bwoy was presented in a spacious white cube setting within the exhibition Blackness, White and Light by New York-based visual artist Adam Pendleton at mumok – Museum of Modern Art Stiftung Ludwig Vienna. The challenging setting created an intense dialogue between the Norwegian-Jamaican performer and Pendleton’s work, leading to huge success with the audience and 2 add-on performances.

Writer Sean Pfeiffer and Harald talk about his inspirations for the piece, the musical collaboration with a Norwegian prog-rock band, and the delicacy of involving an audience directly. 

Episode 3 with Esben Weile Kjær

Esben is a Danish visual artist whose sculptures and performances have been shown at numerous galleries and festivals. Esben’s works tap into his generation’s habits of visual consumption. He has introduced short-attention-span tools like social media livestreams into traditional museum spaces in pieces like BURN!.

The work was developed with fellow performers Aske Høier Olesen and Johan Bech Jespersen. At ImPulsTanz, BURN! was presented both on the big outdoor stage of the festival opening in Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier and in the mumok – Museum of Modern Art Stiftung Ludwig Wien. 

With the writer Sean Pfeiffer, Esben discusses his experiences as a visual artist at a contemporary dance festival. They also talk about the heavy use of pop-cultural signifiers and accessing the authentic through the artificial.

Episode 2 with Anna Biczók

Anna is a Hungarian dancer and choreographer based between Vienna and Stockholm. Her work often deals with bodily memory, cultural identity, and dance as a means of communication. The group choreography DELICATE has been equally shaped by these themes. The work features three female dancers who grew up in different European and Eastern European contexts – namely Karin Pauer in Austria, Adél Juhász in Hungary and 
Sasha Portyannikova in Russia.

After presenting DELICATE at Kasino am Schwarzenbergplatz, Anna sat down with author Sean Pfeiffer. They discussed the role of writing in the development of the piece, Anna’s decision not to perform herself, and her collaboration with musician Rozi Mákó.

Episode 1 with Chara Kotsali

Chara is a performer, choreographer and dance instructor based in Athens, Greece. She has studied Theatre Studies as well as Social and Cultural Anthropology and is musically trained. Her artistic practice merges choreography with field recordings, sound collage and writing.

She sat down with author Sean Pfeiffer to discuss her first solo work to be possessed. It premiered at the Onassis Dance Days in Athens before being presented at Schauspielhaus Vienna in the frame of ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival. In their conversation, the two touch upon the myth of artistic ecstasy, the comfort of routine, and the similarities between contemporary dance and poetry.