Gemischtes Doppel: Peter Pleyer about his Dance Summerhits

Being a contemporary dance curator sounds like a dream job to me. You travel from one festival to another seeing the best (or at least some good) dance performances all over the world and decide which one to invite to your own theater. Since I don’t own a theater myself and maybe lack a little bit of expertise for being hired from one to do that, I can at leasr speak to a person who is actually living their (and my) dream. Peter Pleyer, dance co-curator of the Sophiensæle is a well known flamboyant personality from the contemporary dance scene in town. For his recent project: Gemischtes Doppel he and Franziska Werner, the artistic director of Sophiensæle, just decided to bring together all their favorite dance pieces they saw in several festivals. Rather than being a proper dance festival with a topic or a general concept Gemischtes Doppel is his personal best-of playlist of 2012 and 2013. After the jump he gives us a personal introduction to his selection.

Peter, you’ve chosen 7 pieces to finish the dance season at Sophiensæle, can you tell us in one sentence each why our reader should watch them?

My dear,
first of all thank you for the cheerful introduction, and not to take you out of your dream, but an independent theater in Berlin is not that rich to send the dance curator jetting through the world from festival to festival. But living and working in Berlin has the advantage that a lot of international folks come through here and work here for some time. Also all of the artists in Gemischtes Doppel have some bonds with Berlin. Ligia Manuela Lewis, Dani Brown and Martin Schick have been presented at Tanztage Berlin, a festival for young choreographers in Sophiensæle, before. Now we have the chance to present their latest works. My recommendation in one sentence:

Come and see Martin Schicks “Not My Piece” if you want some insights into the relation of post-capitalism and dance, with his special sense of humor.

Come and see Shang-Chi Suns “Uphill” if you want to see three beautiful dancers moving through space to music.

Come and see Tommy and Thomas “Wilderness” for some poetic songs and dance around the campfire.

Come and see Ligia and Vincent “the show show” for some extraordinary bodies dancing, yes dancing, energetically through some dance history.

Come and see Florentina Holzingers “Silk” for a one woman show that confronts you with her very personal view on her female body.

Come and see Adam Linder for a cool, hip, contemporary piece with his own rap-lyrics.

And come and see Dani Browns “Home” for a furious trio with Justin and Gael in a performative mix of text, dance and song.

Finaly come and dance yourself at our summer-slowdance-schmuse-party on the 21st of June!

What made them  your summerhits? What were your criteria to choose them?

All of these artists have their very own agenda, and are very outspoken about it. They make their voices heard in the field, because they are articulated. And they are clearly living in a contemporary world of politics, dance as artform and the nomadism of bodies and ideas.

Contemporary dance is sometimes a stretch for the comfort zone of the unexperienced spectators: Which one of your chosen pieces is the craziest in your opinion and which one is good for our readers who might be interested to see a contemporary dance piece for the first time?

They are all crazy in one aspect or another. The most dancey will be Shang-Chis “Uphill” and Ligia and Vincents “Show Show”. But please, no fear of crazyness!

Is anything missing in your selection? What piece/company would you have loved to invite as well, if there were no restraints given?

There is an interesting scene of young dance artists growing in San Francisco, strong feminist and queer voices around the choreographer Keith Hennessy that I would have loved to be part of Gemischtes Doppel, but the budget…… ( I hate it when I have to end each conversation about dance complaining about the lack of money.)

From the invited artists, with who would you like to eat ice cream on a hot summer day and why?

Only that much : Dani Brown has a great taste in choosing her cast….

Thank you so much for your insights and time.

Check out all dates and pieces of Gemischtes Doppel over here or at our event calender.

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