After two years of a compromised festival due to pandemic restrictions, this Tanz im August 2022 festival edition finally brings all the international dance artists back to Berlin to celebrate the art of contemporary dance. We made a list of the pieces we really look forward to watching.
Berlin-based choreographer Jefta van Dinther breaks down our human drive to revive and the yearning to relive in a stripped-down choreography of body and voice. In this durational performance, ten dancers uncover the body’s boundless mental and physical resourcefulness. The audience is summoned into the intensity of repetition and invited to linger in the sweetness of introspection. “Unearth” digs into the body as material, while exposing both social and spiritual constructs of kinship, purpose, and mortality.
In her solo “AMAZONIA 2040” Colombian and Berlin-based choreographer Martha Hincapié Charry reflects on the present, past and future of the Amazon rainforest. Interweaving her Quimbaya indigenous perspective in an expansive performance and video installation, an intimate, multi-layered ritual emerges. Hincapié Charry invites the audience to follow her on a journey of storytelling, celebration and meditation that raises ecological and geopolitical questions.
For the third and final year in the ongoing project URBAN FEMINISM, the ten young Berlin-based urban dance-makers selected by Tanz im August present three explosive collaborations at HAU3. Following a series of intensive workshops and mentored rehearsals focusing on lighting design and dance dramaturgy, the female artists merge hip hop, breaking, popping, krump and house among others in a unique evening that marks the grande finale of the program.
Between people and matter, breath and wind, feelings and electricity, “Mesh” by Finnish choreographer Maija Hirvanen reimagines the human in a more-than-human world. Four dancers are caught in a web of entangled life forms, building on the bodily intersections of fungal networks and interspecies communication. In connecting multiple layers of being, these mystical and hybrid stage creatures become ever more enmeshed in the question of what it is to be human.
In “LOYALTY”, Los Angeles and Berlin-based choreographer Adam Linder returns to ballet with a fresh take on its traditional vocabulary. Linder dives into the signature aspects of the genre – corps-de-ballet formations, theatrical imagery and partnering – reworking them with five world-class dancers. Performed in three acts and set to the music of the British avant-garde band Coil, this new approach to ballet interweaves virtuosity, theatricality and abstraction. Linder creates a hybridized physicality that is crude yet finessed, dark yet light and curiously both animal and human.
The twentieth-century revolutionary and avant-garde filmmaker Luis Buñuel has always been a great inspiration for Spanish choreographer Marcos Morau. “SONOMA” pays tribute to the iconic surrealist with the reimagination of a dreamlike place somewhere between sleep and fiction, between the human and the extraordinary. An enticing, cinematic world unravels in which the everyday is rendered strange and signs communicate with the most irrational layers of the human mind.
French With German and English surtitles (not continuously)
High jumps, headspins, somersaults, fast kicks and whirling turns: with his 10-person crew Grupo de Rua, Brazilian choreographer Bruno Beltrão combines breaking, hip hop and contemporary dance. With a keen eye for composition, Beltrão addresses the turbulent political status of Brazil. In “New Creation” he brings his country’s urgent conflict and violent social contradictions to the stage through an athletic vocabulary of the urban, imbued with explosive expression and freewheeling virtuosity.
The latest work by Australian-based company Marrugeku is a unique interplay of dance, sound, and installation – emotionally charged with sadness, anger, joy, and resistance. With „Jurrungu Ngan-ga” (Yawuru for “straight talk”) the company boldly investigates that which Australia wishes to lock away. The dancers address the human rights violations in Australia’s prisons and confront Australia’s shameful fixation with incarceration by connecting outrageous levels of Indigenous prisoners to the indefinite detaining of asylum seekers. The starting point of their work are reports by Yawuru leader and activist Patrick Dodson, as well as the factual account “No Friend but the Mountains”, which won Australia’s most prestigious literary award, by Kurdish-Iranian writer Behrouz Boochani, who interned for several years on Manus Island.
Marrageku tours worldwide and is dedicated to introducing audiences to Indigenous knowledge systems and the compelling experience of intercultural performance. The company is a pioneer in intercultural performances that give a voice to the most marginalized. Based between Broome in Western Australia and Sydney, Marrugeku is led by choreographer/dancer Dalisa Pigram and director/dramaturg Rachael Swain. Working together for 27 years, they co-conceive the company’s productions, collaborating with an intercultural cast of performers stemming from diverse backgrounds and disciplines.
photos: Julieta Segura
When does digital content become a threat? How do new, virtual worlds incite fear, the oldest emotion of mankind, in our bodies? In the music-theatre and dance performance “Urban Creatures”, by German choreographer Sebastian Matthias, visitors encounter odd and unruly creatures driven by fear in a living soundscape. Via the loudspeakers of their mobile phones, they listen to electronic sounds that react to physical proximity and together merge into a collective body of sound.
The audience is requested to arrive at the venue at least 30 minutes before the start of the performance and to bring a fully charged, Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. On site, the festival team will be happy to help you install the free “Urban Creatures” app, which plays the sound of the piece on your smartphone and is therefore necessary for participation.