Dancing to the Heat – The Highlights of Tanz im August 2019

photo: Mathieu Doyon. 

August is the month of dance in Berlin. We would love to show you our selection of highlights for the upcoming festival Tanz im August celebrating contemporary dance from all over the world.

Heat becomes movement and movement becomes a dance. While spoken word theaters are traditionally closed during summer for almost 6 to 8 weeks, the dance scene celebrates this period with all kinds of intense programs. While most dance schools, like Tanzfabrik or Marameo, offer intense workshops, for the people who rather watch than dance themselves there is a big festival celebrating the variety of contemporary dance: Tanz im August.

This year’s program has several highlights to offer. Most of the pieces will have their German or even worldwide premiere. This means that the following highlights are more of an intuitive choice than an exclusive selection since we had no chance to see any of these in person. Feel free to check out the whole program yourself and see if something else might spark your interest.


The Fading of the Marvelous

Catherine Gaudet 


No edition of Tanz im August without at least one piece where the dancers are naked or almost naked. The Canadian choreographer is focusing this project on the topic of micromovements and how they can lead to an ecstatic experience. The Fading of the Marvelous is an experience for all senses immersing the visitor in hypnotic beats. 

Location: HAU2

9.8.: 21:00 – 21:50

10.8.:21:00 – 21:50

11.8.:17:00 – 17:50



Hard To Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer

Oona Doherty


What is a dirty city? The young Irish choreographer is bringing us with Hard to Be Soft to the city of Belfast where conflicts boil under the surface of the concrete pavement. The biographies of several real people living nowadays in Belfast is the starting point of this piece.

Location: HAU1

17.8.: 19:00 – 19:50

18.8.: 17:00 – 17:50




Nora Chipaumire 


The Berlin Dance scene has a bit of a eurocentric perspective. Fortunately, Tanz im August brings several pieces from Africa and South America. This live-performance album by Nora Chipaumire is inspired by three iconic artists: Patti Smith and the resistive spirit of punk, Grace Jones and the idea of a pop culture accessible to all and from the Congolese musician Rit Nzele.


Wed 21.8.:19:00 – 22:00

Thu 22.8.:19:00 – 22:00

Fri 23.8.:19:00 -22:00



Isadora Duncan

Jérôme Bel


No other choreographer had created more controversy around the topic of disabled people on stage as Jerome Bel. His approach to present dancers that don’t dance and theater actors that don’t act is widely discussed. But I had the chance to see his work “The show must go on” and I was really enthusiastic about it. For this piece, he is focusing on the biography of Isadora Duncan. What caught my attention is that he is offering a show which is completely barrier-free. So the performance will have a haptic access tour and audio descriptions for visitors with impaired sight and also over titles for people with hearing problems. 

Location: Deutsche Theater Berlin

Fri 16.8.:19:00 – 20:00

Sat 17.8.:21:00 – 22:00

Performance with live audio description and haptic access tour for visitors with impaired sight on this date. Haptic Access Tour starts at 20:00

Sun 18.8.:19:00 – 20:00




James Batchelor and Collaborators


James Batchelor traveled to the antarctic sea for several months with a science expedition and came back with a new sense for nature, space and sound. This duet between a musician and a dancer will be without seating. You will become part of their Deepspace. This performance will be in the St. Elisabeth church, a really beautiful location that will highlight the intimacy of it.

Location: St. Elisabeth-Kirche

28.8.:19:00 – 19:55

29.8.:19:00 – 19:55

30.8.:19:00 – 19:55

Sa 31.8.:17:00 – 17:55



Story, story, die.

Alan Lucien Øyen / winter guests 


Is to say I love you a 100% truth? Or do we also mean something else with it? In Story, story, die. the choreographer Alan Lucien Øyen examines the relationship between love and lies in times of social media and the narcissistic representation of our daily lives. His powerful company is definitely a highlight of this year’s Festival. 

Location: HAU1

29.8.: 21:00 – 22:30

30.8.: 21:00 – 22:30

31.8.:21:00 – 22:30



We hope that some of these pieces might spark your interest. Apart from the performances the festival has a really insightful side program with cool parties, interesting sofa sessions every Friday of the festival and audience engagement formats like free workshops before the show.


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<a href="https://www.iheartberlin.de/author/cr/" target="_self">Claudio</a>