4 July 2019
What the Body Remembers. Dance Heritage Today
Advance Ticket Sales and Programme of the Special Event Series
24 August to 21 September 2019, Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg
The Akademie der Künste's month-long special event series includes an exhibition on 20th-century dance history showing archival collections, iconic photographs and film clips, accompanied by performances of more than 20 current dance productions that continue to write the legacy of contemporary modern dance. Advance ticket sales have begun. Tickets can be purchased directly online, in the reception areas at both Akademie locations, as well as at all known ticket agencies.
Contemporary modern dance draws on a rich and powerful history. Its protagonists, including Isadora Duncan, Mary Wigman and Valeska Gert, stood for emancipation, the liberalisation of gender roles and images of the body, utopian reawakenings and political appropriations, but also for rebellions against societal conventions. Together with post-war modernism, dance theatre in Germany, Butoh in Japan, modern and postmodern dance in the USA, and contemporary dance in France and Belgium, they shape The Century of Dance ‒ a subject to which the Akademie der Künste is dedicating an exhibition, a festival, an international campus for dance students and alumni, and a book publication. The topicality of dance heritage is gaining momentum and visibility worldwide; in Germany above all through the activities of TANZFONDS ERBE over the past eight years. In What the Body Remembers the heritage of Expressionist dance, as well as pieces ranging from Merce Cunningham and Tatsumi Hijikata to Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Xavier Le Roy, will be performed as examples of contemporary art.
The Century of Dance
In a joint exhibition, dance archives in Cologne, Leipzig and Berlin are showing unique centrepieces from their collections for the first time together. A wide spectrum of works exemplify how dance has been safeguarded in the archives and preserved as an invaluable resource for the future: Mary Wigman's Hexentanz (Witch Dance) mask; Valeska Gert's self-folded and retouched portrait photographs; Gret Palucca's admission tickets to the 1936 Olympic Games; Oskar Schlemmer's makeup instructions for his Triadic Ballet; the workbooks and stage direction books of Dore Hoyer and Johann Kresnik; and Kurt Jooss' notes to Der Grüne Tisch. Selected documents of Modern German Dance are placed into the context of a worldwide, international dance scene, which through projections of a hundred iconic photographs and film clips are presented as a dynamic force field of body images and motion inventions in dialogue with the original objects.
The complete programme is online as of today: www.adk.de/tanzerbe
In 2018 Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker passed on her legendary production Fase, Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich to two young women dancers, exemplarily addressing questions about dance heritage in the process.
Xavier Le Roy invites twelve performers to interpret excerpts of his work in the historic halls at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin.
Starting from historic black-and-white photographs of Isadora Duncan, Mirjam Sögner uses Dancer of the Future to investigate the queer potential in the two poles between antiquated forms of movement and contemporary bodies.
The symposium RE-Perspective, Deborah Hay is the conclusion of the “Tanz im August” Deborah Hay retrospective. In conversation with Gabriele Brandstetter, Hay looks back and reflects on the works in this exhibition about her.
The solo choreography of Afectos Humanos, which the exceptional dancer Dore Hoyer premiered in 1962, is a 20th-century masterpiece. Three new adaptations by Pol Pi, Nils Freyer and Renate Graziadei are being shown for the first time in a programme series.
Eszter Salamon and Boglàrka Börcsök reconsider the ideas of the avant garde artist Valeska Gert in an imaginary museum, whose collection is made up of performative files.
In 2015 American dancer and choreographer Lucinda Childs transferred the rights of three of her legendary solos from the 1960s to her niece, Ruth Childs. After presenting this first collaboration, Ruth Childs will introduce a further series of Lucinda's performances from the 1970s.
Based on Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's drawings and entries from Wigman's diaries, Henrietta Horn and the Theater Osnabrück Dance Company restage the death dances that Mary Wigman performed in the 1920s to Danse Macabre music by Camille Saint-Saëns and Will Goetze. Fabián Barba also pays homage to Wigman, reconstructing a dance evening as it might have taken place in the 1930s.
Gerhard Bohner's Zwei Giraffen tanzen Tango, which premiered at the Akademie der Künste on Hanseatenweg in 1980, can also be interpreted as a contemporary Danse Macabre. Bohner's choreography for Angst und Geometrie, which the Prague Chamber Ballet premiered at the Hebbel-Theater in 1990, addressed the possibilities of joining together ritual with contemporary formal expressions.
In their intensive, powerful, 1993 duet À bras-le-corps, Boris Charmatz and Dimitri Chamblas leave behind the classical language of dance and instead pursue their own path towards contemporary dance.
Chandralekha was considered the grande dame of Modern Indian Dance, but at the same time, she was also its most controversial choreographer. In Philosophical Enactment I, Padmini Chettur, a contemporary dancer and choreographer, traces the origins of her artistic approach back to Chandralekha.
In the series Bloodlines, Stephen Petronio ultimately pays tribute to American postmodern choreographers, whose work as dance professionals inspired him during his career. It shows works by artists that include Merce Cunningham, Steve Paxton and Yvonne Rainer.
Choreographies can also be seen by Nacera Belaza, Dominique Bagouet and others. Christoph Winkler honours Ernest Berk. Martin Stiefermann and Brit Rodemund reconstruct Anita Berber's outstanding solos. Takao Kawaguchi performs the duet The Sick Dancer, based on texts by Tatsumi Hijikata, the founder of Butoh.
Further discussions, book presentations and lectures that include Aleida and Jan Assmann, Irene Sieben, Scott deLahunta, Ong Keng Sen, Susan Manning, as well as a film screening with Volker Schlöndorff and his work Nur zum Spaß – nur zum Spiel. Kaleidoskop Valeska Gert complete the festival programme.
The project in its entirety is curated by Johannes Odenthal, Nele Hertling, Heike Albrecht, Madeline Ritter, Gabriele Brandstetter and Ong Keng Sen.
A special event series of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin. In cooperation with DIEHL+RITTER and the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation). Funded by the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb (Federal Agency for Civic Education) and the Institut Français. In collaboration with Tanz im August and Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin. The Campus is supported in the context of the European Year of Cultural Heritage.
Special Event Information
What the Body Remembers. Dance Heritage Today
Exhibition, Performances, Discourse
Exhibition opening of The Century of Dance: Saturday, 24 August, 6 pm
25 August – 21 September 2019, 3–10 pm daily, € 8/5
Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin
Tickets: Tel. +49 (0)30 20057-2000, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.adk.de/tickets
Press contact on behalf of the Akademie der Künste: ARTEFAKT Kulturkonzepte, Damaris Schmitz and Stefan Hirtz, Tel. +49 (0)30 440 10 686, email@example.com
Press photos available online: www.adk.de/de/presse