Open Call for DANCERs
- 2 to 3 visual disabled or blind dancers/performers
These persons must be:
- willing to perform durationally, i.e. for 3 hours.
- ability to hold a strong presence and groundedness in the body over a long duration while performing minimal movement
- comfortable working with touch
- comfortable working improvisationally
- comfortable performing text
- based in Berlin preferably but if not, in the Schengen area
- available for the rehearsal period in Berlin November 10 - December 20, 2017
- available for the performance period in Berlin January 2 - 17, 2018
This production is supported by tanzfähig.
a bit About the work
This production will not be rooted in classical ballet, modern dance nor contemporary dance; it will be using a dance form I have developed called non-visual dance.
What is non-visual dance? It is a form of dance where movement is presented as touch rather than as shape, with the final production presented in a completely dark room. Specifically, touch is the affect of choreographed movement as shape usually is in traditional dance. Here, the audience is a physical participant by using their somatosensory faculties (i.e. skin, bones, etc.) to ‘view’ the piece in which the shape of the whole body of the dancer and eyesight become irrelevant as the audience’s body becomes the dance floor.
My interests or rather curiosity for this form comes from my desire to destabilize the typical hierarchy of the senses. And sight, whether you have it or not, whether it is machine-assisted, or material assisted (i.e. glasses and contact lenses), is usually at the top of that ladder. As dance offers us temporary environments that can suspend the everyday duress, with this form I would like to create a space where the ‘sight comes first’ mentality is no longer there. But instead have touch come first.
I find it true, as Sarah Ahmed suggests, that collisions (soft and hard alike), of which touch is the consequence, confirms your existence. Taking it one step further, I approach touch as a facilitator of embodiment, a way of embracing yourself.
For me, non-visual dance is a new and expanded notion of what dance can be. Since the presentation of my first attempt at this dance form at the Tanztage Berlin Festival of 2015, I have been facilitating movement labs under the wing of tanzfaehig. Working in an inclusive format gave me access to unique qualities of touch. For example, one participant of the movement labs had occasional spams in their left hand. Watching her carry out the exercises with her spasm, I thought, “woah that quality of movement is cool. It creates a really interesting quality of touch.” This is a really good example of how what is considered a disability is for me as a choreographer in this context valuable in that it widens the scope of possibilities of touch. “It would take me months to train that kind of movement and the quality of touch it creates and here is this person doing it effortlessly. Woah”.
In the labs, I have approached, among others, the following questions:
1) What are the different aspects of touch, which I can play with choreographically?
2) Are there inherent relationships between parts of the body and emotions?
3) How could a performance which occurs through an interaction of touching the audience be amplified? In other words, its easy to make a touch based performance one on one, but how could I create a touch based performance with one performer and 200 audience members?
4) How can I work with touch and speech as parallel or overlapping languages?
I’ve been researching this movement language for now 2 years and going further, with your support we will be developing a production using this form to comment on the physical/corporeal embodiment of privilege...with a lemon squeeze of 'ignorance is bliss'.
If you'd like to get a more of an introduction to and your own feeling for what it is, I will be offering a movement lab in Berlin, Germany on Sept. 29-30th. See here for more information. Note: this workshop is open level as well as free of charge for those persons who are visually impaired or blind.
How TO APPLY
If the above description caught your eye and you would be interested in being a part of the project, send me a message below with
- the city/town where you are based
- whether you are visually disabled or blind
- the number of years of professional performance/dance experience you have
- whether you have experience performing durational pieces of 2 hours or more, if so please name the title(s) and the name of the artist(s)
- a short description of a project (no matter in dance or not) that meant a lot to you and why
- a short answer (a couple sentences) about why the project peaks your interest
- any initial questions you have concerning the project
Within a week, I will get back to you on whether I would like you to join the project, with clarifying questions from my side, more details of the project (including salary), and answers to your questions.
Note: I value better representation on the stages of contemporary dance and actively encourage applications from underrepresented minorities!
Nur in Englisch verfügbar.