Toni is lonely

An actor among dancers. As talented in terms of movement Toni may also be, and as much as he tries to be part of the world of dance, he is undeniably different. Toni is lonely is a dance-theater performance where the loneliest moments of life are examined. This is related in a dance piece by a man who is not a dancer. The Canadian dancer and choreographer Jasmine Ellis, who lives in Munich, uses the obvious physical difference as a code for the desire to connect with other persons. Like the piece Empathy (2017), Toni is lonely was also created in close collaboration with all of the participants. Here four bassists are also onstage and comment with their music on what happens onstage.

Jasmine Ellis quotes a U.S. study that reported a quarter of those interviewed said the number of persons they trusted was “zero,” and that was the most frequent answer to this question. How does this observation relate to our constant presence and availability in social media? Are we more inclined to isolate ourselves than to ask for help? What amount of collectiveness and community is still possible at all? Questions such as these make up the background of Jasmine Ellis’ piece Toni is lonely, which places the theater actor Philip Dechamps in a dance environment. The more virtuosic the dancers are, the more manifest his inability becomes, and yet he builds an emotional bridge into the audience.

Who is Frau Troffea?

Strasbourg in the summer of 1518: a woman begins to dance in the street. Frau Troffea (so named in the source material) dances and dances. For hours. For several days. For months. Others join her. There were supposedly about 400 persons who danced until they collapsed from exhaustion and pain. Many of them died. This dancing excess went down in history as the “Strasbourg dancing plague of 1518.” Up until the present day one still is puzzled about the causes. More recent research suspects the dancing mania was a reaction to uncertain times. Ceren Oran, who has chosen Munich as her home, is also searching for the individual, emotional reasons. Her dance marathon – 10 days, 7 hours each day at different venues – is fed by sequences of movement inspired by social, political, or personal matters and distributed among each other. Materials and comments will also be distributed on the website www.whoisfrautroffea.com.

With the world premiere of Who is Frau Troffea? at DANCE 2019 this dancer, choreographer, and “sound painter,” who was born in 1984 in Istanbul, presents another result of her ongoing research into the exhausted, or rather, exhausting human body. In her piece Rush Hour (2017) treadmills take the performers to their limits and beyond. How far can a body go? How long can the dancers maintain the performative quality? While the choreography over the course of eight hours accumulates, the bodies weaken gradually. Coincidental passers-by and the targeted members of the audience are confronted with dancers who are increasingly weary. They pop up during the festival at different places in Munich. (For more information, visit www.whoisfrautroffea.com) Their interventions in everyday social life in the city borrow political protest movement motifs that have become iconic: the young woman Jan Rose Kasmir who stood in front of the National Guard holding a flower during the anti-Vietnam war demonstrations in 1967; the “tank man” who stood in front of a column of tanks on Tiananmen Square with two shopping bags in his hands; and the “standing man,” whose picture from Taksim Square in 2013 went around the globe. In addition, Ceren Oran, who finished her studies in 2006 with a master’s degree in international choreographic exchange at SEAD in Salzburg, has researched why humans dance at all. The dancers in her international and multi-ethnic team let their own stories and experiences flow into the performances. The more personal their dance is, the more convincing it is, says Ceren Oran. Her core team comes from Germany, Slovakia, Turkey, Israel, and Columbia. The team will be supplemented by students from SEAD – Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance. The music for Who is Frau Troffea? is by the composer and DJ Hüseyin Evirgen, who has vast experience with long-term live acts. A techno soundscape of electronic music instruments and via sound generators that lasts more than eight hours and functions without samplers or computers. The pre-produced material, a type of first draft, will be played in one take and recorded. The dancers and their bodies orient themselves to special sound signals, in passion and exhaustion, in dynamics and tranquility.

Nomadic Academy

Over the next three years, choreographer Anna Konjetzky will be working on her project Nomadic Academy dealing with the subjects of alternative spaces, free spaces, alternative roads and  border(s) with a focus on evasion, displacement and resistance.

As a center that will be simultaneously educational, communicative and research-based, the Nomadic Academy will explore these topics under the keywords QUEER and QUER (QUER – a German term which means cross, transverse, diagonally), which will be the starting points for a practical and theoretical research journey; including a wide range of different people, groups and institutions – other artists, communities, students, theoreticians, universities… all testing, thinking
and challenging QUEER and QUER.

The Nomadic Academy will function as a base-satellite system and will thus connect the Bavarian dance scene (Munich base) to foreign dance scenes (satellites) from 2019 to 2021. The Nomadic Academy will take place every year in a different location abroad, and annually as a ten-day platform for knowledge exchange in Munich. It will dock into numerous institutions, collaborate with numerous artists, and lead to discourses, body practice and impulses.

The core of the Nomadic Academy consists of a crew of Munich-based artists, who will accompagny and activly shape the academy during the next three years. In various constellations participants of this reseach group will take part in the academy’s moduls abroad. Sharing there the previous research by focusing each time on the particularity of each of these places. Conversely an artist from the moduls abroad will also join the plattforms of the project in Munich, thus exchanging and challenging knowledge, discurse, aesthetics and body praxis of and in different local contexts.

The principle of the nomadic is at this juncture a constituting element for Konjetzky’s approach. It is illustrated, on the one hand, in the “wandering” of the academy – a practice that allows one to balance the issue of border(s) and alternative spaces with the respective conditions (political, social, geographic, etc.) and protagonists on site. On the other hand, the nomadic is also addressed in the organization of knowledge, in how we share knowledge, in what structures can we create during the academy to meet, interact, learn and research.

Considering human movement and (individual) freedom of movement is not possible without reflecting on border(s). Border(s) determine the space for movement and action; they elicit patterns of behavior and physicalness. Border(s) are celebrating a renaissance in our post-colonial, globalized and capitalist world and are drawn not only around nations but also exist increasingly within nations ans societys.

With various bodies at various locations, the Nomadic Academy would like to consider which borders affect, influence, limit and challenge bodies at the respective locations in diverse ways and thus politicize these bodies. The Nomadic Academy  does so in order to investigate what powers to act are inherent in movement and bodies. Can they transcend borders, move them, make them visible or even tear them down? These debates will always be addressed on two levels: on a physical, dance level (searching for physical tools, choreographic settings, giving physical experiences etc.) as well as on an intellectual level in discussions and lectures.

So the need for queerness, for other and alternative ways of moving, living, being together is very present and compelling. The need for not following given pathways, the need for otherness, the need for empathy, the need for collectivness, the need for visibility… Art and dance is a perfect negociating and meeting point, a social-political discurs platform, to reflect and discuss together for other ways, for taking risks and propose alternatives.

During this three years we will collaborate with three partnering countries:

Poland , Palestine and Greece.

The Nomadic Academy  will each time and in each country focus on the particularity of these places in collaboration with local artists, curators, initiatives and institutions. Thus continuing and expanding the research in order to establish a continuous discourse.

The Girl(s) of the Golden West

Having addressed Tosca and Manon Lescaut Lulu Obermayer now dedicates herself to the third of Puccini’s operas, La Fanciulla del West, set during the Gold Rush in California of 1849/50. Opera meets Western film: The Girl(s) of the Golden West breaks with typical representations of gender in both genres. Instead of a lonesome cowboy, Minnie, who is a typical protagonist in neither a western nor an opera, is explored for her feminist potential. In her solo performance Lulu Obermayer inscribes herself into plot, libretto and score.

Second Essay On Gymnastic

Second Essay on Gymnastic is based on the interconnectedness of two histories: that of Germany as an imagined community and that of ‚Turnen‘ (German gymnastics) as a physical practice – from its roots in 1811 as military exercise against the French occupation to the German Gymnastics Festival 2017 under the heading of „How colorful is this!“.

Second Essay on Gymnastic , eight performers use the choreographic vocabulary of the ‚Turner‘ movement and its performance in synchronized gymnastics shows as a point of departure for an examination of the formation of german bodies and thus try to tell an alternative german history.

Empathy

Dance Theater Performance by Jasmine Ellis

Fascinated by the rapid decline of empathy, artists crash together. Admitting that the waters around us have grown, dance, theatre and live-music weave together, asking politely: Please don’t stand in the doorway. Don’t block up the hall. Pondering if the last time we cried was in front of a YouTube video, maybe going to the theatre would be nice?


Press:

“Ellis’ “Empathy“ is an exciting dance piece and collaborative work with power, traction – and beautiful differentiation.” (Thomas Betz, Münchner Feuilleton, 12.01.2018)

The way Ellis lets the initially almost autistic-looking characters open up in her by the city of Munich debut funded piece reveals an immense ability.“ (Sabine Leucht, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 13.01.2018)

 “This mixture of mind and heart, conception and sensuality succeeds in “Empathy“, a musically and dancewise tight, imaginative and multi-layered evening.” (Stephanie Metzger, BR Kulturnachrichten, 11. und 12.01.2018)

“One of her choreographic qualities is to conjure up fabulous situations out of nothing.” (Vesna Mlakar, tanznetz.de, 15.01.2018)


Jasmine Ellis

Jasmine Ellis is a Canadian choreographer and dance film director currently based out of Munich Germany.

A graduate of Etobicoke School of the Arts, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and Codarts Rotterdam Conservatory, Ellis has worked professionally in dance as a performer and choreographer since 2006. She has performed for companies like Dorky Park – Costanza Marcas (DE), Random Collison (NL), Zata Omm – William Young (CA), satellit produktion – David Russo (DE), the Bayerische Staatsoper (DE), and for many choreographers including Edan Gorlicki (NL), Ido Batash (IS), Anna Reiti (HG).

Ellis creations are often collaborative, alternating between stage and film. She is the artistic director of bad posture productions. Her latest short film ‘Cargo ‘ has been shown on numerous festivals, won awards and will next be offical selection at Aesthetica Short Film Festival.

As part of Springboard Danse Montréal in the years 2016 to 2018 she presented her own choreographies in Montreal, Canada. Ellis was awarded the Debütförderung für freie Tanzschaffende from the city of Munich (Kulturreferat der LH München). Her evening length show ‘Empathy’ premiered in January 2018 and was invited to show at RODEO Festival this October.

A resident of Munich for many years Ellis is proactive in cultivating a lively free dance scene in Munich. Co-creator of Munich DancePAT with Katrin Schafitel, Ellis programs and facilities guest artist to teach monthly professional morning training in collaboration with Tanztendenz Munich e.V .

www.jasminellis.com / www.badpostureproductions.com

Manon Lescaut

after the opera by Giacomo Puccini

In her artistic practice, Lulu Obermayer researches the historical and contemporary conditions of the female solo on stage. Manon Lescaut deconstructs and renegotiates female existence in opera. An emotive and moving desert landscape is orchestrated and choreographed with body and voice.

Fucking Disabled

A Theater Performance About Passion, Beauty and Encounters Beyond the Norm

Fucking Disabled is a collective poetic piece about sex and desire, which was directed by David von Westphalen. The cast: A beautiful woman with an unusual shape and an enchanting voice. A performer with unconventional movement and articulation. A tantric sex worker. And a beautiful, graceful dancer. It is about unfettered pleasure, unnecessary taboos and the joy of sexual freedom. It is about the fact that sexuality with a disability is more normal than people without a disability would think. And that passion can blossom again when that which is normal is no longer normal. It is not a drama, there are no characters, and it is not documentary theater; it is a sensual piece based on the performers’ personalities.
“Of course! We also want sex and we have sex, what did you think?” they declare. Telling their own stories, the four performers of the evening lead us out of the thicket of prejudice right into the realm of eroticism. They use the performance to pave the way which can allow disabled and non-disabled people to live out a liberated sexuality in this society. “We are also desirable and sexy!” they exclaim. But how can you be heard if your speech is also impeded? How do you connect with each other if the customary sequence of seduction and the usual dating rules prove to be useless?
To this effect, the performers provide a protected space for thoughts and perceptions for themselves and the audience, in which tenderness and attraction are made possible. Here, in unvarnished beauty, it is revealed how enjoyable it is not to be restricted by the predefined paths of eroticism. The hybrid combination of poetry, musical theater, performance, scenes and essays enables us to contemplate, feel and experience all of this in a new light at any given time.

RODEO 2016 – Festival of the Independent Dance & Theater Scene of Munich

hiSTOREy – KÖLN 2015

Köln-Sülz is the Jungle and we take you for a stroll. In vacated stores we stumbled upon faintly glimmering gordic knots kinked of private fate and metropolitan history. Where urban reality cracks open, and where behind sealed off doors and below dysfunctional neon signs whispered stories tickle our ears, hiSTOREy leads the audience out of the theater into the city. Hidden in the public space blank spaces all too often escape us in the fluid stream of urban presence. Hey there, is this an interspace? A blind spot squatted by dancers and their solo pieces – incarnations of the places’ history. En route through Sülz CADAM. dive into the metropolitan surface, uncover anecdotes and curiosities, that are essential to the life in the ‘Veedel’. Right now we are trying, with our hands and feet, to unravel the threads, sparks drizzle and whoever curiously peeks through the gap in the masked window, might think they witnessed a dance…