What happens when four contemporary choreographers deal with traditional German dances such as Kette, Mühle, Achterrüm, Fürizwänger, mazurka, quadrille? If they perform their choreographies with a group of dance amateurs and string several pieces together into a single evening? What if the audience is not only invited to watch, but also to participate? We’ll dismantle the auditorium seating, lay out the dance floor and hang some pretty lights. We’ll provide seats for people to catch their breath and set up a bar with refreshing drinks. We will invite DJ Booty Carrell and his exquisite music collection, so you can get up and dance too. And we not too shy to show some moves of our own. Maybe you won’t want to stop dancing together after the night is over?
Conventional theatre dance implies that the dance is performed on stage and watched by an audience sitting in an auditorium. By comparison, folk dances are first and foremost intended for dancing. The focus lies on their execution; the act the act of watching takes place en passant. For the project HEUTE: volkstanzen Jenny Beyer (Hamburg), Heike Hennig (Leipzig), Isabelle Schad (Berlin) and Doris Uhlich (Vienna) intensely explored the subject of folk dancing and subsequently developed choreographies with a group of amateurs interested in dance. In the tradition of folk dance meetings, they have put together an evening, during which the audience is invited to both watch the groups dancing, as well as participate.
Our goal is to investigate the potential of folk dancing as a physical-collective praxis both in theory and practice, as well as reflect and artistically appropriate it from the perspective of contemporary dance. We will explore the basic choreographic structures of folk dancing from the perspective of contemporary dance practice and examine how their potential can be made sustainably available for use in practical-artistic dance education. By also investigating current folk dance practices, the project thus also inquires into what could be contemporary equivalents to traditional folk dancing that explore and test dance education and participation in exemplary fashion.
The results of the project will be presented both in Hamburg and Leipzig and will link archive/research and studio/production. Four choreographers – Jenny Beyer (Hamburg), Heike Hennig (Leipzig), Isabelle Schad (Berlin) and Doris Uhlich (Vienna) – will explore folk dancing as a “living archive”. Based on the Leipzig Dance Archive’s extensive collection of material on folk dancing and folklore, they will examine the choreographic structures of various folk dances, especially in terms of the communicative and community-building potential, both on a theoretical as well as artistic level.
Subsequently, the choreographers will work with a group of amateurs, who are interested in dance, in order to develop a choreography that reflects and translates the dance practices and choreographic structures, as well as innovative forms of participation, sharing and communication found in folk dancing into the context of current dance practice and moreover make the material and knowledge gained accessible for the future as well. The project will conclude with a “Folk Dance Festival” in Hamburg and Leipzig that reflects the practice of folk dancing as an act of both participation and presentation, not only in the dance pieces shown, but also in the overall format of the festival.
The documentation of the project you find here
Conzept | Art director: Matthias Quabbe (K3 – Zentrum für Choreographie | Tanzplan Hamburg)
Choreography: Jenny Beyer (Hamburg), Heike Hennig (Leipzig), Isabelle Schad (Berlin), Doris Uhlich (Wien) Musik: Sebastian Reier aka DJ Booty Carrell
Scientific collaboration / dramaturgy advice: Theresa Jacobs / Patrick Primavesi (Tanzarchiv Leipzig e.V.)
Dramaturgy assistant | Project coordination: Lina Klingebeil
Stagetechnic: Marian Regdosz
Light: Dennis Döscher
More information here: www.tanzfonds.de
Folk Dance Local Lab
Artistic Director of the Project: Matthias Quabbe
Documentation Folk Dance Celebration
Documentation Folk Dance Lab
HEUTE: volkstanzen explores contemporary equivalents to traditional folk dancing and examines participation and ways in which dance is communicated in an exemplary way.
The conventional practice in theatrical dance implies dance being performed on stage and watched by an audience sitting in an auditorium. By comparison, folk dances are first and foremost intended for dancing. The focus lies on its practice; the act of watching takes place en passant. Due to social as well as cultural changes, but also its political instrumentalization in the 20th century, folk dancing ceased quite some time ago to be a part of daily life for most people and even suffered appropriation by ideology at a certain point in time.
The goal of this project was to investigate the potential of folk dancing as a physical-collective praxis both in theory and practice. The basic choreographic structures of folk dancing were explored from the perspective of contemporary dance and examined as to whether and in what way its potential could be made sustainably available for raising awareness for dance on a practical-artistic level. By simultaneously investigating current folk dance practices, the project also inquired into what could be contemporary equivalents to traditional folk dancing that explore and test dance education and participation.
For HEUTE: volkstanzen, Jenny Beyer (Hamburg), Heike Hennig (Leipzig), Isabelle Schad (Berlin) and Doris Uhlich (Vienna) dealt intensely with folk dancing – on the basis of their own practices – and each developed choreographies together with a group of interested amateurs. The result was an evening in which watching and participating in the dancing merged and the boundary between both actions blurred in a continuation of the tradition of folk dance meetings.
What happens when four contemporary choreographers deal with chain and round dance patterns, Achterrüm, Fürizwänger, Mazurka, Quadrille? What if the audience is not only invited to watch, but also to dance themselves? A dance floor, suitable lighting, a few chairs for people to catch their breath, a bar with refreshments and a DJ with an exquisite collection of music... What happens when the evening is over and the audience refuses to stop dancing together?
This format, which took place as a “Folk Dance Celebration” at K3 | Tanzplan Hamburg and at Schaubühne Lindenfels in Leipzig and linked archive/research and studio/production, reflected the practice of folk dancing as an act of both participation and presentation, not only in the dance pieces shown, but also in the overall format of the event.
Based on the experiences of the folk dance celebration project, which took place in October 2013, Jenny Beyer, Antje Pfundtner, Gunnar Brandt-Sigurdsson, the K3 choreographers in residence of the 14/15 season investigated together with a group of interested amateurs from Hamburg strategies and operating modes that allow professionals and spectators to dance together.
During opening hours, visitors could discover dance and audio material and try it out for themselves or with others. The working space became a place both for presentation and a shared dance practice.
The “Folk Dance Lab” is conceived as a pilot project for the development of a mobile format that can be variably applied to different occasions, spaces and contexts. In collaboration with the artistic director of the project Matthias Quabbe, as well as two choreographers from the project, further Folk Dance Labs can be created on site, which invite the local dance scene, dance amateurs, as well as the general public, to discover contemporary dance and the structures of folk dancing together and to create a shared dance experience that combines both watching and dancing.
Folk Dance Celebration
17. – 19.10.2013 K3 | Tanzplan Hamburg
25. and 26.10.2013 Schaubühne Lindenfels Leipzig
Folk Dance Local Lab
13. – 23.08.2014 K3 | Tanzplan Hamburg as part of the International Summer Festival at Kampnagel