Hi Everyone, it’s me again. So this week I went to Impulstanz Vienna (https://www.impulstanz.com/en/) – it’s a international dance festival, which was founded in 1984 and by now one of the largest festivals of contemporary dance and performance worldwide.
It is a five week program, with different Workshops, Performances and research projects every week plus intensive Workshops on the weekends.
So Focus of this Blogpost will be a little resume of my festival experience as this was pretty much the only thing I have done this week.
I took a range of different workshops. One of them was Gaga People. Some of you might know Gaga as a dance practice, as it has gotten quite popular within the last years (+you can attend Gaga classes in Berlin, too). Originally, Gaga comes from Israel. Here a short summary taking out of the wiki article on Gaga:
Gaga is a movement language nd pedagogy developed by Batsheva Dance Company director and teacher Ohad Naharin. Used in Israeli contemporary dance Gaga has two educational tracks which are taught in Israel as well as several other countries: Gaga/Dancers is intended for trained dancers and comprises the daily training of the Batsheva Dance Company; Gaga/People is designed for the general public and requires no dance training. Many dancers have stated that after taking Gaga classes, their passion for dance has been re-ignited; they have found new ways to connect to their inner beast without being self-conscious about how the movement looks while at the same time discovering how to listen to their bodies/self.
Gaga students improvise their movements based on somatic experience and imagery described by the teacher, which provides a framework that promotes unconventional movement. The imagery is intended to guide the performer’s movement expressivity by focusing attention on specific body regions.
And here a small interview with Ohad Naharin´on Gaga + visual material where you can see people practicing.
Now some of you might think – wow, that’s pretty hippie and esoteric. And yes, I agree, and usually, I am pretty allergic if dance gets to feely and eso BUT I really think, that the way, of how Gaga (depending on the teacher of course) can change how you perceive your body while you move, is very unique. Besides, most Gaga classes I have attend were a real big conglomerate of diverse bodie. Differnt Ages, different shapes and sizes and I am pretty fond of that, too.
Ok, just for the sake of completeness, I name the other workshops and their teachers I attended: One by Kenji Takagi, which was about finding physical solutions within the movement abilities of your body for exercises and tasks he proposes. Then making them a pattern of movement by repeating , so you can remember them. In the end of every class he would structure and time those movements and turn them into a choreography. Because non dancers as well as dancers participated, the movement qualities differed a lot in a positive way – which was actually quite beautiful.
The other one is by Josh Mckain – we basically did a heavy warm up and then danced an alternative choreography to Kate Bushs „Running up that Hill (Deal with God)“ – this was so much fun. Pure Love!
(for those who read the last post – YES! Now I will post a different Kate Bush Song in every blog entry I am going to write)
Last Workshop is with Florentina Holzinger and Marija Malencia – it’s a still ongoing intensive class, where they are working with elements of Kick-Boxing as a tool for empowerment. For this year’s intensive edition of the workshop the designer Joanna Zabielska, is constructing a boxing ring with the help of the participants, in which the final fights going to take place. It’s so nice to experience how the group connects with each other through that heavy physical practice of boxing.
Concerning the performance program, I unfortunately didn’t get to see any of the Red Pieces by the danish Dancer and Choreographer Mette Ingvartsen, but I know some of her work and would highly recommend to go watch it, if you have the change. The Red Pieces is a series of four performance pieces, reflecting on the history of sexuality, as it has been shown in performance and performance art since the 1960s to today.
In her pieces, Ingvartsen deals with nudity and gender relations in very different artistic compositions, with the cultural construction and manipulation of bodies up to the ways how we have sex together
Here is a recording of the performance 7 pleasures:
And another great performance I actually have been seeing was ANDRADE choreographed by Michiel Vandevelde (Belgium) and danced by Belgium based artist Bryana Fritz.
Ok. you can check out the website of Impulstanz anyways, as they’re a lot of great and inspiring people giving workshops or doing performances.
And for those of you who enjoy reading theoretic text rather than personal experience: here is an older text by Multimedia Artist Hito Steyerl about the death of the internet and why it moves offline.
Thanks for reading! Have a great rest weekend and a beautiful summer week.