Offensive Tanz

© TANZKOMPLIZEN

TANZKOMPLIZEN and Offensive Tanz

"The other Body"

Steps of Change

“In everyday life, like in theatre and performance spaces, there is a dramaturgy of power and privilege, which is also a dramaturgy of hierarchy, separation, rupture and elimination. Racism is embedded in all those domaines, racism is an intersectional sphere in itself, a vast area of transcultural intersectionality.”

Nora Amin

To kick off the Offensive Tanz für junges Publikum, the TANZKOMPLIZEN team conducted numerous interviews with artists and institutions in order to define fields of action for the overall project of the Offensive. It became clear how necessary it is to address structural racism in dance and to work towards greater diversity or more "equality" in training and production.

The first event of the Offensive on the topic of "Dance and Racism" took place in September 2020 in the Schillertheater Workshop and as a livestream on YouTube, initiated and organized by TANZKOMPLIZEN. The symposium "The other body" brought together dance professionals, dance experts, dance educators and interested audiences to analyze racist strategies in dance education and in the aesthetic traditions of choreographed dance.

The conference was conceived and curated by the Egyptian dancer, choreographer and author Nora Amin, who in her opening speech spoke about mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion in dance, about hierarchy and ownership and about her very personal commitment to changing current structures:

The symposium was divided into three thematic blocks. In the first session "Critical initiatives by emerging artists", dance educator Amelie Mallmann spoke with the two artists* Zwoisy Mears-Clarke and Tümay Kılınçel about their work. What experiences do they have as dance makers with racism and how do they process this in their art?

The second session "Dance pedagogy from a socio-political perspective" focused on training structures. Nora Amin spoke with the dance scholar Nina Hänel and the artistic director of TanzZeit, Livia Patrizi, about contents and methods of teaching and access barriers on the way to becoming a professional dancer:

In the third session "The performative political body of today" Michael Freundt, chairman of the Dachverband Tanz, discussed with the artists Hannah Ma and Mey Seifan. Among other things, they discussed the question of how the funding landscape in dance must be set up to take into account structures that promote diversity.

After each of the three thematic blocks, the audience was invited to exchange views in small groups on the questions that had been opened up. The day ended with a performative session with 10-minute contributions by the dancers Raphael Hillebrand, Mohammed Diban, Pasquale Rotter, Josep Garcia Caballero and Raha Nejad.

The idealistic and challenging goals are approached by Offensive Tanz für junges Publikum with courageous and offensive steps. They offer numerous opportunities for participation and networking and for new ways of reunion, whether for Berlin's dance professionals, the young audience, those interested in dance, or those still to be inspired.

With this conference, the Offensive Tanz has set out on a path that will lead to further events and a deeper professional exchange. The questions discussed will first be taken up again at the symposium "race - class - gender: intersectional perspectives in dance and theater for the youngest", which Theater o.N. will organize as part of the Festival FRATZ International in October/November 2020.

In January 2021 the theme will be transferred to a stage dance production: With "A Human Race" TANZKOMPLIZEN will show a piece by the French KRUMP dancer and choreographer Grichka Caruge as part of the Offensive, which deals with the power of dance in rebelling against injustice and racism.

We are on our way. And take steps of change.

“To develop dance for youth and dance in education is to work towards the future situation of the dance field in general, and to empower an equal and participatory domaine where dance creation can expand and meet the new horizon of a growing society.”

Nora Amin