After a two year break I am finally resuming the work I started at interweaving performance cultures in Berlin on "spirituality and performance". Having found a few new collaboration partners, I am happy to continue the work with Qi Gong, meditation and movement here in Japan. I am excited to get new insights, perspectives and inspiration and I hope to be able to give a short presentation in Tokyo before I have to go back to Berlin in a few months.
photo by Gunnar Uhlenhut
find my summer interview at Interweaving Performance Cultures, Berlin here.
June 18th 2016: Dr. Sandra Chatterjee and myself presented our lecture performance at Tanzkongress Hannover, Schauspiel Bühne. Under the title "Traversing the Contemporary (pl.) – Verflochtene Praktiken des Zeitgenössischen Tanzes in Deutschland" we first presented a short performance - aiming to challenge the viewers perception and thinking patterns - and afterwards Dr. Sandra Chatterjee explained the theoretical context.
Our main questions were: how exclusive is the category of the contemporary in (continental)european contemporary dance? How do some contemporary choreographic practices and discourses of the contemporary contradict each other?
For me it was great to collaborate with Sandra, who is so knowledgeable and open-minded. And it seems like the audience really enjoyed our little illusion, which we created in our performance as well as the theoretical context.
For more info email me or Dr. Sandra Chatterjee
During my time of artistic research on “spirituality and performance” at the International Research Center I would like to deepen my prior research and continue to develop my choreographic work, which had included aspects of spirituality. Having grown up in a spiritual-group setting in South India most of my spiritual knowledge is rooted in the Advaita Vedanta and Bhakti Yoga traditions. Advaita Vedanta states that the human soul (Atman) and God (Brahman) are one. The Bhakti Yoga tradition is based on devotion and surrender to God(s) and the spiritual practice includes meditation, chanting and selfless service.
First I will focus on and expand my "spiritual experience" by spending a lot of time exploring and deepening different spiritual practises. Furthermore I would like to explore the question of the metaphysical connection of performers and audience members referring to the aspects of Atman and Brahman in a number of experiments. Are we connected based on these aspects and can the connection emerge or be emphasized through performance?
The dancer's body will be used as an instrument. Not focussing on shape, technique and aesthetics but rather as a mode of creating different ambiances and shifting energies. I will also look at the element of ether or space and how it serves as a medium of transportation for subtle energies that communicate the state of the performer to the viewer.
for further information about the International Research Center please click here
After a very enjoyable time in India and two beautiful workshops in Pune and Mumbai i was very excited to fly to Hong Kong for the first time.
Besides the amazing food i also enjoyed teaching a workshop in contemporary dance and one workshop in Bharatanatyam to a number of very open minded and dedicated dancers i am very grateful to have met these beautiful people!
After an unexpectedly adventurous trip i finally reached Pune in one piece on April 28th - ready to see my colleagues perform at the 6th edition of the Prayatna Film and Dance Festival in Pune. My show was scheduled for the last day of the festival, April 29th 2014, sharing the stage with the Hrishikesh Pawar Dance Company. Teching at 40° Celcius and in broad day light at the outdoor venue of Kalachhaya Cultural Center was 'interesting', but i had great trust in the local technicians and the whole Pune staff. I enjoyed performing my solo 'waves' to Oliver Doerell's fabulous music and it seemed like the audience really loved the performance, too.
Experiencing the hard work and love for contemporary dance by Hrishikesh Pawar as well as seeing the impressive result in form of the festival, touched me deeply and i feel very grateful that i was allowed to be part of it.
A day later i started to teach a master class to the local dancers, who participated with great dedication, passion, joy and a good sense of humor. i had so much fun sharing my knowledge of different dance techniques, my experience as a performer and choreographer as well as creating a short movement phrase with the dancers - that in the end i felt we just didn't have enough time... so i hope to be back with the whole company next year!
here is a brief review of the workshop: Sakaal Times
Hrishikesh Pawar's Prayatna Film and Dance Festival
dancers of the 5-day workshop in Pune.
photo by Anish Jadhav
i was very happy and priviledged to be invited to be part of the 'Dance Conversations II' conference, organized by Priya Srinivasan and Ramya Harishankar at UCIrvine, LA California, USA. i shared the stage with fabulous artists like Dominique Delorme (Paris, France), Hari Krishnan (Toronto, Canada) and Maya Rao (New Delhi, India) and enjoyed being backstage and on stage with them a lot.
it was also a great experience to meet fellow artists and scholars during the conference, such as Anusha Kedhar, Sheetal Gandhi, Preeti Vasudevan, the PostNatyam Collective and many many more.
thanks to everyone! it was a pleasure and honor meeting you all.
Johanna Devi Dance Company was invited to perform 'little changes' at the 3rd International Theatre Festival, Erbil held Oct 7th - 13th. it was wonderful to share the stage with groups from Uganda, Tunesia, Kurdistan, Iran, Baghdad, France, Sweden and Catalunia. We were lucky and happy to win the prize for Carmen Romero as the best female performer.
We experienced a friendly welcome and we were taken care of very well. Special thanks to everyone, who made the festival happen and who made our stay so easy.
And of course extra special thanks to the company dancers: Carmen Romero, Julia Metzger-Traber and Hrishikesh Pawar as well as to our composer Oliver Doerell!
While other people go on holidays we are in the studio almost full-time preparing for a competition, the Solo show on August 26th at the Embassy and working on a new Company production that will have its premier in the fall in Berlin.
Carmen Romero, Julia Traber and Annekatrin Trautmann have been fabulously dedicated to my work. i feel honored and happy to have such hard working company dancers, who continuously leave the studio with confused minds due to fighting through the total head-fuck i present to them by overlayering rhythm patterns in different speeds, different ways of counting and challenging their inner metronome.
Miako Klein, who composes the music for us is simply a genius in picking up the structures and rhythms. By creating extra ambiances and sounds the piece is taking a shape that will truly be impressive to the viewer.
At the same time Sara Mikolai, Giorgia Minisini, Carmen Romero and Johanna Devi started their rehearsals for the solo evening of JDDC members presenting their solo work - merging contemporary dance and Bharatanatyam together, translating their individual experience with the two techniques and approaches into a dance solo.
come and see us on August 26th at 6PM at the Indian Embassy, Berlin - free entry
JDDC is creating profound and innovative dance productions for the international stage, merging contemporary dance and classical Indian dance.