Isabelle Schad — Fugen

Since July, I’ve been working with Isabelle Schad on her new work, a solo called Fugen. Next Thursday is the première.

Fugen by Isabelle Schad

With Fugues, Berlin choreographer and dancer Isabelle Schad continues her work between musical concepts and their expression in movement. Coming from a music background, she attempts to look at her own (hi)story and the origins of (her) movement between discipline and pleasure, examining the body and its energies in its materiality, process, and time.

The fugue serves her as an analogy for the body in exercise, where the principles of chasing and fleeing, giving and receiving, emptiness and fullness, are becoming one.

Fugues is an autobiographical work in which the performer’s body serves as an example for the construction of the individual within disciplines and systems one cannot escape from.

Thursday, 29th Oct 2015, 20:00, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin)
30th, 31st Oct, & 1st Nov 2015, 20:00

Audience talk after the performance on Friday 30th with Jun.-Prof. Dr. Susanne Foellmer, Isabelle Schad, and Sasa Bozic

Concept, choreography and performance: Isabelle Schad
Dramaturgy: Sasa Bozic
Artistic assistance: Frances d’Ath
Associated artists: Laurent Goldring, Alain Franco
Light design: Mehdi Toutain-Lopez
Costume: Charlotte Pistorius
Production management: Heiko Schramm
Production: Isabelle Schad
Co-production: HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Espace Pasolini (Valenciennes)
Funded by: the Regierende Bürgermeister von Berlin – Senatskanzlei – Kulturelle Angelegenheiten, and the Nationales Performance Netz (NPN) Koproduktionsförderung Tanz, which is funded by the Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien on the basis of a decision by the Deutschen Bundestags.
Supported by: Wiesen55 e.V.
Thanks to: Damir Simunovic
photo: Laurent Goldring

More information: Isabelle Schad, Hebbel am Ufer

Fugen on tour 2015:
3rd & 4th November 2015, Liikkeellä marraskuussa, Stoa, Helsinki Finland
26th & 27th November 2015, Next Festival, Espace Pasolini, Valenciennes France

“Zürich is boring because I am not there and your unbuggered arse is missing me somethin’ rotten”

Oh beautiful darling Nigel, what can I say? I think you’d hate all the grief (but be secretly fucking smug at it all, or maybe want to know why you didn’t knock the Olympics off the front page), and I’ve got you in my guts like a plague so you’ll have to hear it from me also. If you’re not too busy rotting, that is.

I’ve been reading your emails. God, but I was vacuous. I probably should have been a little more attentive when you bought a glass of orange juice in a heart-shaped glass in the morning after all those weeks of chaos, and why the fuck I didn’t jump on a plane to Helsinki and miss some days of rehearsing?

It was the last day of teaching in ImPulsTanz (I wonder what you’d say about that? Probably that I had become a sell-out reactionary of the bourgeoisie, and did I think I was better than you? Something unprintably and laughably offensive anyway), and lunch was being assembled when I heard the quiet, excited clamour of a death. “Who?” I asked, when the huddle had turned itself outward, and the person behind me said your name.

Was it you who unzipped my top that first day, when we were rolled and pulled around the (now also gone) loft studio in Tanzhaus Wasserwerk? After a mere 10 days you’d teased out not a small amount of my life, secrets, loves, desires … and yes, all that we spoke of over rosehip tea on the Sunday Zürichsee ferry you gleefully announced I would make theatre out of on the Wednesday. It became all the people… and probably the best 15 minutes of performance I’ve ever made.

I don’t think anyone has had such an effect on me and my messing around in dance, personally, as you, and you are responsible for so much of my work since those weeks in Zürich — I even thought voice work was rubbish until you came along. I’m embarrassing you now, aren’t I?

Or maybe … I hadn’t really thought of you that much since the last time I was in Vienna, and saw a work of yours, hoped you might be in town also. Or rather, I’d thought of you often, talked about you and how you’d inspired me and pulled out absolutely the best work I’ve done, talked about how various things I might be working on came from you in one way or another; but really thinking about you … I just expected you’d be around until you were old and crapulous.

Your emails, god they are eye-wateringly, obscenely hilarious. And not enough. Fuck, Nigel, way too soon. Who’s going to save dance from the endless, turgid, dull hippy hell now that you’ve sodded off? You were a step into a bigger world for me, and I never want that to end.

I’m poor and unemployed and unemployable. Loving it.
Fuck me when I’m ninety?

Archeypical Encounters in Shibari

A weekend of workshops – two days of only ropes from lunch until deep into the night. After the Saturday self-suspension workshop, Sunday was for a completely different group, with a correspondingly different focus. A group of seven from a Berlin Tantric massage organisation wanted to see what of Shibari would come together with what they did. More knots and learning, some figures I’d forgotten, vats of chai tea, suspensions, Dasniya and I tying Lewis, another great pot of soup and more post-rope eating around the long table … The theme for the next monthly workshop might be Shibari and Food.

In the meantime, Dasniya hauls over to Helsinki in a week and an half, for a workshop at Todellisuuden Tutkimuskeskus. For those who are interested in doing her workshop, all the information is below.

Archeypical Encounters in Shibari
A performative rope research in Helsinki

When: February 23th to 27th, 2012
Thu 17-21h
Fri 17-21h
Sat 12-18h
Sun 12-18 + Showing
Mon contemplation + future planning

Where: Todellisuuden Tutkimuskeskus (Reality Research Center) / Suvilahti / Puhdistamo 6, II krs / Helsinki, Finland

Costs: 100 €, max 12 participants
Contact: Julius: / 050-537 4244
More information: Todellisuuden Tutkimuskeskus , Dasniya Sommer

What goods are at stake in a Second Life age of global mega bit exchange? Among billions of personal and more anonymous data, identities get suspended. If things were simply upside down, or inside out it would be an easy trot. But affairs seem more intricate. Seizing chaos literally. Rooting bodies airwards, floating into the world wide void.

Incompatible archetypes form patchwork communities and trench warfares. On the scout for oneness, traveling meditative galaxies, individuals become partially ascetic. Is the social task to transform and reduce archetypical existence to zen-zero?

The Method: Atheist Yoga & Un-Shibari:

Traditional Shibari settings operate with binary constellations like active-passive, men- women, dominant-submissive. One person taking control over a second person, by restricting and decorating them with ropes. Or: The Good and the Evil, The Beauty and the Beast.

What questions are needed, in order to move beyond these (gender insensitive) concepts?

-what archetypical behaviour do we find, and identify with, within the normative Shibari practice? why disidentifying with these figures? why are they enjoyable/can be problematic?
-towards what dynamic do specific type-constellation lead?
-how can rope technique be tailored, so that it becomes compatible with performative role models?
-what archetypical sensual/sexual patterns do practitioners decisively or unconsciously experience, copy, manifest or challenge in relation to their (sub-) cultural context?
-what concepts for semi-intimate relations allow for these kind of experiments in real life? (between romanticism, polyamory and asexuality)
-which other socially informed practices, like reading, dancing, massaging, tea ceremony, food can be combined?

Generating performative material:

-investing into stupidity, non-rational primitive actions -combining these with ropes
-self-suspension as subversive strategy
-adding archetypical performance to the rope work
-learning the traditional technique and finding new approaches -rope improvisation
-deviating dramaturgies within a rope situation: self->partner->self suspension

More meta-material to generate tasks/for Mondays reflection:

-avoiding second nature-shibari patterns or their (semi-)conscious reproduction -unjudging, indulging and exploiting them
-transforming the archetype
-talking about (care-) ethics
-being critical on Shibari/BDSM practices?
-finding formats for non-/participatory performances

self-suspension and finland

The last self-suspension workshop consumed all of Sunday and even before it began there was talk of another, so happiness is to say it will be happening on Saturday 11th February.

Also unexpectedly one of the places I’ve long wanted to visit has fallen into my lap, and I shall be wandering north- and eastwards in three weeks with Dasniya for a workshop in Helsinki.

Self-Suspension Workshop in February

Am Samstag den 11. Februar von 14-20 Uhr.

In diesem Kurs behalten alle die Seile in den eigenen Händen. Wir üben quasi Aerial-Multitasking. Dazu gehören Seil- und Atemtechniken mit physischen Intensitäten, Entspannungsmomenten und Kraft zu koordinieren… Knotentechnisch verwenden wir traditionelles, und unseren liebgewonnen Anarchostil*.

Kosten 40 Euro.
Anmeldung und Info:

On Saturday 11th, 14-20 h.

We will take apart the complex act of self- suspension. Coordinating rope technique, strength, breath, relaxation and physical intensities in the air.
Using traditional knots and our beloved anarchic style*.

Costs: 40 Euro.
More information and registration:

yeah but can you do one steam-powered?

This is totally the coolest thing I have seen today, Blackheads MC Helsinki Victorian Goth Chopper wins Custom Bike Show 2006 Norrtälje. I know it’s high petrol-sniffing gear-freakery, but check out the action on the steering mechanism, and the rear wheel hub, and the golden flying eyeball headlamp and brass headset … and, well, I really do wish all that copper piping was backed up by a little coal-fired boiler. mmm steam bikers. I’m off to do some lines of powdered anthracite.

helinski bike courier porn

Ok, so I’m reblogging, get over it. Anyway it’s about Helsinki, the city I almost went to last year for a weekend of smut with a washed-up old choreographer who possibly is reading this and needs it impressed on him that one email in a year isn’t romantic, even by the standards of your barbarian isle. So, back to Helsinki, where bike couriers, who, like dancers possess the innate avant-fashion style fashion aspires to and is always late.

I always miss my bike when I’m not in Melbourne, the closest I’ve come to the same feeling is riding scooters in Taipei or catching a motorbike taxi in Guangzhou. Both these means of transport understand that traffic flows like water, a concept drivers in Melbourne fail to grasp, having similarities with rockfalls and avalanches. A body of moving cars has a language to how it moves, a predictability like a torrent cascading through rapids. That feeling of sliding through traffic, and the aliveness I feel every time I start pedaling, no matter how tired I am, is one of the greatest love affairs of my life.

There’s more to riding a fixed gear than purely the madness of travelling at high speeds in downtown traffic, without brakes. It’s the simplicity of the bicycle and the pedalling movement that makes it special. These guys have a fluidity of movement through traffic which means that they can make really quick decisions.

People who cycle a lot in cities often say that cars seem like personalities in their own right, the person behind the wheel is non-existant. Cars follow their own rules and logic, and by understanding that logic couriers gain a belief and a confidence that they can out-think or out-manoeuver a car. It was this confidence that amazed me, the intuitive trust that a gap will appear in traffic which the courier can slip through without slowing down. Later, when I asked if they ever rode wearing helmets, one of them replied we don’t come to work to crash.

— PingMag

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A Strange Heaven, Contemporary Chinese photography

There’s some rumour going around about me going to Helsinki in the next couple of weeks. Apparently my legendary and prodigious baijiu consuming antics have reached the ears of the vodka-swilling neighbours of the Viking hordes, and the Swiss beer just isn’t cutting it … actually, it’s a smut-filled 48 hours of … smut, and part of my ill-thought plan to go to strange places and pretend I have a fantastic career as an artist. Dead clever.

Anyway, there was another big exhibition of art from China on in Helsinki which just finished, this time contemporary photography. NonStarving Artists mentioned A Strange Heaven, Contemporary Chinese photography a couple of weeks ago, which has a number of the same artists as the flying abortion one in Bern. With all these giant China contemporary art retrospectives, the country must be about as bereft of art as after Younghusband and co pulled a swift one with several tonnes of old Buddha stuff. One day, the Chinese government is gonna want that fetus head back.

The principal themes of the exhibition are founded on the diversity of contemporary Chinese reality. For the most part, the works deal with individual identity, family and present society in times of rapid transition and development. Many of the works are inspired by the aesthetics of ancient cultures and philosophical traditions, and others by recent political upheavals. China’s economy has been expanding rapidly for some decades, which has led to unanticipated social change. This, too, is reflected in the works, which deal with problems that are relatively new to China: urbanisation and globalisation. Many of the artists also deal with the universal problems of sexuality, sensuality and gender.

— Art Museum Tennis Palace

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