29th Berlin international dance festival Tanz im August held (Aug. 11 – Sep. 2, 2017)
This international dance festival, run by the Hebbel am Ufer (HAU), a leading theater in the “free scene,” was held again this summer, which is off-season for the national and state theaters of Germany. As the feature artist chosen each year, this year the festival focused on La Ribot from Madrid. With feminism and conceptual approaches to dance which placed her at the forefront of the 90s dance scene, La Ribot’s work has been known to use the body to bring diverse forms of expression together including dance, live art, video installations and performance art. Programs featured included the six-hour durational performance Laughing Hole (2006); Gustavia (2008), a duet with Mathilde Monnier; as well as two pieces out of her ongoing series Distinguished Pieces. A viewing of her video installation works created between 2002 and 2014 was also held.
An additional feature of this year's festival was the large number of outdoor and street performances. Among these was a re-creation of Anna Halprin’s anti-war piece made in 1967 in response to the Vietnam War, Blank Placard Dance, re-created by French choreographer Anne Collod. In it, 30 amateur performers, selected by open application, marched through the streets of Berlin clothed all in white and holding blank, pure white placards. Also, Cameroonian choreographer Zora Snake presented Beyond the Human, a performance that combines African tribal rites, urban dance, and performance art, staged behind the HAU 1 building. The piece is concerned with physical freedom within a post-colonial context.
From Japan, Takao Kawaguchi presented About Kazuo Ohno as part of the festival's focus on Butoh. Also in attendance were Tatsumi Hijikata-inspired Brazilian choreographer Evelyn Marcelo, as well as US-based choreographer Trajal Harrell, likewise professing great admiration for the Butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikata.
Tanz im August is a contemporary dance festival jointly planned and run by TanzWerkstatt Berlin, an organization founded in 1988 with the aim of providing a new international approach to support of contemporary dance, and Hebbel am Ufer (HAU), the representative theater of Berlin’s free theater (small theater) scene.
- Tanz im August