Movement, music and what could turn out to be performances fill the halls at the Tanz im August Sideshow program, running alongside the main festival. Tanz im August has made the refreshing decision to invite a wide audience, outside the specialized world of dance, to join in the festivities and move their bodies to the rhythm. The invitation expands the festival beyond the in-the-know dance audience and deep pocketed ticket buyers: it invites artists from all disciplines and is completely free.
Until August 25th, the Sideshow events take place every day at the Podewil Center for the Performing Arts. The events are thoughtful and curious: the old, institutional halls seem to be animated with a sense of excitement and activity. The program includes artist talks with some of the festival’s performers, concerts, an ongoing installation and the necessary arty parties. The artist collaborative Kom.post hosts the “Open School”: a series of lectures and workshops that examine the body beyond its physical presence. On a recent sunny morning, one workshop’s participants could be seen walking in pairs near Alexanderplatz, choreographing their partner’s experience of the street scene. If you’re brave enough to sweat it with the dancers, there are also jogging and yoga sessions (with English option) every morning.
The Sideshow’s simple comfort in the interdisciplinary zone is contagious. One of the program’s curators, Eva Meyer-Keller, is leading a “feedback session” every day, open to practitioners of all mediums. Each participant brings a piece they are working or thinking of, and shares it with the small group within a constructive, honest space. Thoughtful and patient, the participants in the group I joined were at once strangers and intimate observers. The activity’s structure allowed for moving between disciplines naturally, without articulating it, as interested and patient viewers. The result is a safe place to work out raw ideas, which is, without taking itself too seriously, crucial for artists of all disciplines.
Registration for all the above events: firstname.lastname@example.org
Podewil Klosterstraße 68, 10179 Berlin (click here for map)
Blog entry by Adela Yawitz in Berlin; Saturday, August 18, 2012.