July 26, 2022
For the first time since 2019, Tanz im August is returning with a complete three-week programme of contemporary dance performances under the artistic direction of Virve Sutinen. Marking a return to the “new normal” after the pandemic, the festival’s 34th edition will feature an array of both international and local choreographers. With around 200 artists from over 25 countries, the festival will showcase 87 performances from August 5th to 27th at HAU Hebbel am Ufer as well as six other venues across Berlin.
Every two years Tanz im August hosts a retrospective to honour and highlight the work of a legendary contemporary choreographer. This year’s focus is Swedish-Italian choreographer Cristina Caprioli, whose influential work has made her a pioneer of postmodernism in the Nordic countries. Going against the trend of continually producing and consuming new works, the retrospective will instead be an “overwhelming choreographic event” comprising over 22 works created between 2002 and today. With performances across KINDL, Radialsystem, HAU2 and HAU3, audiences will be invited to delve into Caprioli’s unique practice and philosophy as she continues to reimagine dance as a mode of thinking.
One of this year’s focuses is on artists from Indigenous backgrounds. Opening the festival is Australian-based company Marrugeku with ‘Jurrungu Ngan-ga / Straight Talk,’ where Indigenous people and refugees find a shared basis in dance, narrative, music and poetry. Responding to narratives of fear and detainment shared by Yawuru leader Patrick Dodson and former prisoners such as Kurdish-Iranian writer Behrouz Boochani, the intercultural performers will draw on their life stories as indigenous, displaced, exiled, transgender or settler subjects. Premiering in Germany in cooperation with the International Summer Festival Kampnagel, the performance will showcase on August 5th, 6th and 7th at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele.
Another highly anticipated performance is Amala Dianor’s ‘Siguifin,’ which will showcase on August 6th and 7th at HAU1. Meaning “magic monster” in the Bambara language, the performance is a result of a collective choreographic process initiated by French-Senegalese Dianor, celebrating the vitality of a hybrid African dance that is continually evolving. Working together with nine young dancers, collaborators Alioune Diagne (Senegal), Ladji Koné (Burkina Faso) and Naomi Fall (Mali) will add to this diversified composition, addressing the notions of individuality, social cohesion and cultural difference.
In an exciting music collaboration with Jamie xx, Irish choreographer Oona Doherty’s ‘Navy Blue’ will send audiences on a transformative journey from despair to utopian pleasure. Opening in an “ugly place” of oppression, 12 dancers, charged by the condemning notes of Rachmaninoff, are trapped in never-ending lines of production. Yet with the sounds of Jamie xx and the artist’s own voice, we are soon drawn into a cosmos where hope spills from the wounds of violence and shooting stars paint the sky with a submission into love.
Alongside the festival’s many performances will also be a large selection of accompanying events. ‘Meet the Artists’ talks, ‘On the Sofa’ conversations with festival artists and other experts, book presentations, online forums in the series ‘Happy to Listen’ and panel discussions will invite the audience to engage and participate free of charge in the extended stage programme. In HAU2, visitors will also be invited to check out the Bibliothek im August from Thursdays to Sundays. With each artist selecting three books that are important to their work and way of thinking, the library will allow visitors to gain insight into the minds and processes of each artist, meet with other festival-goers and share their festival experiences with one another.
Tanz im August
Dance Festival: Aug. 5–27, 2022
Opening Performance: Friday, Aug. 5; 8pm