The Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT)

Movement Practice Taking Shape

© Gebken 2011. Uferstudios Yard

What I did…

In October last year I started working at the Inter University Centre for Dance/Hochschulzentrum für Tanz Berlin (in short HZT) mainly in the BA program for dance, context, choreography. The welcome was warm, the tone personal, it was important to learn each others names and the the second-years cooked a meal in the communal kitchen as a welcome for first-years and guests.

The selection beforehand however, also for erasmus students, seemed very careful and connected to intellectual and artistically and politically reflective capacities.

I designed a course portfolio that supported my enquiry topic and joined yoga as a preparatory morning training, and two 5 week blocks of morning training which were ‘Sequencing Movement’ with Thomas Plischke and Body Mind Centering with Ka Rustler. Accompanying this I joined two seminars: the philosophy-orientated ‚Body Theories‘ with Stefanie Wenner and ‚Production and Communication of artistic Projects‘ with Eva-Maria Hörster as well as the workshop ‚Constructing Resilience‘ with Israeli dance artist Ehud Darash.

Naturally, I watched with interest several showings of work made by students and master graduates and staff.

Hence, what I perceived as the HZT‘s artistic position was first of all an emphasis on somatics and anatomy and elements of preparing for composition already in the morning training.

Secondly provided the seminars and the discourse a challenging level of philosophical contextualisation which helped me locate my intuitive choices and preferences in artistic work as I refer to in the article about Gob Squad, for instance.

Moreover, I identified a high level of respect for the individual‘s needs and interests manifesting itself in the way the structure of the institution is recommended by the staff to be used and amended self-responsibly by the students.

The course  being organised as a ‘Campus Uni’ where all three years share modules, artistic exchange is aimed to happen on a par while the Uferstudios in which the HZT ist located serves as a hub for education, performance and creation work for students and artistic professionals alike.

© Gebken 2011. BA Christmas Dinner

The work I saw at the Uferstudios I would describe as performance art, research performances and conceptual pieces which does not claim completeness but means to say that I did not see any work that concentrated on perfectionizing a form in dance like some contemporary ballet would, for instance.

What I transformed my impressions into…

The structure of a half circle serves as an approach of a visual transformation as I did not want to go into movement study at this point of my research. Associating it with the HZT I think of the half circle as embracing and framing from one side, providing a nest. Then, it is open to the other side, forming space for growth and the development of what it embraces, welcoming. Further associations could also be that forms that are edgy and rigid might not fit the round.

A drawing by Malin Gebken

© Gebken 2011. Half Circle

My blog article ‚Dance Communities‘ serves as an approach to transport the affirmativity and warmth experienced at the HZT through language to my readers and assessors and to taking a position as a base for discussion.

Lastly, I found it inspiring to meet the french pianist Johann Vacher on an Erasmus meeting and discuss collaboration possibilities with him. He introduced a piano piece to me that inherently already transported some of my ideas about capitalism, it’s fast motioning of people‘s lives and the issue of having to find space for individual rhythm in the commanding heartbeat of our technocratic society. We sketched a concept we have not realised so far, but it was enough for me to know that I can go through with it at another time and was happy that I located some work that rang with my interests in composition work.

© Malin Gebken

About gesellschaftstanz

Dancer, herbalist and banker by training and a curious, creative and political human being.
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