Every two years, TanzPlan Ost showcases a cross-section of current trends in contemporary dance on stages in Eastern Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein, drawing connections to topics of relevance in cultural policies. This year‘s version is focused on the subject of the periphery, letting the margins take center stage.
The relationship between periphery and center is a complex one, filled with tension and conflict, characterized by unbalanced power dynamics. Often, the power pertains to a small group in the center, with the majority being left forgotten in the margins. Professional dancers are not exempt from this. Large centers receive much larger portions of the culture budget than peripheral regions. Current challenges – be it the corona crisis, refugee policies, or global warming – bring to light how marginalized people are neither considered nor consolidated during crucial decisions. According to this definition, being in the periphery means being oppressed and without any power. Author and activist Bell Hooks, however, views the periphery as a place for radical openness. Only by having the perspective of being marginalized can we think of radical alternatives and imagine a new world. The edge feeds our ability to resist and outshines the apparent glitz and glam of the center.
The TanzPlan Ost artists 2020 move in this creative margin. They pay close attention, expose vulnerability, and lend a voice to those living on the edge of society.
This year’s program is made up of 6 pieces; two of them are co-productions, and all of them discussing the relationship between edge and center and its inherent subject of power in some form or another.
The co-production «Masque-et-toi» of the HorizonVertical Dance Company dives right into the topic. The piece shows the metamorphosis of a king to a poet and examines how this figure deals with power in terms of control, repression, and resistance.
The St. Gall duo Juliette Uzor/Sebastian Ryser, another co-production, chose a personal and, at the same time, abstract approach and examine the tension between alikeness and distinctness. Drawn from their experiences as twins, they connect the issues with sociopolitical ones.
The upcoming international choreographer Reut Shemesh (with «LEVIAH» in TanzPlan Ost 2016) comes back to Eastern Switzerland and brings with her a personal and controversial topic to the stage: Jewish women, Orthodox and secular, ask about their place in society, between incorporating in their community and prejudices from the outside.
The new dance collective The Field addresses the power of digitalization with their piece «To Those Who Wait» and presents us with a moment of slowing down.
Unconventional Thurgau artist Micha Stuhlmann has been moving issues viewed as less critical by society into the spotlight for years. Together with Beat Keller, she shows the touching work «ich esse deinen schatten» (in English: I eat your shadow), highlighting old fundamentals of humanity, a creature so driven by emotions, longing, and greed.
Cosima Grand puts herself at the mercy of the brutal forces of language, allows sentences to move her until she has nothing left to work with but fragments.
This year’s Scholarship Award Choreography goes to Elenita Queiróz with her piece «48 seconds», where she dives into the topics of migration, assimilation, and belonging in our ever-moving society.
To effectively connect periphery and center by dancing, we have invited renowned Genevan choreographer and dancer Foofwa d‘Imobilité and his innovative format «Dancewalk» to come to Eastern Switzerland for the first time. Foofwa has danced his way through multiple regions and has connected people from all walks of life this way.
Foofwa d’Imobilité developed «Dancewalk – Am Rand» (in English: Dance walk – On the Edge) for TanzPlan Ost, consisting of three parts that connect our locations – periphery and center – by dancing. The starting point for several movements is a first Dancewalk that brings Foofwa together with TanzPlan Ost artists and ambassadors from Klöntal to Glarus. While Foofwa d’Imobilité uses this as his point of departure for a 5-day Dancewalk to our premiere location St. Gall, our ambassadors each lead a company to their region for a local Dancewalk. TanzPlan Ost invites you to be there, live on the streets, or on the internet
(www.facebook.com/tanzplanost) or as an audience member at the opening with the performance «Dancewalk – Retroperspectives», a look back on all dance walks of the past five years, including TanzPlan Ost.
The whole team and this year‘s artists are looking forward to the journey into the periphery of radical openness.
This is my third and final year in the role of Artistic Director at TanzPlan Ost. TanzPlan Ost will have a new concept from 2021 onward. I am thankful for having been able to shape and mold TanzPlan Ost during these past six years and am happy to have this new concept giving new momentum for the future. I would like to thank all the people who have been by my side during this journey, especially my current team Miriam, Eleonora, Linda, Amanda, and the board members of ig tanz ost.
Artistic Director TanzPlan Ost