A Decade of MA Solo Dance Authorship

In the frame of the 10th anniversary of MA SODA in 2017, the independent writer, editor and consultant and former guest professor Richard Allsopp edited the publication “SODA – A DECADE OF MA SOLO DANCE AUTHORSHIP”. “The aim of this book on a decade of SODA at the HZT Berlin is to provide a retrospective insight into the imaginative, discursive and educational spaces that the SODA programme has opened-up since its beginning in 2007. [...]" Ric Allsopp, November 2017

In the frame of the 10th anniversary of MA SODA in 2017, the independent writer, editor and consultant and former guest professor Richard Allsopp edited the publication “SODA – A DECADE OF MA SOLO DANCE AUTHORSHIP”.

“The aim of this book on a decade of SODA at the HZT Berlin is to provide a retrospective insight into the imaginative, discursive and educational spaces that the SODA programme has opened-up since its beginning in 2007. [...]" Ric Allsopp, November 2017


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SODA<br />

A DECADE<br />



SODA<br />

A DECADE<br />

OF <strong>MA</strong> SOLO DANCE AUTHORSHIP<br />

Inter-University Centre for <strong>Dance</strong> Berlin (HZT)<br />


After all, what is history if it is not an imagined past –<br />

a collection <strong>of</strong> facts, which are viewed and interpreted in the light<br />

<strong>of</strong> our own experiences?<br />

Shirley Baker – Photographer, 1932–2014<br />

The making <strong>of</strong> art is highly individual, possibly spontaneous and<br />

to some extent always intuitive – sometimes even contradictory.<br />

Is it possible to define the conditions in which the various art forms<br />

can optimally develop? And if so, can we translate them into a<br />

structured pedagogical system?<br />

Georg Weinand – SODA Symposium, 2006


1<br />

5<br />

21<br />

35<br />

55<br />

Preface<br />

Introduction<br />

Beginnings (2005-2006)<br />

Development (2006-2007)<br />

SODA Draft Curriculum (2006)<br />

Ethos & Poetics<br />

Locations<br />

Programme<br />

Student Handbook Extracts (2010-2017)<br />

Core Approaches<br />

Course Structure<br />

Workbooks & Framing Statements<br />

Extracts I<br />

Introduction<br />

Céline Cartillier (2012–2014)<br />

Felix Marchand (2007–2009)<br />

Flavio Ribeiro (2012–2014)<br />

Kat Válastur (2007–2009)<br />

Jee-Ae Lim (2011–2013)<br />

Maria Baroncea (2012–2014)<br />

Mirko Winkel (2007–2009)<br />

SODA Pilot Group Workbooks (2007–2009)<br />

Networks<br />

SODA Postgraduate Platform (2009)<br />

Erasmus Intensive Project (2011–2013)<br />

Erasmus IP Report (2012) – Litó Walkey<br />

Capturing <strong>Dance</strong>: Berlin - Cologne (2015–2016)<br />

Exchange Project: Berlin - Stockholm -<br />

Montpellier (2015)

73<br />

89<br />

95<br />

129<br />

134<br />

137<br />

138<br />

Extracts II<br />

Sophia New – ‘Refreshing Experience’<br />

Boyan Manchev – ‘Educational Micropolitics’<br />

Litó Walkey – ‘Performance Directives’<br />

Ric Allsopp – ‘Spaces <strong>of</strong> Appearance’<br />

Sophia New – ‘Expanding Notions Through Experience’<br />

Interview<br />

Interview with Rhys Martin (July 2017)<br />

Extracts III<br />

Ana Monteiro (2010–2012)<br />

Andrew Wass (2011–2013)<br />

Willy Prager (2011–2013)<br />

Daniel Kok (2010–2012)<br />

Enrico D. Wey (2015–2017)<br />

Yaron Maïm & Group<strong>Solo</strong> (2016–2018)<br />

Katrin Memmer (2012–2014)<br />

Ixchel Mendoza Hernandez (2013–2015)<br />

Elisabete Finger (2010–2012)<br />

Helena Botto (2013–2015)<br />

Kyla Avery Kegler (2013–2015)<br />

Mădălina Dan (2014–2016)<br />

Sheena McGrandles (2010–2012)<br />

Liad Hussein Kantorowicz (2015–2017)<br />

Addenda<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA Students (2007–2017)<br />

Exchange & Guest Students (2010–2016)<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA Staff (2007–2017)<br />

HZT Direction & Administration (2006–2017)<br />

SODA WORKS (2009–2017)<br />

Visiting Guests & Mentors (2007–2017)<br />

External Examiners (2009–2017)<br />

Erasmus Intensive Project Staff (2011–2013)<br />

SODA Staff Biographies<br />

References<br />



The aim <strong>of</strong> this book on a decade <strong>of</strong> SODA at the HZT Berlin is to<br />

provide a retrospective insight into the imaginative, discursive<br />

and educational spaces that the SODA programme has opened-up<br />

since its beginnings in 2007. The book is not intended to be a definitive<br />

history or a celebration <strong>of</strong> special achievements (<strong>of</strong> which<br />

there have been many on both individual and institutional levels)<br />

but as more <strong>of</strong> a glimpse, an aide memoire for those involved, a<br />

partial insight for those at a distance. It <strong>of</strong>fers a set <strong>of</strong> links and<br />

connections to current and past work by students, staff and alumni;<br />

a graphic play <strong>of</strong> extracts, texts and images, a vade mecum for<br />

the curious or perplexed that tracks some <strong>of</strong> the choreographic,<br />

poetic and performative spaces that SODA has explored. As the<br />

second SODA group (2010–2012) outlined in ‘Anything but <strong>Solo</strong>’,<br />

the introduction to their final SODA Works programme:<br />

One <strong>of</strong> our first SODA lectures dealt with dance as an<br />

open concept. Reading Eco and Barthes as a group not<br />

only quickly led us to question our preconceived notions<br />

regarding authorship, but also established a common language<br />

for us to communicate with in the months to come.<br />

What is ‘open’? Open to what? And for whom? These<br />

were precisely the kinds <strong>of</strong> questions that we would busy<br />

ourselves with in practical workshops as well a table<br />

discussions.<br />

One gift that a programme like SODA <strong>of</strong>fers is time – the<br />

time to sharpen and redefine our artistic methodologies,<br />

the time to ponder over feedback about our work, and<br />

perhaps more importantly, the time to reflect critically on<br />

the very conditions <strong>of</strong> performance creation and production.<br />

By challenging ourselves to reconsider the contextual<br />

frameworks that surround art making, we have sought<br />

to leave little taken for granted while asserting our independent<br />

practices as critical research. [...]<br />

(SODA Works 2011: 3)<br />

Uferstudios Backgrounds (2011) Photo © Sven Hagolani<br />


This is an appropriate place to thank all those who have contributed<br />

in a multitude <strong>of</strong> ways to making the SODA programme the<br />

dynamic, contested, and at times infuriating or ecstatic focus for<br />

postgraduate dance and body-based performance education<br />

over the last decade; and an opportunity to thank all those who<br />

have contributed to the making <strong>of</strong> this book in the hope that it<br />

might provide a further stepping stone for the future directions <strong>of</strong><br />

SODA; especially Yaron Maïm and all the current (2016–2019)<br />

SODA students for their collaborative ‘groupsolo’ contribution<br />

and energies which carry SODA forward; Eva-Maria Hoerster,<br />

Sabine Trautwein and the indomitable Rhys Martin, without whom<br />

SODA would have remained but a sweet fizzy confection in a bottle;<br />

and Pierre Becker at Ta-Trung for his generous collaborative<br />

design work on this book.<br />

Ric Allsopp, November 2017<br />

A supplementary digital version <strong>of</strong> SODA: A <strong>Decade</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Solo</strong> <strong>Dance</strong> <strong>Authorship</strong> is published on ISSUU –<br />

www.issuu.com/hztberlin – and contains hyper-links to all aspects <strong>of</strong> the SODA programme and its histories<br />

currently available online – www.hzt-berlin.de<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA Events 2010–2017 – www.hzt-berlin.de/SODA-events – is an online digital file that contains all<br />

SODA related materials that have been posted to the HZT website from 2010 to the present - and includes<br />

descriptions and information <strong>of</strong> the SODA Lectures Series / Workshops / SODA Works / 301 Research<br />

presentations and other events.<br />


HZT 10 th Anniversary Party (April 2017) Photo © Marion Borriss<br />



Initiated as one <strong>of</strong> two postgraduate programmes <strong>of</strong> the Inter-<br />

University Centre for <strong>Dance</strong>, Berlin (HZT) <strong>MA</strong> SODA was developed<br />

alongside <strong>MA</strong> Choreography as a generative artistic and educational<br />

framework under the auspices <strong>of</strong> the University <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Arts (UdK) and the Ernst Busch Academy <strong>of</strong> Dramatic Arts (HfS),<br />

Berlin. 1<br />

SODA: A <strong>Decade</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>MA</strong> <strong>Solo</strong> <strong>Dance</strong> <strong>Authorship</strong> traces the work <strong>of</strong><br />

the SODA programme over its first 10 years and marks its contribution<br />

to the rethinking and expansion <strong>of</strong> dance and performance<br />

discourses, practices and educational frameworks that continue<br />

to reshape contemporary cultural and artistic environments. The<br />

book, and its partner publication drawing from what falls next to<br />

you (HZT, 2017) provides an insight into the diverse directions that<br />

the work <strong>of</strong> SODA’s past and present students have taken, the international<br />

networks that the programme has contributed to, and<br />

the educational framework and approach that the artists, theorists<br />

and academics involved with the programme have developed<br />

with the students.<br />

The SODA programme has enabled its students and staff, as<br />

artists, thinkers and makers, to explore the unstable and contested<br />

terms <strong>of</strong> ‘solo’, ‘dance’ and ‘authorship’, which provided the<br />

acronym SODA, within the framework <strong>of</strong> a two-year postgraduate<br />

focus on the individual, collaborative and body-based processes<br />

<strong>of</strong> dance and performance making. SODA draws on performative,<br />

philosophical and theoretical strategies informed by choreographic,<br />

somatic, performance and fine arts practices, to situate<br />

its educational and artistic practice in relation to the field <strong>of</strong> contemporary<br />

performance and culture.<br />

Uferstudios Backgrounds (2011) Photo © Sven Hagolani<br />


BEGINNINGS (2005–2006)<br />

The SODA programme emerged as a key feature <strong>of</strong> the HZT project<br />

and in relation to an educational design zeitgeist that was perhaps<br />

characteristic <strong>of</strong> the early years <strong>of</strong> the new century. It built<br />

on the links and experiences <strong>of</strong> other European programmes and<br />

initiatives that were concerned with experimental educational<br />

models for dance and performance arts including the School for<br />

New <strong>Dance</strong> Development (SNDO) and DAS Arts in Amsterdam,<br />

ArtEZ in Arnhem, and Dartington College <strong>of</strong> Arts in England.<br />

It set out to develop a transdisciplinary programme in ‘solo, dance /<br />

choreographic authorship’ as can be seen in the initial proposal<br />

outlined in November 2005 by Rhys Martin, then Pr<strong>of</strong>essor <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Dance</strong> and Choreography within the Musical / Show programme<br />

at the UdK, and in response to Tanzplan Deutschland, an initiative<br />

<strong>of</strong> the German Federal Cultural Foundation which provided<br />

infra-structural funding (2005–2010) to improve the basic conditions<br />

for dance across Germany and to strengthen it as an art form<br />

in public and cultural policy perception.<br />

The Berlin application for funding from Tanzplan Deutschland<br />

brought together the UdK and the HfS with TanzRaum, a network <strong>of</strong><br />

the Berlin pr<strong>of</strong>essional dance scene, in a single project to integrate<br />

higher education in dance in Berlin with the independent dance<br />

sector under a ‘co-operative centre for dance’ which became the<br />

HZT (Inter-University Centre for <strong>Dance</strong>, Berlin) in April 2006.<br />

The initial SODA proposal suggested a ‘post-graduate two year,<br />

full-time transdisciplinary <strong>MA</strong> degree in solo, dance / choreographic<br />

authorship, at the Department <strong>of</strong> Performing Arts UdK,<br />

Berlin; to be initially installed as a pilot project beginning Autumn<br />

2006.’ (Martin, 2005)<br />


Its aims were to:<br />

• pursue intellectual agility <strong>of</strong> purpose, process, artistic excellence<br />

and maturity <strong>of</strong> performance<br />

• establish a new state <strong>of</strong> the art, unique performative oriented<br />

postgraduate degree designed to situate solo dance performance<br />

into the transdisciplinary artistic contexts <strong>of</strong> the twentyfirst<br />

century<br />

• draw on the pre-war legacy <strong>of</strong> Germany as a leading innovator in<br />

contemporary dance and Berlin’s unique role as a pioneer <strong>of</strong> solo<br />

dance performance<br />

•reposition Berlin as a dynamic international protagonist in this<br />

rapidly developing innovative contemporary art form<br />

• foster the self-driven development <strong>of</strong> qualified candidates and<br />

independent authors <strong>of</strong> contemporary solo dance performance<br />

and to equip them with postgraduate research techniques and<br />

understanding <strong>of</strong> diverse artistic processes<br />

• position those authors firmly at the centre <strong>of</strong> current trends <strong>of</strong><br />

artistic practice by exposure to a wide range <strong>of</strong> established contemporary<br />

artists, innovative thinkers and practitioners <strong>of</strong> performance<br />

related disciplines<br />

• provide an understanding <strong>of</strong> the major contours <strong>of</strong> international<br />

research and develop their capacity for critical evaluation <strong>of</strong><br />

relevant scholarly literature<br />

• provide structural positioning for project-based higher degrees<br />

(PhD, Research Fellowships) and to develop creative partnerships<br />

with European and international educational institutions<br />

and pr<strong>of</strong>essional practitioners. (Martin, 2005)<br />


Uferstudios and the Panke from Badstrasse (2010) Photo © he.he<br />

In the initial research phase (2005–2006) and in advance <strong>of</strong> the<br />

SODA pilot project, Rhys Martin initiated several conversations<br />

with choreographers and academics that give a sense <strong>of</strong> prevalent<br />

educational concerns and provided some guidelines for the<br />

conceptualisation <strong>of</strong> the programme. William Forsythe argued that<br />

‘the learning process <strong>of</strong> a dance education is central, so the<br />

question ‘how do we know something’ must be the focus’. Xavier<br />

Le Roy also noted that ‘the most important question is not the<br />

content <strong>of</strong> the lessons, but the form. The ‘how’ must stand clearly<br />

before the ‘what’. He went on to ask whether art can be taught at<br />

all: ‘an ideal education institute creates more a situation in which<br />

questions about art can be asked.’ Johannes Odenthal considered<br />

that any future-oriented dance education ‘must be able to<br />

liberate itself from the aesthetic restrictions <strong>of</strong> style determination’.<br />

(SODA Archives, 2005–06)<br />

A SODA Working Group 2 was set up to convene a Symposium on<br />

<strong>Solo</strong> <strong>Dance</strong> <strong>Authorship</strong> (25–27 August 2006). The three-day<br />

Symposium was designed as a forum for solo dance performers /<br />

choreographers, artists and theoreticians, representatives <strong>of</strong><br />

postgraduate courses in the field <strong>of</strong> contemporary dance / choreography<br />

and partners from other disciplines who were interested<br />

in solo dance authorship. The Symposium was hosted by Rhys<br />

Martin in collaboration with the International Festival Tanz im<br />

August and included <strong>of</strong> some <strong>of</strong> the key figures in contemporary<br />

dance, choreography, performance and education in Europe who<br />


were invited on the strength <strong>of</strong> ‘their involvement with solo performance,<br />

authorship questions or experience in postgraduate<br />

study programmes.’ 3<br />

The Symposium also exposed some <strong>of</strong> the fundamental ideas,<br />

issues and areas <strong>of</strong> contention implicit in an educational programme<br />

exploring ‘solo, dance, authorship’, ideas which would<br />

directly and indirectly inform the direction <strong>of</strong> the programme and<br />

form a substrate and a catalyst for its development, establishing<br />

at least a problematic ground from which SODA could operate. The<br />

idea <strong>of</strong> a ‘problematic’ as a basis for a postgraduate programme<br />

drew on an educational idea <strong>of</strong> a common research project (equally<br />

involving both staff and students) that addresses the terms <strong>of</strong><br />

its title – in this case solo, dance and authorship.<br />

In September 2006 Franz-Anton Cramer drew up a summary report<br />

<strong>of</strong> the Symposium based on notes and transcripts which amongst<br />

other observations and remarks, noted a ‘growing discomfort with<br />

the idea <strong>of</strong> working on solo dance authorship.’ (Cramer, 2006:25)<br />

Regardless <strong>of</strong> the difficulties in defining what solo as a performance<br />

format would be, whether it is relevant to contemporary<br />

practice or transports too much <strong>of</strong> pre-contemporary concerns<br />

and working methods; regardless also <strong>of</strong> the question whether<br />

education should focus on solo or rather on artistic development<br />

in a more general, and less determining sense, the following categories<br />

<strong>of</strong> solo work were formulated:<br />

• Being a soloist in a group<br />

• <strong>Solo</strong> as part <strong>of</strong> a process<br />

• <strong>Solo</strong> as a way <strong>of</strong> studying<br />

• <strong>Solo</strong> making for others<br />

• <strong>Solo</strong> for the self<br />

• <strong>Solo</strong> as self-exploration. (Cramer, 2006:24–25)<br />


The Symposium also exposed the more general tensions and disagreements<br />

that continue to exist in approaches to practice-led<br />

education and artistic research particularly at postgraduate level:<br />

whether art can be taught or not, and the relationships between<br />

teaching and learning, perhaps exemplified in Rosemary Butcher’s<br />

remarks which insisted that<br />

... there should be no vision. Education should rather be understood<br />

as a process, like a journey. It should be about submerging<br />

oneself into what one wants to learn; not about the multiplicity <strong>of</strong><br />

possibilities but about insisting on your own process. If education<br />

generally relies on the past and that which is known in order to<br />

enable and direct that which is to come, it nevertheless seems<br />

necessary to insist on ‘not doing what history made, but knowing<br />

what history gave. (Rosemary Butcher in Cramer, 2006: 24)<br />

If the programme title - solo, dance, authorship - and the issues<br />

around the categories and potentials <strong>of</strong> solo work left the development<br />

<strong>of</strong> the programme unresolved, the Symposium had at<br />

least provided the ground work for a programme whose title could<br />

form the basis for exploration. As Franz-Anton Cramer noted ‘the<br />

notion <strong>of</strong> solo as an historic fact being beyond doubt, its transferability<br />

to contemporary concerns need[ed] more clarification’.<br />

(Cramer, 2006:25) The dramaturg Myriam van Imshoot summarised<br />

the symposium ‘impasse’ as follows: ‘If we cannot talk about the<br />

essential scope and content <strong>of</strong> the education project, how can we<br />

try to talk about the structural surroundings?’ Such a discussion<br />

was to be the next phase <strong>of</strong> the development <strong>of</strong> SODA. Responding<br />

to the Symposium summary, Rhys Martin commented:<br />

Is there a divide here between academia and practice? In view <strong>of</strong><br />

these conflicting reactions to the general proposal it will be advisable<br />

and necessary to look at the whole idea again in greater<br />

detail. Certainly, there is a potential in the title to create a negative<br />

perception <strong>of</strong> the programme. Does this lie in the name itself or<br />

the substance <strong>of</strong> the course structure espoused, or with the central<br />

idea itself? Without doubt, there is a need to examine this in<br />

detail and redraft [the SODA proposal] where necessary. The<br />

Symposium was designed to draw out these possible areas <strong>of</strong><br />

difference and disagreement as well as suggestions for innovation<br />

and development. While I believe that upon further analysis,<br />

the fundamental thrust <strong>of</strong> the programme reflects many <strong>of</strong> the<br />

artistic concerns and practices present at the Symposium, there<br />

is nevertheless a strong case to reappraise the current proposal<br />

to incorporate those concerns addressed. (Cramer, 2006: 29)<br />


Uferhallen from the back <strong>of</strong> the Alte Kantine (2010) Photo © Ric Allsopp<br />

DEVELOPMENT (2006–2007)<br />

Following the Symposium two further steps <strong>of</strong> the SODA research<br />

phase took place in 2006 and early 2007. In November 2006, an<br />

experimental laboratory was conducted to test and evaluate the<br />

learning structures for the proposed Artistic Reference Frame<br />

(ARF) Choreographer Plus - a module envisioned for the SODA<br />

pilot programme which ‘concentrat[ed] on the individual processes<br />

<strong>of</strong> the artist / choreographer and the development <strong>of</strong> their<br />

authorial concerns in a transdisciplinary context’. The first ARF<br />

was a one-week research laboratory for which a leading choreographer<br />

(Deborah Hay, USA) was invited to choose two peer artists<br />

or partners (Margaret Cameron, AUS; and Rosa Casado, ES) to<br />

form an artistic reference frame. This <strong>of</strong>fered highly experienced,<br />

artistic resources to eight SODA ‘test candidates’ (through an<br />

open call for participation) to enhance, focus and facilitate their<br />

research skills and artistic practice. A second ARF Choreographer<br />

Plus laboratory was convened in January 2007 and lead by Ibrahim<br />

Quarishi (USA/F) with Gabriel Smeets (NL).<br />


Uferstudios Chimney (2011) Photo © he.he<br />

A revised SODA Working Group was extended to concentrate on<br />

the SODA programme and curriculum development, and included<br />

consultancy from Susan Melrose (Middlesex University), Pirkko<br />

Huseman (HAU), Heike Roms (Aberystwyth University) and others.<br />

At the same time an International Advisory Board (IAB) (2006–<br />

2010) was convened to advise on the general development <strong>of</strong> the<br />

HZT project as well as on the development <strong>of</strong> its educational<br />

programmes and their curricula. 4 A Fachkommission (Expert Committee)<br />

had been set up by the Berlin Senate right at the beginning<br />

<strong>of</strong> the HZT pilot phase. Its function was to advise on the<br />

structure <strong>of</strong> the HZT and on the development <strong>of</strong> the HZT curricula<br />

on a regular basis, meeting at least once a month, sometimes<br />

more <strong>of</strong>ten; whereas the function <strong>of</strong> the IAB was to provide an<br />

outside, overview perspective. The members <strong>of</strong> the Fachkommission<br />

also represented the institutions involved. 5<br />

In its initial phase the HZT project was given the go-ahead to<br />

research and develop two new study programmes commencing in<br />

April 2007: the BA in Contemporary <strong>Dance</strong> & Choreography and in<br />

October 2007, the <strong>MA</strong> SODA which (subject to accreditation) were<br />

then incorporated into the HZT from 2010 alongside the <strong>MA</strong> in<br />

Choreography (<strong>MA</strong>C) which developed from the existing HfS Ernst<br />

Busch Diploma programme, and started in October 2008. The<br />

SODA programme that emerged between 2006 and 2010 can be<br />

seen as a slow process <strong>of</strong> working through the paradoxes and<br />

entanglements that emerged from the first Symposium.<br />



An essential element <strong>of</strong> the curriculum proposal is the perceived<br />

need to install a dynamic educational platform that will allow<br />

students to access contemporary practice as it is found in the<br />

pr<strong>of</strong>ession. It is intended to do this through the high frequency <strong>of</strong><br />

guest teachers and mentors constantly replenished subject to<br />

availability and suitability for the candidates currently in the programme.<br />

Maximum flexibility is required to <strong>of</strong>fer the broadest<br />

range <strong>of</strong> artistic leadership. However, continuity will be provided<br />

through ongoing mentor supervision. (Martin, 2006)<br />

Semester 1: Embodied Thought - Block 1 (6 weeks)<br />

A high impact concentration <strong>of</strong> diverse theoretical and practical<br />

knowledge will be identified and coordinated in a varied programme<br />

<strong>of</strong> lectures, seminars, tutorials, discussions and classes.<br />

The body and its readings provide a metaphorical structure to<br />

stimulate discovery <strong>of</strong> new knowledge bases and un-researched<br />

themes. They are not courses in the traditional sense, but more<br />

akin to a reference library through which the students acquire<br />

useful tools and directions for their own work - new starting points<br />

and impulses.<br />

For example: External Embodiment: motion capture, life model<br />

drawing, choreography techniques, martial arts; Visual / Eyes:<br />

graphic 2D-3D, digital technology, prototyping; Acoustic / Ear: sound<br />

studies composition; Tactile / Hand: dramaturgy, sign-language,<br />

hermeneutics, critical writing and documentation; Cognitive / Brain:<br />

theory <strong>of</strong> aesthetics performance, sociology, psychology, contextualization;<br />

Internal Embodiment: anatomy, body- mind-centering,<br />

Pilates, yoga, meditation.<br />

Lectures are planned in cooperation with various departments <strong>of</strong><br />

the UdK and other Berlin universities, and with invited specialists.<br />

During the Embodied Thought block a daily movement class will<br />

be <strong>of</strong>fered by guest teachers.<br />


Semester 1: Laboratory Series 1 (Fremdgehen [externalize]) –<br />

Block 2 (8 weeks)<br />

An intensive work-phase consisting <strong>of</strong> 8 x 1 week-long laboratories<br />

with leading non-dance artists. In order to allow creative<br />

space to develop an individual choreographic voice, it is proposed<br />

that students first attempt to understand and participate in the<br />

aesthetics and methods <strong>of</strong> practice <strong>of</strong> artists <strong>of</strong> other disciplines.<br />

These think-tanks / workshops aim to generate a wide experience<br />

base <strong>of</strong> creative thought processes and applications. The content<br />

<strong>of</strong> the laboratory is determined by the leader in negotiation with<br />

students. It’s fundamental premise is that knowledge is embedded<br />

in the practitioner and is not separated into subject and teacher.<br />

Semester 2: Laboratory Series 2 - Choreographer Plus (8 weeks)<br />

A second intensive work-phase <strong>of</strong> 8 x 1 week-long laboratories<br />

with leading choreographers. After students have had the opportunity<br />

to familiarize with other approaches and research fields,<br />

they will be encouraged to develop their own access to research<br />

and develop their skills to critically discuss and if necessary<br />

defend their own ideas and viewpoints with established pr<strong>of</strong>essional<br />

artists and mentors. The choreographers will lead the laboratory<br />

with two other peer artists / creative collaborators. Creative<br />

teams will be built with other students from appropriate courses<br />

from affiliated programmes.<br />

Semester 3: Independent Trajectory<br />

Students will be required to articulate and formulate a chosen<br />

path <strong>of</strong> artistic enquiry. The aim <strong>of</strong> the semester is to identify and<br />

consolidate a personal research question that will lead to a final<br />

project in Semester 4. Students may attend the laboratories <strong>of</strong><br />

Semester 2. However, a mentoring system will be developed that<br />

will best serve the needs <strong>of</strong> the now independent researcher.<br />

Semester 4: Final Project<br />

The final project is the equivalent <strong>of</strong> a written thesis in conventional<br />

postgraduate programmes. It can take the form <strong>of</strong> a full-length<br />

performance or equivalent – for example an installation, film,<br />

multi-media project etc. Following the first academic year and its<br />

intensive study programme, the second academic year is targeted<br />

at individual research and realization <strong>of</strong> individual projects.<br />


Alte Kantine Garden (2011) Photo © Ric Allsopp

Mime Centrum Entrance<br />

(2008)<br />

Photo © Ric Allsopp<br />

The curriculum that was formulated for the pilot phase <strong>of</strong> SODA in<br />

2006 perhaps predictably underwent some considerable rethinking<br />

and remodelling in response to the realities, reactions and<br />

critical feedback from the pilot SODA group between 2007–2009.<br />

Ric Allsopp - a member <strong>of</strong> the International Advisory Board - was<br />

co-opted to join Rhys Martin in the delivery <strong>of</strong> the pilot phase from<br />

October 2007 and, between July 2009 and March 2010, to work on<br />

the further development <strong>of</strong> a programme handbook and curriculum<br />

for the first ‘incorporated’ <strong>MA</strong> SODA student intake (2010–<br />

2012) in April 2010. The ‘scope and content <strong>of</strong> the education project’<br />

that was to be developed over this period established the<br />

terms ‘solo dance authorship’ as a generative problematic to be<br />

understood, experienced and transformed at the level <strong>of</strong> the individual<br />

within a flexible institutional framework. The ‘structural<br />

surroundings’ <strong>of</strong> the HZT as Franz-Anton Cramer put it, the proximity<br />

<strong>of</strong>, and interaction with the independent dance scene, students<br />

and staff from other academic disciplines, faculties and institutions<br />

and the wider cultural, artistic and social resources and<br />

opportunities <strong>of</strong> Berlin also began to seed collaborative crosspollination<br />

- for example in the SODA WORK flyer (July 2009), and<br />

the student organised network / artist / student meetings and<br />

performances (see Networks). The international artistic and educational<br />

networks that both staff and students could draw on underpinned<br />

the gradual shift from the initial ideas <strong>of</strong> ‘solo dance<br />

authorship’ to ‘body-based practices’. The aims set out in the<br />

2006 draft stated that:<br />

The course shall be learner driven. The program has as its focus<br />

the enabling <strong>of</strong> a highly skilled autonomous contemporary dance<br />

performance / choreographer as both researcher and artist. It will<br />

provide opportunities to extend knowledge, competence and understanding<br />

in the theory and practice <strong>of</strong> dance as an art. It recognises<br />

the creative and intellectual freedom <strong>of</strong> talented individuals<br />

to seek out, develop and determine those areas <strong>of</strong> knowledge that<br />

will best serve their own field <strong>of</strong> enquiry and which facilitate their<br />

artistic development. It recognises the primary importance <strong>of</strong><br />

establishing and encouraging a unique artistic sensibility and<br />

voice in new practitioners. (Cramer, 2006: 22)<br />


In the most recent (July 2017) SODA Admissions vimeo 6 Rhys Martin<br />

and Sophia New affirm that the SODA programme is looking for<br />

postgraduates ‘who are interested in being challenged, who want<br />

to work within a community <strong>of</strong> artists, people who have a strong<br />

sense <strong>of</strong> performance identity, who are fluent in English and international<br />

in attitude’ and in terms <strong>of</strong> dance, for people ‘who have a<br />

body-based practice - and we understand dance in a very expanded<br />

sense’. The aims and curriculum in the current (2017–19) SODA<br />

Handbook [see Programme] remain close in form and content to<br />

the initial 2010–2012 version.<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA aims to provide a distinctive, practice-led postgraduate<br />

level education for practitioners and graduates who wish to make<br />

dance and body-based performance work in relation to embodied<br />

and conceptual practice, and engage with and reflect on the physical,<br />

compositional, intellectual and cultural processes involved.<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA is aimed at dancers, performers, artists and makers who<br />

have already established a motivated (but not necessarily pr<strong>of</strong>essional)<br />

practice in dance and performance, who wish to extend<br />

and develop the forms, contexts and intellectual range <strong>of</strong> their<br />

work, and who wish to engage with the contexts, challenges and<br />

environments <strong>of</strong> contemporary practice.<br />



If SODA has established itself over the last decade not so much as<br />

a singular vision but as a flexible structure, then like any postgraduate<br />

programme that builds a certain reputation for experimentation<br />

and risk-taking within the constraints <strong>of</strong> an institution, it has<br />

also established an ethos over time. Perhaps it is a ‘choreographic<br />

unconscious’ 7 that we inherit from the collaborative, collective<br />

and individual experiences that have formed and shaped the diversity<br />

<strong>of</strong> the SODA histories so far, but perhaps it is also an ethos<br />

which, as Nicolas Ridout puts it, is concerned with the realisation<br />

<strong>of</strong> individual and social potential, <strong>of</strong> an orientation towards the<br />

‘other’; as a concern with process and form rather than content,<br />

characterised by ‘an openness to the future and the unpredictable<br />

rather than a closure around a specific ethical position’ and<br />

the ‘production <strong>of</strong> ethical relations and situations’ rather than a<br />

concern with aesthetics. (Ridout, 2009: 49). It might also, from a programme<br />

point <strong>of</strong> view point towards a poetics: ‘an approach to<br />

acts <strong>of</strong> dance- and performance-making that proposes the possibilities<br />

<strong>of</strong> a radical coherence – how things might hold together<br />

without falling into conventional forms and flows. It considers thinking,<br />

dancing bodies [...] as forms <strong>of</strong> such radical coherence – that<br />

is, as a means <strong>of</strong> proposing conditions for the emergence <strong>of</strong> the<br />

unforeseen, the unimagined, and the remarkable.’ (Allsopp, 2015: 24)<br />

The work <strong>of</strong> SODA thought <strong>of</strong> as a sense <strong>of</strong> potential ‘coherence’<br />

based not in argument but in imaginative possibility.<br />


Mime Centrum Library<br />

(2008)<br />

Photo © Ric Allsopp<br />

The character <strong>of</strong> the SODA programme - like any intensive, practice-based<br />

course - takes in part its direction and dynamic from<br />

the physical environments that it interacts with. The pilot phase<br />

starting in October 2007 was based around a large table at the<br />

Mime Centre in Schoenhauser Allee and had to make use <strong>of</strong><br />

studio-space in various locations including the HfS studios in Immanuelkirchstrasse,<br />

and the Malersaal <strong>of</strong> the Komische Oper at<br />

Zehdenicker Strasse. Whilst the Mime Centre possessed a comprehensive<br />

video documentation <strong>of</strong> contemporary performance<br />

and dance in Berlin which provided an appropriate research<br />

resource for the programme, the dispersed feel <strong>of</strong> the pilot phase<br />

underlined the educational need for a more permanent location<br />

from which to develop the SODA programme.<br />


The move to the Alte Kantine at Uferhallen (2010) whilst the 1920s<br />

buildings <strong>of</strong> the old central workshops <strong>of</strong> the BVG (Berlin Public<br />

Transport system) that were to become Uferstudios were being<br />

refurbished, provided a more focussed location for the programme<br />

with a dividable studio space, an <strong>of</strong>fice / kitchen and a small garden<br />

that enabled a sense <strong>of</strong> a ‘home-ground’ for the new SODA<br />

(2010–2012) group starting in April 2010. The <strong>of</strong>ficial move to the<br />

newly refurbished Uferstudios housing the three HZT programmes,<br />

as well as Tanzfabrik Berlin, ada Studio, Tanzbüro and the independent<br />

sector, was in October 2010 with the SODA programme<br />

moving into shared studio space from April 2011 with the start <strong>of</strong><br />

the new SODA (2011–2013) group.<br />

1. Since its initial pilot phase which ran between<br />

October 2007 and July 2009, <strong>MA</strong> SODA has been regulated<br />

by the UdK, and the <strong>MA</strong> Choreography (<strong>MA</strong>C)<br />

which started in October 2008, regulated by the HfS.<br />

2. The SODA Working Group consisted <strong>of</strong> Rhys Martin,<br />

Eva-Maria Hoerster (Managing Director, HZT, 2006–<br />

2013), André Thériault (Artistic Director, Tanz im August)<br />

and Sabine Trautwein, HZT Administrator, 2006– present)<br />

with the choreographer Thomas Lehmen as consultant.<br />

3. The Symposium included live and video contributions<br />

from: Gabriele Brandstetter, Carol Brown, Rosemary<br />

Butcher, Alice Chauchat, Franz-Anton Cramer (reportage),<br />

Scott deLahunta, Jeroen Fabius, Joao Fiadeiro,<br />

Susan Leigh Foster, Deborah Hay, Claudia Henne (moderator),<br />

Pirkko Husemann (moderator), Myriam van<br />

Imschoot, Mette Ingvartsen, Benoit Lachambre,<br />

Hans-Thies Lehmann, Thomas Lehmen, [whose studio<br />

the symposium took place in] Xavier LeRoy, Susanne<br />

Linke, Mark Tompkins, and Georg Weinand.<br />

4. The IAB was formed by William Forsythe (choreographer),<br />

Scott deLahunta (dance researcher),<br />

Gabriele Klein (Hamburg University), Ric Allsopp<br />

(MMU) Marijke Hoogenboom (AHK) joining in July<br />

2009, and Anita Donaldson (HKAPA).<br />

5. The Fachkommission consisted <strong>of</strong> Rhys Martin<br />

(UdK), Helge Musial (HfS) (substitute: Ingo<br />

Reulecke), Thilo Wittenbecher & Martin Nachbar<br />

(Tanz RaumBerlin), Gabriele Brandstetter (Free<br />

University, Berlin) (substitute: Mieke Matzke),<br />

and Eva-Maria Hoerster (Managing Director, HZT).<br />

6. See www.hzt-berlin.de<br />

7. A term drawing on Frederik Jameson’s notion <strong>of</strong> a<br />

‘political unconscious’ (1981) and explored by Sergej<br />

Pristaš for his 2012 workshop Helsinki – [see Networks].<br />




Developing from the initial pilot phase (2007–2009) the core programme<br />

structure has provided a flexible framework within which<br />

SODA students and staff have explored the tensions, trajectories<br />

and directions that SODA has taken within the institutional and<br />

educational frameworks that it has had to operate within or find<br />

ways <strong>of</strong> accommodating. SODA in many respects tracks the development<br />

<strong>of</strong> the dance, performance and art worlds and reflects the<br />

more recent impact <strong>of</strong> social media. This includes not only the<br />

various ‘turns’ since the 1990s in the field <strong>of</strong> dance and performance<br />

- linguistic, conceptual, digital, educational, affective, sensory<br />

and so forth; but also (as primarily an international programme)<br />

the experiential, educational and artistic backgrounds<br />

and assumptions <strong>of</strong> the staff, students, visiting artists and mentors<br />

(see Lists) who have shaped the broader directions and ethos<br />

<strong>of</strong> SODA. As Sabine Huschka indicated in the 2006 Symposium<br />

‘the choice <strong>of</strong> teachers and their respective pr<strong>of</strong>iles would determine<br />

largely the contents <strong>of</strong> the education’ (Cramer, 2006:24)<br />

As things change and transform over time, so then do attitudes<br />

and approaches to the core terms <strong>of</strong> the programme – solo, dance,<br />

and authorship. If the title (in 2006) presented a potential problem<br />

to the artists and theorists who attended the Symposium,<br />

then the shift <strong>of</strong> approach to the title not as a problem but as a<br />

problematic through the experience <strong>of</strong> the pilot programme<br />

(2007–2009) became not only a memorable and useful acronym,<br />

but also a useful and productive point <strong>of</strong> discussion and disagreement<br />

in both practical and conceptual modes, a catalyst for positioning<br />

and integrating both practical and theoretical approaches<br />

to making art work. This would confirm a sense (in both educational<br />

and artistic environments) that how we think <strong>of</strong> arts practice<br />

and how we receive arts practice has been contested since<br />

antiquity as a source <strong>of</strong> both pleasure, disagreement, censorship<br />

and emancipation.<br />

Uferstudios Backgrounds (2011) Photo © Sven Hagolani<br />


The development <strong>of</strong> the initial educational framework for SODA<br />

(2010–2012) that incorporated the experience <strong>of</strong> both the 2006<br />

Symposium and the two-year pilot phase, produced a programme<br />

structure that has remained substantially in place with few alterations<br />

over eight annual intakes <strong>of</strong> students including the most<br />

recent SODA intake (2017–19).<br />


What is ‘solo / dance / authorship’?<br />

As an <strong>MA</strong> program that proposes as its basis an open, interrogative<br />

field <strong>of</strong> enquiry, rather than a fixed set <strong>of</strong> references, the terms<br />

<strong>of</strong> its enquiry - ‘solo / dance / authorship’ - are contained in the<br />

program’s title. As a set <strong>of</strong> references ‘solo dance authorship’<br />

might conventionally be understood as the authoring <strong>of</strong> solo<br />

dance - a form or genre which points to an established history<br />

and tradition <strong>of</strong> dance performance. But in the context <strong>of</strong> contemporary<br />

and emergent practice, the three terms can be additionally<br />

or equally understood as a nexus <strong>of</strong> unstable and contested<br />

meanings. Together they suggest a mode <strong>of</strong> enquiry into embodied<br />

compositional practice that separates the individual terms –<br />

solo / dance / authorship – and their possible relationships, a<br />

territory signified by the slash that indicates both difference and<br />

interdependency.<br />

The terms can be read as inclusive <strong>of</strong> a range <strong>of</strong> associations:<br />

‘solo’ as: unaccompanied, independent, solitary, single, individual,<br />

alone, virtuosic; ‘dance’ as: movement, gesture, motion; ‘authorship’<br />

as authority, authenticity, control, origination. They can also<br />

be read for what they might exclude or veil: collaboration, participation,<br />

co-operation, everyday movement, anonymity, openness,<br />

informality, and so on. In the context <strong>of</strong> <strong>MA</strong> SODA ‘solo / dance /<br />

authorship’ is proposed as a field <strong>of</strong> enquiry that sets up conditions<br />

for embodied and conceptual engagements from which<br />

contemporary compositional practices can emerge and which<br />

forms a platform for research, exploration and production.<br />


In this sense ‘solo / dance / authorship’ forms a poetics: a means<br />

<strong>of</strong> making; a compositional approach to contemporary practice. It<br />

questions the terms <strong>of</strong> its own constitution and in doing so opens<br />

potential and generative areas <strong>of</strong> enquiry. The <strong>MA</strong> SODA does not<br />

therefore propose a restricted approach to solo dance making, but<br />

sets up the conditions that allow students to identify and develop<br />

for themselves and with others their compositional and embodied<br />

practice and its contexts. ‘<strong>Solo</strong> / dance / authorship’ as a mode <strong>of</strong><br />

enquiry does not seek to establish a definition <strong>of</strong> its terms but proposes<br />

an increasing understanding <strong>of</strong> the range <strong>of</strong> its possible<br />

manifestations, contexts and applications.<br />

What is the approach to learning?<br />

The two-year <strong>MA</strong> SODA course combines a taught program with<br />

individual performance-making and independent research, tutorial<br />

and mentoring support. Emphasis throughout is placed on<br />

individual motivation and approaches to learning which underpin<br />

the student’s ability to:<br />

• articulate their practice to themselves, to their peers<br />

and to a public - through presentations, performances,<br />

and the sharing <strong>of</strong> processes; through the development<br />

<strong>of</strong> a Workbook - a document that maps the progress<br />

and process <strong>of</strong> individual performance making –<br />

and through critical framing statements and other<br />

modes <strong>of</strong> verbal presentation and writing that contextualize,<br />

extend and inform their work;<br />

• develop practice-based and intellectual research<br />

skills – through engagement in seminars, critiques,<br />

lectures, and intensive workshops lead by choreographers,<br />

performance art-makers, media-artists, theorists<br />

and creative writers;<br />

• identify specific learning needs in order to develop<br />

their work and understand the contexts <strong>of</strong> its production<br />

and dissemination.<br />



<strong>MA</strong> SODA focuses on a number <strong>of</strong> core approaches that support<br />

and develop each student’s individual trajectory through the<br />

course. Independent work and the development <strong>of</strong> the student’s<br />

own reflective practice is the main focus and point <strong>of</strong> reference<br />

throughout the course.<br />

• Contemporary Arts Practice: A key proposition <strong>of</strong> the studycourse<br />

is that students are engaged with dance and body-based<br />

performance practices that are concerned with current and<br />

emergent cultural, artistic and aesthetic circumstances and<br />

contexts, and the reciprocal impact that such contexts and practice<br />

have on each other in terms <strong>of</strong> form, process and reception.<br />

The contemporary in this sense is an engagement with and<br />

reflection on what is happening now. <strong>MA</strong> SODA suggests that<br />

contemporary arts practice can usefully and productively be<br />

seen through the lens <strong>of</strong> ‘solo / dance / authorship’ and composition<br />

both in historical readings <strong>of</strong> these terms and as focus<br />

for research.<br />


Sonja Pregrad (2011) Wall Writings in Studio 8 Photo © Ric Allsopp<br />

• Theory: The approach to theory is designed to ensure that the<br />

theoretical issues emerging within an individual student’s practice<br />

can be located in relation to current arts discourses. It is<br />

concerned both with the methodological implications <strong>of</strong> theoretical<br />

enquiry by practitioners as well as with specific bodies <strong>of</strong><br />

theory. It addresses the possibilities and limitations <strong>of</strong> shared<br />

theoretical discourse across subject fields. Linked to this it poses<br />

questions about the relation <strong>of</strong> subject-specific fields <strong>of</strong> enquiry<br />

to contemporary meta-discourses.<br />

• Practices / Making New Work: <strong>MA</strong> SODA guides and enables the<br />

student to work towards the thinking and making <strong>of</strong> a substantial<br />

practical work (or set <strong>of</strong> works) <strong>of</strong> their own devising, designed<br />

to define their own position within their field <strong>of</strong> practice by the<br />

end <strong>of</strong> the study course. This is achieved through a series <strong>of</strong><br />

shorter formal, informal and / or intensive engagements with the<br />

methods, processes and contexts <strong>of</strong> making and thinking about<br />

work. Small performance ‘studies’ are planned, encouraging the<br />

student to test ideas, for an audience <strong>of</strong> peers, during their<br />

development, as part <strong>of</strong> the process towards a resolved work.<br />


• Contexts: A ‘given’ <strong>of</strong> the <strong>MA</strong> SODA study course is that arts<br />

practices do not take place outside <strong>of</strong> a set <strong>of</strong> contexts – cultural,<br />

political, environmental, social, aesthetic, historical, personal –<br />

and that a key relationship between making, thinking and doing<br />

is not only a formal one, but a contextual one. A central question<br />

then is always ‘for whom?’ What are the circumstances and imperatives<br />

<strong>of</strong> making work, <strong>of</strong> engaging with a particular poetic or<br />

compositional approach?<br />

• Composition: The term ‘composition’ is used – as opposed to<br />

‘choreography’ or ‘dramaturgy’ – to suggest that much contemporary<br />

arts practice employs a very plural and diverse range <strong>of</strong><br />

strategies and tactics for making relations between the material<br />

and immaterial ‘stuff’ <strong>of</strong> performance; and draws increasingly on<br />

cross-disciplinary and cross-media methods, approaches and<br />

discourses. The current (at least Western) performance arts<br />

context <strong>of</strong> ‘making work’ could indeed be said to be post-disciplinary<br />

and inter-medial.<br />

• Diagnostics: Diagnostics is designed to underpin an approach<br />

to <strong>MA</strong> level study that works for a productive relationship<br />

between practice and theory through systematic self- and peerevaluation,<br />

and an engagement with a range <strong>of</strong> methodologies<br />

for learning, practice and research. It is also designed to mobilize<br />

the student group as a cross-disciplinary resource for all<br />

students. The diagnostic part <strong>of</strong> the first Semester takes as its<br />

main focus the student’s own analytical account <strong>of</strong> their<br />

engagement with performance practices and associated discourses.<br />

Each student will describe and present their past work,<br />

present position and their aspirations. They will reflect on their<br />

working and learning practices, and consider and respond to<br />

feedback from peers and tutors. They will <strong>of</strong>fer considered feedback<br />

to peers. As an integral part <strong>of</strong> the learning process, each<br />

student makes a presentation to the group and participates in<br />

formative peer-assessment as part <strong>of</strong> their engagement with the<br />

work <strong>of</strong> peers. Diagnostics uses critique and feedback as a part<br />

<strong>of</strong> its methodology.<br />


• Critiques & Feedback: Group critiques are meetings in which<br />

participants discuss each other’s work or research. These meetings<br />

take place on a regular basis throughout the first two semesters.<br />

Students present their work for a group discussion at least<br />

once a semester. All students are expected to take part in all<br />

group critiques; since the critiques are about looking at work<br />

and thinking through artistic questions together, their success<br />

as a stimulating and supporting course element depends on<br />

everyone’s commitment to participate and make them productive.<br />

In presenting individual work to the group, the group critique<br />

functions as a forum for critical reflection on individual<br />

practice, and allows students to test their work, intentions and<br />

way <strong>of</strong> looking and contextualizing on an audience <strong>of</strong> peers.<br />

Being confronted with the way others read individual work or<br />

comment on the way it is framed may help in making artistic decisions<br />

or opening up new perspectives. Vice versa, discussing<br />

the work <strong>of</strong> other students is an exercise in reading art / performance<br />

works, in thinking out loud and testing and comparing different<br />

perspectives.<br />

• Modes <strong>of</strong> Writing: The exploration <strong>of</strong> a range <strong>of</strong> modalities <strong>of</strong><br />

writing in relation to performance making takes as its assumption<br />

that language (as both speech and writing) is not distinct or<br />

separated from dance and body-based performance forms, but is<br />

an integral part <strong>of</strong> any form <strong>of</strong> embodied thinking and making.<br />

Writing and orality are therefore approached as a means <strong>of</strong> opening<br />

up our understandings, interpretations and engagements<br />

with performance thinking and making. Modes <strong>of</strong> writing would<br />

include writing as, for, or with, performance; its implications for<br />

compositional structures and for forms <strong>of</strong> writing in relation to<br />

performance; critical and discursive writings; descriptive writings<br />

and so on.<br />

• Textual Practice(s): The exploration and engagement with structures<br />

<strong>of</strong> language (that is, forms <strong>of</strong> textual practice) in relation to<br />

writing, provides a bridge between body-based and dance practices<br />

and their articulation and exploration by other means. This<br />

might include critical readings and evaluations <strong>of</strong> the work <strong>of</strong><br />

contemporary practitioners in both script- and art-based writings;<br />

the exploration <strong>of</strong> procedures, textures, assemblages, compositional<br />

structures, forms, scripted performance behaviors, and<br />

editorial approaches leading to sustainable writing / textual<br />

practice(s); live, visual, sonic, spatial and digital treatments <strong>of</strong><br />

writing in its relation to performance.<br />


• Research for Artists: Research for artists proposes that thinking<br />

and making in the field <strong>of</strong> performance requires approaches and<br />

methods beyond academic, analytic and objective methods, and<br />

that individual artistic practice <strong>of</strong>ten involves an eclectic range<br />

<strong>of</strong> generative knowledges. Some (conventional) methodologies<br />

are taught or demonstrated. Others are examined critically, <strong>of</strong>ten<br />

using a case-study approach that reviews methodology from<br />

the point <strong>of</strong> view <strong>of</strong> both intention (or framework <strong>of</strong> assumptions)<br />

and <strong>of</strong> outcome. The range <strong>of</strong> methodologies examined<br />

will include: postgraduate level study skills; methodologies for<br />

academic research; practice as research / practice as learning;<br />

research requirements <strong>of</strong> practical projects; documentation;<br />

collaborative work.<br />

<br />

Yaron Maïm (2017) from Material for a <strong>Solo</strong> VIII - XCVZ, eXit the Cage <strong>of</strong> the Virtual Zoo Photo © Ric Allsopp<br />



The <strong>MA</strong> uses both formal and informal structures as the basis for<br />

its enquiry. As well as a modular format, these include participation<br />

in local and international networks enabling exchange research<br />

and dialogue; opportunities for students to curate single<br />

workshops, seminars, and lectures with invited artists, and visiting<br />

exhibitions, performances and other relevant cultural and<br />

educational activities in Berlin and elsewhere.<br />

Semester 1: Questions <strong>of</strong> Practice 1: Diagnostics /<br />

Writing Practices / Making New Work<br />

takes three key approaches to making and thinking practice:<br />

diagnostics – the ability to share processes <strong>of</strong> making work;<br />

writing & research for artists – the ability to place practice in relation<br />

to language and identify and utilize appropriate research<br />

methods with which to develop practice; making new work - the<br />

ability to identify and develop new approaches to making and<br />

thinking practice.<br />

Negotiating <strong>Solo</strong> / <strong>Dance</strong> / <strong>Authorship</strong>: Lecture / Seminar Series 1<br />

explores critical, contextual, and theoretical understandings <strong>of</strong><br />

key terms <strong>of</strong> the course. The first series <strong>of</strong> lecture / seminars addresses<br />

the contexts, implications and relationships <strong>of</strong> the key<br />

terms <strong>of</strong> the <strong>MA</strong> - ‘solo’, ‘dance’ and ‘authorship’ - in relation to<br />

contemporary arts practice and theory.<br />

Semester 2: Questions <strong>of</strong> Practice 2:<br />

Compositional Strategies & Tactics<br />

examines the work process <strong>of</strong> composition as research through<br />

artistic practice by exploring and testing various compositional<br />

strategies, tactics and work processes and analyzing the aesthetic<br />

and cultural contexts that make them possible and support them.<br />

Compositional Practices & Contexts: Lecture / Seminar Series 2<br />

addresses questions <strong>of</strong> thinking and making contemporary practice<br />

in relation to the histories and strategies <strong>of</strong> 20 th and 21 st century<br />

compositional practice and contexts.<br />

Semester 3: Independent & Collaborative Research<br />

following an initial independent research proposal at the end <strong>of</strong><br />

Semester 2, you embark on a sustained program <strong>of</strong> individual<br />

research designed and structured in discussion with tutors.<br />


Semester 4: Final SODA Project & Documentation<br />

The Final SODA Project involves the production <strong>of</strong> a performance<br />

work that engages with solo and/or collaborative dance authorship,<br />

that can be performed or presented in the public arena, and<br />

meets conceptual, aesthetic and production criteria that apply in<br />

wider pr<strong>of</strong>essional arts communities and / or the cultural location<br />

for which the work is designed. Students prepare an initial proposal<br />

for their project at the end <strong>of</strong> Semester 3 which is negotiated<br />

and finalized with tutors / mentors toward the beginning <strong>of</strong> the<br />

final Semester 4. The project is shown publicly as a part <strong>of</strong> a negotiated<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA performance platform. This final module also provides<br />

an opportunity for students to engage in a detailed documentation<br />

and reflection on their work. The documentation takes<br />

the form <strong>of</strong> a substantial critical framing statement that positions<br />

the work in relation to the student’s own experience and to wider<br />

cultural and aesthetic questions and conditions, and a final workbook<br />

devoted to the compositional, conceptual and contextual<br />

processes <strong>of</strong> the project.<br />

Igor Koruga (2012) from Come Quickly, My Happiness is at Stake Photo © Igor Koruga<br />



Modes <strong>of</strong> written work and documentation are integral to the development<br />

<strong>of</strong> your practice within <strong>MA</strong> SODA. These take the form<br />

<strong>of</strong> workbooks (process documentation) and written papers (essays<br />

and written framing statements).<br />

Workbooks<br />

Writing as a way <strong>of</strong> engaging research through practice plays a<br />

vital role in <strong>MA</strong> SODA from the outset. The emphasis is on developing<br />

an ongoing practice <strong>of</strong> writing as a tool, and its employment<br />

in the processes <strong>of</strong> research and artistic exploration. The Workbook<br />

is to be thought <strong>of</strong> as integral and integrated space for writing<br />

in the context <strong>of</strong> the <strong>MA</strong>.<br />

The Workbook is a term (and material form) that has a long history<br />

in fine art and choreographic practice – from Leonardo to Marcel<br />

Duchamp to Tracey Emin; from Raoul Auger Feuillet to Yvonne<br />

Rainer to William Forsythe. Within the Art School tradition, the<br />

Workbook is presented alongside the final artwork as a commentary<br />

on the process <strong>of</strong> making. In the context <strong>of</strong> <strong>MA</strong> SODA the<br />

Workbook is a selection or collection <strong>of</strong> different writings, notes,<br />

texts, graphic materials, sound or video files gathered together<br />

and displayed in a book, a folder, and/or stored on, screened<br />

through, digital media.<br />

The Workbook is imagined as a cross-media working space whose<br />

contents are not expected to have coherence as a single piece <strong>of</strong><br />

writing. They should have instead the coherence <strong>of</strong> a learning process<br />

that relates to the experience and processes <strong>of</strong> <strong>MA</strong> SODA.<br />

The overall form <strong>of</strong> the Workbook is not prescriptive. It is an open<br />

work whose form and content document and extend the practice-led<br />

research <strong>of</strong> the individual student. It is a document that<br />

assembles the processes <strong>of</strong> making and research, and whose<br />

multiple contents provides a descriptive, critical and interrogative<br />

commentary for the individual’s practice.<br />

The Workbook maps the research trajectories <strong>of</strong> its maker using<br />

different modes <strong>of</strong> documentation, writing and graphic representation.<br />

It enables the reader / user to explore the way individual<br />

students might effectively represent their own processes<br />

<strong>of</strong> inquiry, their production processes, and those <strong>of</strong> other artists.<br />

The process <strong>of</strong> making the Workbook is not in any essential sense<br />

separate from the processes <strong>of</strong> making art / performance work –<br />

both provide a means <strong>of</strong> questioning, exploring, and reflecting on<br />

the act <strong>of</strong> composition, <strong>of</strong> bringing material into dialogue with a<br />

spectator, a reader, an audience.<br />


Marcio Carvalho (2011)<br />

from Workbook 401<br />

Photos © Marcio Carvahlo<br />


The more complex the Workbook becomes, the more it needs (in<br />

the context <strong>of</strong> <strong>MA</strong> SODA) a means <strong>of</strong> navigation for the reader<br />

which might include: contents pages, indexes, introductions,<br />

sections, pagination, framing statements, glossaries, acknowledgements,<br />

colophons – the paratextual paraphernalia <strong>of</strong> the<br />

making and research processes. Like any writing the Workbook<br />

is a formalization <strong>of</strong> memory – both prospective and retrospective<br />

– and care should always be taken in selection, commentary<br />

and presentation.<br />

The Workbook is a key formal element <strong>of</strong> assessment throughout<br />

the <strong>MA</strong> SODA course. The objectives <strong>of</strong> the Workbook include<br />

self-reflexive written accounts <strong>of</strong> performance making; the production<br />

<strong>of</strong> performance documentation; and facility with writing<br />

appropriate to interpretation and explanation. In terms <strong>of</strong> assessment<br />

the Workbook will provide evidence <strong>of</strong> the making processes<br />

and the individual student’s ability to articulate their own practice<br />

in critical and reflective modes.<br />

Framing Statements<br />

The written Framing Statement which forms an integral part <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Final Project assessment is a concisely articulated and considered<br />

written statement that informs a reader <strong>of</strong> the contexts,<br />

research questions and processes that inform the work; provides<br />

an overview <strong>of</strong> the intentions, aims and positioning <strong>of</strong> the work;<br />

and gives the reader a frame <strong>of</strong> reference - descriptive, discursive,<br />

critical, theoretical - through which to engage with the work.<br />

The Framing Statement should link or refer to the aims and intentions<br />

<strong>of</strong> the Final Project Proposal.<br />

As a part <strong>of</strong> the creative process <strong>of</strong> <strong>MA</strong> SODA, the Framing Statements<br />

(both Verbal and Written) and the Workbook should find<br />

their own forms appropriate to the individual students’ learning<br />

process and the development <strong>of</strong> an articulated, critical and reflective<br />

practice. In the Final Project module (401) it is suggested that<br />

the Framing Statement might take the form <strong>of</strong> a performance program<br />

or exhibition catalogue as appropriate.<br />



The contributions that constitute the three sections <strong>of</strong> Extracts –<br />

from student workbooks, from alumni and current students, and<br />

from staff – are in response to an invitation send out in July<br />

2017 to all the SODA graduates and staff from (2007–2016). It<br />

invited some help, direction and information with some or all, <strong>of</strong><br />

the following:<br />

• a short thought (max. 150 words) that distils the ‘essence’ <strong>of</strong> your<br />

SODA educational / artistic / conceptual / or social experience<br />

• what hyperlinks to your own current (and past) work can you <strong>of</strong>fer?<br />

• what imaginative / discursive / poetic / educational / transdisciplinary<br />

/ philosophical / artistic spaces have been opened-up for you<br />

by SODA over the last decade?<br />

• what examples / brief extracts / images can you <strong>of</strong>fer from SODA<br />

workbooks, lecture series, workshops, performance that have<br />

made an impact on you, or remain in memory as distinctive or<br />

exemplary <strong>of</strong> the SODA programme?<br />

Given the format and timescale <strong>of</strong> the printed book, it has only<br />

been possible to include a selection <strong>of</strong> the ideas, images and<br />

extracts that have been contributed or that have emerged during<br />

its compilation. The digital version (www.issuu.com/hztberlin)<br />

enables hyperlinks to SODA student and staff work listed in the<br />

Addenda or elsewhere in the book.<br />

Uferstudios Backgrounds (2011) Photo © Sven Hagolani<br />


Céline Cartillier<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2012–2014<br />

Céline Cartillier (2013) from Pathfinder’s Rhapsody Photo © Marion Borriss<br />

Rhapsody for Pathfinders is a collection <strong>of</strong> texts which trace the r e-<br />

search and creation process I have been undertaking and developing<br />

mostly during the third semester <strong>of</strong> the SODA program. This documentation<br />

presents the different aspects and steps <strong>of</strong> the work I have<br />

been doing in this period and the materials that enriched the performance<br />

practice. There are writings, readings, quotes, notes inspired<br />

by books and movies. There are scores and performance directives<br />

directly connected to a physical and vocal training. There are texts<br />

and poems that I wrote on the perspective <strong>of</strong> the performance. Some<br />

<strong>of</strong> them don't appear in the performance. But they are like the companions<br />

<strong>of</strong> the whole process.<br />

Rhapsody for Pathfinders is also the title I choose to give to the research<br />

presentation <strong>of</strong> the third semester.<br />

I entered in the SODA program with intentions for a project I called for<br />

an ideal theatre. Since April 2012 I dedicated my work to search for<br />

relations between ideal and representation in the frame <strong>of</strong> a performance<br />

practice.<br />

I took this research semester as an opportunity to reconsider what<br />

the components <strong>of</strong> an ideal theatre are to me. What do I mean by ideal?<br />

What do I mean by theatre? What do I mean by an ideal theatre? I<br />

went back to the original meaning <strong>of</strong> those words. The seat <strong>of</strong> an ideal<br />

theatre is obviously the idea. An ideal theatre is consequently a theatre<br />

that gives precedence to the mind and the imagination. Originally<br />

theatre comes from the ancient greek verb théaô which means ‘to<br />

see’. In the third term <strong>of</strong> the research I deeply measured how all my<br />

inquiries for an ideal theatre embedded a phenomenological dimension,<br />

a phenomenology <strong>of</strong> the gaze. An ideal theatre, a place to see<br />

from the imagination.<br />

From Rhapsody for Pathfinders – a workbook (April–July 2013)<br />


dearest one,<br />

things happen behind your back.<br />

a lot <strong>of</strong> things. happen.<br />

words are said. eyes are riveted.<br />

some words are bitter, some eyes are warm.<br />

there is a zone in your neck, precisely –<br />

a crevasse, called the door <strong>of</strong> the wind.<br />

from there, drafts enter.<br />

from there, you can hear the voices haunting the icy wind.<br />

from there, you can feel the gaze penetrate you.<br />

there are parts <strong>of</strong> your body that you cannot see.<br />

your back is one <strong>of</strong> them.<br />

you are ahead <strong>of</strong> it and yet it escapes you.<br />

your back is your missing image.<br />

ô no no not the only one missing....!<br />

one <strong>of</strong> those images that looks back at us,<br />

your back is the invisible stranger that follows you.

Felix Marchand<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2007–2009<br />

Felix Marchand (2009) from<br />

Awareness Etudes<br />

Photos © Felix Marchand<br />


Awareness Etude for 6 performers and an Audience (2009)<br />

Awareness Etude 1 – Bones<br />

Map the pathway <strong>of</strong> the bones in one specific body part (hand, foot, head...). Use the<br />

floor to give you the feedback where you are. The rest <strong>of</strong> the body follows the initiation<br />

<strong>of</strong> the mapping. Moments <strong>of</strong> stillness can happen by the consequence <strong>of</strong> the mapping<br />

or by a conscious decision. The generated shape allows two possibilities to continue:<br />

continue mapping the bones; traveling through space in the shape you are in.<br />

Awareness Etude 2 – Skin and Nerve system<br />

Create a movement phrase, which is based on what your body remembers from past<br />

rehearsals.Go through the movement phrase by following your sensations, which are<br />

stimulated by the skin and nerves.<br />

Awareness Etude 3 – Blood<br />

Listen to your heart and blood circulation. Use the rhythm <strong>of</strong> the circulation to<br />

spread the blood into the space. Shift the focus from which part <strong>of</strong> the body the blood<br />

is coming.<br />

Awareness Etude 4 – Muscles<br />

Progress from bouncing into jumping. Focus on expansion and contraction <strong>of</strong> the<br />

muscles. Use the bouncing to keep up the motion. JUMP<br />

Choreography: Felix Marchand (HZT, Berlin)<br />

with Toronto <strong>Dance</strong> Theatre (2009)<br />

<strong>Dance</strong>rs: Yuichiro Inoue, Brodie Stevenson,<br />

Andrew Taylor. Matt Waldie. Sarah Wasik.<br />

Linnea Wong.<br />

Working period: 20 April–23 May 2009<br />

Premiere: 21 May 2009 at Winchester Street<br />

Theatre, Toronto Canada.

Flavio Ribeiro<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2012–2014<br />

‘How can you erase what<br />

you are doing in the process<br />

<strong>of</strong> doing it?’<br />

This question came to me as<br />

Siegmar Zacharias asked me right<br />

after a research presentation I<br />

did last semester. She asked me<br />

how I could turn the process <strong>of</strong><br />

erasure so that I could erase the<br />

work and in a way put the<br />

audience to work in this erasure.<br />

Well, Siegmar put the question in<br />

a much more elegant way, but I<br />

was a bit brain dead after having<br />

shown my research, so I am<br />

probably misquoting her here,<br />

as I <strong>of</strong>ten do.<br />

(from text for 401 Final Presentation / going through the motions / version 1 (17/7/2013)

41<br />

Flavio Ribeiro (2013) from Workbook 301 Photo © Flavio Ribeiro

Kat Válastur<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2007–2009<br />

www.katVálastur.com<br />


One <strong>of</strong> the most important aspects <strong>of</strong> this experience<br />

that affected me once I became a<br />

student <strong>of</strong> the master program SODA, also in<br />

the long run, had to do with my artistic migration.<br />

The decision <strong>of</strong> moving to a new country,<br />

a new city to develop artistically, joining a<br />

new social context. The SODA as a <strong>Solo</strong> /<br />

<strong>Dance</strong> / <strong>Authorship</strong> Master course activated<br />

exactly this condition, the experience <strong>of</strong> seeing<br />

myself as an artist outside my ‘regularity’<br />

and nationality in a suspended time that was<br />

given in the two years <strong>of</strong> studies. In that time<br />

I spent hours and hours in the studios waiting<br />

to experience something that would throw<br />

me in a state <strong>of</strong> temporary amnesia in order to<br />

start again, and in a way it happened. During<br />

the SODA I set the crucial question ‘what is<br />

there left to be danced?’ and I made Lang<br />

which became the core for many works that<br />

followed. It felt like a new beginning in all<br />

terms, which I embraced with full affirmation.<br />

There was also a precariousness in the attempt<br />

as the course was in a pilot state when<br />

I entered the program. It was a try-out for<br />

everyone and it felt that all students, invited<br />

teachers, mentors, founders had to put our<br />

hands in order to shape its form and structure.<br />

I am happy that the course got strong<br />

and became one <strong>of</strong> the most known dance<br />

master programs in Europe.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> the most exciting things that happened<br />

to me during these two years <strong>of</strong> self<br />

exploration, was to find ways to expand into<br />

unfamiliar territories. I tried to encounter the<br />

possibilities that appear in the specific process<br />

<strong>of</strong> how to get to an artistic core, with<br />

choices like the one to stop moving in the<br />

studio and embrace stillness instead, observing<br />

only what moves around me, as a starting<br />

point or proposing wrestling as a reflection <strong>of</strong><br />

dance. I felt the whole experience as a good<br />

timing between me and the art I was about to<br />

create. It was also a unique moment as<br />

through SODA I had the chance to be present<br />

with my work in the dance scene <strong>of</strong> Berlin<br />

that was just about to flourish. That unique<br />

moment defines my work until now.<br />

Kat Válastur (2009) from Workbook<br />

Photo © Kat Válastur

Jee-Ae Lim<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2011–2013<br />

www.jeeaelim2.wordpress.com/about<br />

Raw Material is about the individualized notions <strong>of</strong> traditional 전통 Korean dance<br />

춤 in the light <strong>of</strong> personal identity 정체성. It is a series <strong>of</strong> works that I have been<br />

developing over the last year and a half. It attempts to appropriate the Korean<br />

traditional dance 춤 form as a resource for exploring new ways <strong>of</strong> using the body<br />

몸as a generative source <strong>of</strong> ideas. Altering the process in this way allows me<br />

to establish and unfold an infinite number <strong>of</strong> possibilities 가능성 <strong>of</strong> using body 몸.<br />

Mainly, I 나 am questioning the veracity <strong>of</strong> transmission 전달, the validity 타당성<br />

<strong>of</strong> authorship 저자, 근원, and the originality 원형 in traditional dance that confronts<br />

the notion <strong>of</strong> the body 몸 by putting it into different contexts. The body 몸 is<br />

always in a transitional state. This means it is not possible to keep the body 몸<br />

in a fixed set <strong>of</strong> rules. However, the handing over traditional dance is a repetitive<br />

반복적인 process <strong>of</strong> how close I come to the given 주어진 form and an exactness<br />

<strong>of</strong> the historical masterpiece. It bounds my body 몸 to a state where I am<br />

constantly affected by an external environment, culturally and socially.<br />


Jee-Ae Lim (2011) from Raw Material Photo © Sven Hagolani<br />

In this sense, I want to question 질문 my own understanding <strong>of</strong> complexity in my<br />

body 몸 that exists both in tradition and in a contemporary code <strong>of</strong> body 몸<br />

movement and gestures in order to escape from the everyday 매일 habitual,<br />

institutionalized practice <strong>of</strong> limited 제한된 individuality. This not only creates a<br />

contrast between 사이 two different codes <strong>of</strong> the body 몸 but it also puts the<br />

body into a gray zone where my work is constantly reevaluating the originality<br />

원형 <strong>of</strong> a certain form <strong>of</strong> dance. I do this simultaneously through contamination<br />

and articulation <strong>of</strong> body 몸 images. Raw Material examines how my body 몸 is<br />

being re-conceptualized when there is an attempt to open to new possibilities<br />

가능성 from the given traditional form. It also explores how the body is engaged in<br />

a constantly changing process <strong>of</strong> rearrangement, reconstruction 재구성, and<br />

deconstruction 해체, most <strong>of</strong> which is done in silhouettes that represent the<br />

given 주어진 form. This allows me to reflect on my own presence. The body 몸<br />

image is projected and dissolved as soon as it resonates. The body 몸 is being<br />

re-formulated by an ever changing environment but it has yet to produce a<br />

fixed identity. Every single movement that follows, proposes a transformation<br />

변형 that is created in a repetitive pattern <strong>of</strong> composition. From Raw Material (2012)<br />


Maria Baroncea<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2012–2014<br />

Maria Baroncea (2014)<br />

from wear text<br />

Photos © Maria Baroncea

In the ‘wear text’ installation ready-made white t-shirts are provided. On the front and<br />

back side <strong>of</strong> each t-shirt there is a short, well readable text, printed in black letters.<br />

These texts are basically about the situation <strong>of</strong> being together under the same ro<strong>of</strong> and<br />

sharing the same space, the same moment. Most <strong>of</strong> them are meant to direct attention<br />

to relational aspects (‘Come closer’, ‘Read me like a book’, ‘as if I were your mirror’, ‘as<br />

if we love each other’), some <strong>of</strong> them focus on the present moment (‘busy with the<br />

present’, ‘beautiful tension <strong>of</strong> the situation’), others tend to open perspectives on text<br />

(‘Txet smees awylas fmialair’, ‘Any text is a bridge between people’). Each participant is<br />

asked to pick a t-shirt, wear it and join the temporary group, entering the space <strong>of</strong> the<br />

installation one by one. As a whole, the worn texts on the shirts become the physical<br />

surrounding. Nothing more will happen, the participants should just experience together<br />

the meaning that emerges from their interaction. This being a first try out in this form,<br />

the duration <strong>of</strong> the situation is decided by me experiencing the fresh installation.<br />

Interaction <strong>of</strong> written text and body, the idea <strong>of</strong> bodies wearing text came as an obvious<br />

but challenging idea.<br />

Our bodies are formed and informed through our relationship to our physical environment<br />

as well as they are carriers <strong>of</strong> information themselves; written text would become<br />

common physical environment and encourage an embodied experience <strong>of</strong> the worn text.<br />

Worn text for creating an experience <strong>of</strong> togetherness in a group and to stimulate interrelations<br />

between people, with the environment, through written text; different from<br />

wearing text like logos, slogans or functional information - communication in one direction,<br />

from the person carrying the message to an indifferent outside world.<br />

The intention <strong>of</strong> the experiment is to reconcile the relations between people and the space.<br />

The t-shirts are conditioning the identity <strong>of</strong> the participants, but at the same time the<br />

interaction through text keeps the multitude <strong>of</strong> possibilities open to interpretation and<br />

imagination.<br />

Different to most everyday situations, the text here will remain fluid, associative and not<br />

pinned down to a specific meaning. This becomes a situation <strong>of</strong> experiencing the formation<br />

<strong>of</strong> meaning together, by participants, by body interaction and positioning in space.<br />

Opens also the possibility <strong>of</strong> a choreographed text – literally speaking. Different forms<br />

for this installation to happen; a more directed set-up: imagine the space having chairs<br />

and tables arranged in a certain way, or even concrete situations where a group <strong>of</strong> people<br />

have dinner wearing t-shirts that frame their experience one way or another; or the<br />

worn the text could be choreographed or performed (performative or choreographed<br />

kind <strong>of</strong> events, to installations or social games).<br />

from Workbook 401 ‘A Certain Togetherness’ (2014)<br />


Mirko Winkel<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2007–2009<br />

www.mirkowinkel.com<br />

www.finaleform.de<br />

Our group represented the first round – we were, so to say, the guinea<br />

pigs, there to get the course up and running. The selection committee<br />

assembled a group <strong>of</strong> various places <strong>of</strong> origin, experiences, age<br />

and artistic disciplines, to make an example <strong>of</strong> how a contemporary<br />

education could look like in a field that, at this time had a big identity<br />

crises I felt: the dance world. For me it appeared to be a great opportunity,<br />

coming from the performance art tradition within the visual<br />

arts. 10 years ago, performance art was just before become a big<br />

thing in museum contexts and still a niche, while the dance scene<br />

looked at »performance« as an opportunity to renew itself irrespective<br />

<strong>of</strong> physical skills. I saw the course as an opportunity to re-position<br />

and question my previous work within the dance context.<br />

I experienced SODA as a considered ambitious conceptual setup<br />

and well reflected experiment, that unfortunately lacked the atmosphere<br />

<strong>of</strong> common objectives within the student body, and it lacked<br />

experience from teachers’ side to apply their vision into practice.<br />

We all spent a tumultuous time with each other. The module and<br />

examinations system reminded me <strong>of</strong> an outdated educational sys-

tem, much different to what I experienced from German (visual) art<br />

academies. This was a big setback. So my final examination after<br />

the first semester was the presentation <strong>of</strong> a curriculum that I developed<br />

for the second semester for the whole course. It relied on<br />

education on the basis <strong>of</strong> one’s own responsibility, rather than fulfilling<br />

measurable qualification demands. The confrontation with<br />

the system felt first like a waste <strong>of</strong> energy, but later confirmed my<br />

interest in institutional critique, which I continued to deal with in<br />

my practice.<br />

During the studies, I got to know great people, like Ellen Van<br />

Schuylenburch, who, after a lifelong career in international dance<br />

companies decided to study SODA but quit shortly after the beginning<br />

<strong>of</strong> the course. It didn’t match her expectations. I also got to<br />

know Christoph Winkler, with whom I continued to work on many<br />

projects. And I developed a great friendship with fellow student<br />

Anat Eisenberg, with whom I started to collaborate as well. Together<br />

with her I organized a showing <strong>of</strong> students’ works within the festival<br />

Tanz im August (2008).<br />

Mirko Winkel (2009)<br />

from Workbook<br />

Photos © Mirko Winkel<br />


Selected Screen Shots from SODA online Workbook catalogue (2009) (with apologies to Corsin Gaudenz whose Workbook

is missing). Photos © Anat Eisenberg / Susanne Martin / Thérèse Nylen / Rita Roberto


Education does not operate in isolation, and the field <strong>of</strong> dance and<br />

the SODA programme are no exception to this. The field <strong>of</strong> contemporary<br />

dance, certainly in the experience <strong>of</strong> European dance,<br />

has been nomadic since the 1930s both out <strong>of</strong> necessity and desire<br />

as the pre-1939 and post-1945 histories <strong>of</strong> contemporary<br />

dance and its movements and influences from the old world to the<br />

new world and back attests. SODA can trace aspects <strong>of</strong> its educational<br />

and artistic provenance to many <strong>of</strong> the key sites <strong>of</strong> radical<br />

and experimental dance education and practice in Europe and<br />

America including Black Mountain College, Judson <strong>Dance</strong> Theatre,<br />

Dartington College <strong>of</strong> Arts, the School for New <strong>Dance</strong>, Amsterdam,<br />

and the European <strong>Dance</strong> Development Centre in Arnhem, as well<br />

as other institutions including Laban (London), Palucca (Dresden),<br />

Folkwang (Essen), and Codarts (Rotterdam).<br />

From its inception SODA provided a focus for applications coming<br />

from a wide international pool <strong>of</strong> artists, researchers, and postgraduates<br />

covering a range <strong>of</strong> disciplines, pr<strong>of</strong>essional and artistic<br />

backgrounds. Consequently, the informal networks that individual<br />

students bring with them and return to, contributed to the<br />

more formal international networks in the fields <strong>of</strong> contemporary<br />

arts, dance, performance and education that SODA was already<br />

participating in. These networks and the formal and informal links<br />

to other institutions, teachers, and companies are an integral part<br />

<strong>of</strong> the biographies and pr<strong>of</strong>essional backgrounds <strong>of</strong> both SODA<br />

students, staff and the wider circle <strong>of</strong> mentors and artists associated<br />

with the programme.<br />

Uferstudios Backgrounds (2011) Photo © Sven Hagolani<br />


The educational, artistic and cultural benefits <strong>of</strong> networks <strong>of</strong> exchange<br />

and mobility have created confluences, influences and relationships<br />

that continue to shape the collaborative work <strong>of</strong> individuals<br />

and advance the field <strong>of</strong> contemporary arts practice. For<br />

example, the third semester <strong>of</strong> the two-year programme (April–<br />

July) since the pilot phase has required students to ‘devise, plan<br />

and implement a programme <strong>of</strong> individual research that informs<br />

their development and understanding <strong>of</strong> artistic practice’ (Handbook,<br />

2017: 24). The value <strong>of</strong> research and the exchange, and exploration<br />

<strong>of</strong> methods, approaches and assumptions that are integral<br />

to it, has been supported by SODA in several ways as indicated in<br />

the following report from October 2008. It also reveals how much<br />

the initial programme was shifting in negotiation with the experience<br />

<strong>of</strong> the first intake <strong>of</strong> students.<br />

Erasmus Intensive Project, Berlin (2011) Photo © Marion Borriss<br />


<strong>Solo</strong> <strong>Dance</strong> <strong>Authorship</strong> at the HZT-Tanzplan Berlin<br />

In August 2006, an international symposium on ‘solo /<br />

dance / authorship’ was instigated as part <strong>of</strong> the preliminary<br />

research into the development <strong>of</strong> the HZT. Two<br />

years later and after over 100 national and international<br />

applications, the first <strong>MA</strong> SODA (<strong>Solo</strong> <strong>Dance</strong> <strong>Authorship</strong>)<br />

programme is halfway to completion. While obviously focusing<br />

on the post graduate development <strong>of</strong> a strong individual<br />

artistic signature, SODA’s artist centered and<br />

practice-led research philosophy also seeks to explore<br />

forms <strong>of</strong> collaboration within a peer-to-peer framework.<br />

To tackle this challenge, an intensive series <strong>of</strong> transdisciplinary<br />

encounters with leading artists and academics<br />

and with contemporary choreographers formed the<br />

basis <strong>of</strong> the first semester. But while good in theory, in<br />

practice this <strong>of</strong>ten proved difficult. Students expressed<br />

a need for more time spent on independent research<br />

and more influence over input perceived to be closer to<br />

their own interests. [...] In the present third semester,<br />

under tutorial guidance SODA students have been required<br />

to propose and implement strategies for the research<br />

and development exclusively designed for their<br />

own work. Along with artistic collaborations, attendance<br />

at external workshops and courses and Berlin<br />

based studio research this also may include periods<br />

outside Berlin; Susanne Martin for example, will spend<br />

a month at the choreographic research centre Critical<br />

Path in Sydney, Felix Marchand at Centro L’Animal a<br />

l’esquena in Girona, Spain. In October several students<br />

will be participating as guests in an <strong>of</strong>ficial meeting <strong>of</strong><br />

the European <strong>MA</strong> in Contemporary Arts Practice & Dissemination<br />

(<strong>MA</strong>CAPD) at Dartington College <strong>of</strong> Arts in<br />

the UK, 1 while Aikaterini Papageorgiou [Kat Válastur]<br />

will be performing new work in Athens and Prague.<br />

(SODA Archive, 2008)<br />

In July 2009 as a part <strong>of</strong> their Final SODA Project, the pilot students<br />

proposed an international Post-Graduate Meeting for the<br />

26–31 July with the intention to ‘keep the meeting / gathering relatively<br />

small scale but outward looking.’ 2<br />



<strong>MA</strong> SODA focuses on dance and performance making<br />

within the wider field <strong>of</strong> contemporary arts practice. It<br />

enables students to identify, research, develop and extend<br />

their work in relation to the increasingly cross-disciplinary<br />

and cross-cultural contexts <strong>of</strong> contemporary<br />

performance. International exchange and dialogue is a<br />

key aspect <strong>of</strong> the HZT’s approach to dance education<br />

and <strong>MA</strong> SODA is linked to a network that includes the<br />

European <strong>MA</strong> in Contemporary Arts Practice & Dissemination,<br />

Dartington (UK); L’Animal / University <strong>of</strong> Girona,<br />

ES; and Maska, Ljubljana (SI); and the <strong>MA</strong> Choreography<br />

programme at ArtEZ, Arnhem (NL).<br />

The first SODA postgraduate platform SODA WORKS<br />

(26–31 July) at the Ufer Kitchen and Studios is an initiative<br />

<strong>of</strong> the graduates and staff <strong>of</strong> the <strong>MA</strong> SODA (<strong>Solo</strong> /<br />

<strong>Dance</strong> / <strong>Authorship</strong>) pilot programme at HZT / UdK<br />

Berlin. It is organised in two parts – as an informal<br />

gathering (by invitation only) to share work, food, ideas<br />

and possi bilities with an international network <strong>of</strong><br />

postgraduate students and guest speakers (26–28<br />

July) and as three evenings <strong>of</strong> public performance<br />

showings and discussions.<br />

Erasmus Intensive Project, Berlin (2011) Photo © Marion Borriss<br />


The SODA WORKS performance showings are a series <strong>of</strong><br />

early and late evening public performances at the UdK<br />

Uni.T Theatre (29–31 July) <strong>of</strong> work from the <strong>MA</strong> SODA<br />

and <strong>MA</strong> Choreography students.<br />

Focusing on the conditions and contexts <strong>of</strong> contemporary<br />

practice in the field <strong>of</strong> dance, choreography and<br />

performance, the SODA WORKS gathering will organise<br />

itself around three central topics:<br />

• how is contemporary work being made: strategies, tactics,<br />

interventions, compositions – the ‘how’ <strong>of</strong> practice;<br />

• what does contemporary work address: performance<br />

theories, analysis, critical and cultural theories, dissemination<br />

- the ‘what’ <strong>of</strong> discourse;<br />

• where does contemporary work take place: positioning,<br />

participation, negotiation, curation - the ‘where’<br />

<strong>of</strong> engagement.<br />

The gathering will invite three guest speakers, Bojana<br />

Kunst, Jochen Roller and Sharon Smith, to inform, provoke<br />

and expand each <strong>of</strong> these topics in three days <strong>of</strong><br />

guest talks, conversations and discussions with and<br />

among students. The topics will be framed and modulated<br />

by sharings <strong>of</strong> recent work – installations, documentations,<br />

readings, improvisations and interventions<br />

– from both host and invited students. (SODA Archive, 2009)<br />

Further exchanges included visits <strong>of</strong> SODA students to Dartington<br />

College <strong>of</strong> Arts in Devon, UK (2007) and ArtEZ in Arnhem (2010).<br />

The Erasmus Student Exchange programme enabled Jarkko<br />

Partanen from TeAK / UniArts, Helsinki) (2010–11), Meredith<br />

Glisson from Falmouth University / University <strong>of</strong> the Arts, Philadelphia<br />

(2015–2016); Hana Vojáčková from Central St. Martins University<br />

<strong>of</strong> the Arts, London (2014–2015) to study and work with the<br />

SODA students; and Phoebe Robinson from Critical Path in Sydney<br />

joined the SODA programme as a guest in 2011–2012. Further formal<br />

intensive programmes with other European <strong>MA</strong> programmes<br />

were developed through SODA / HZT between 2011 and 2016.<br />


Erasmus Intensive Project, Berlin (2011)<br />

Photo © Marion Borriss<br />



This three-year Erasmus Intensive Project (2011–2013) developed<br />

by Eva-Maria Hoerster & Ric Allsopp during 2010, created a formal<br />

network between SODA / HZT and a network <strong>of</strong> six other <strong>MA</strong> programmes<br />

3 some <strong>of</strong> whom had already been involved since 2006<br />

in the <strong>MA</strong> Critical Arts Practice & Dissemination network initiated<br />

at Dartington College <strong>of</strong> Arts, UK. The Intensive Projects (IP) were<br />

focused on three 10-day workshops held at the beginning <strong>of</strong> the<br />

academic year in the autumn where students and pr<strong>of</strong>essors explored<br />

the practices, methods and concepts <strong>of</strong> physically-based<br />

performance, composition and choreography. 4<br />

The work, voices, and discourses <strong>of</strong> the Intensives are collected in Practicing<br />

Composition: Making Practice eds Kirsi Monni & Ric Allsopp (2015) Helsinki:<br />

Kinesis. Further documentation <strong>of</strong> the three Intensive Ptojects is available on both<br />

HZT and UniArts Helsinki websites.<br />



Introduction<br />

This report documents three parts <strong>of</strong> SODA’s contribution to the<br />

Erasmus event.<br />

1. Preparation;<br />

2. SODA Presentation;<br />

3. SODA Workshop with Erasmus partners.<br />

The nine first year SODA students took part in all three parts and<br />

were facilitated by Litó Walkey. The Erasmus partners participated<br />

in the third part [see Note 3, p.70].<br />

Central notions introduced throughout SODA’s contribution included:<br />

time constraints, micro formats, collaboration, creative response,<br />

documentation, performance directives, and accessing<br />

kinds <strong>of</strong> ‘doing before deciding’.<br />

The second semester <strong>of</strong> SODA’s first year focuses on modes <strong>of</strong><br />

composition. As this Erasmus event took place in the beginning <strong>of</strong><br />

the semester, the students were asked to reflect on their current<br />

practice and identify compositional devices already present in<br />

their work. They were asked to each illustrate their compositional<br />

strategies within a five minute performance. In response to each<br />

other’s emblematic performance, the students developed a creative<br />

response in the form <strong>of</strong> a written performance directive.<br />

The performances and written directives were assembled for the<br />

SODA presentation. The presentation intended to introduce insight<br />

into each student’s relation to composition through a short<br />

performance preceded by a short framing statement written and<br />

read by another colleague. The framing statement highlighted aspects<br />

<strong>of</strong> how the performance was operating, combined with the<br />

responder’s particular perspectives <strong>of</strong> observation.<br />

The workshop applied modes <strong>of</strong> activity similar to the ones practiced<br />

by the SODA students in preparation for the Erasmus presentation.<br />

The starting point for the workshop was a written directive<br />

written by one <strong>of</strong> the SODA students. This led to performance<br />

responses, descriptions, reformulations, transfer <strong>of</strong> performance<br />

material and finally to a new composition in writing.<br />


1. SODA Preparation for ERASMUS<br />

Identify a specific example <strong>of</strong> composition within your<br />

current practice.<br />

Construct a demonstration, illustration or physical exploration<br />

<strong>of</strong> this example.<br />

Perform this within five minutes.<br />

Observe one partner with a focus on the system that ‘binds’<br />

content as opposed to the content itself.<br />

How is composition functioning?<br />

Respond through a short written summary (2–3 sentences) <strong>of</strong><br />

the compositional elements you observed as essential in your<br />

partner’s performance.<br />


(considering experience <strong>of</strong> creating, performing, observing<br />

partner’s performance, giving and receiving feedback)<br />

Can it be applied to various material or is it specific to<br />

certain material?<br />

Do you understand composition as container for<br />

essential elements?<br />

What is the relation to time?<br />

Is it made up <strong>of</strong> parts? How do you distinguish these parts?<br />

Could you invite someone else to apply this approach?<br />

How would you do this?<br />

How could you score this composition?<br />

Compose three questions influenced by YOUR points <strong>of</strong><br />

interest in relation to composition (extracted and reformulated<br />

from writing).<br />

Interview your partner with these questions to gather more<br />

information about THEIR compositional approach.<br />

Create a response in the form <strong>of</strong> a performance directive –<br />

Assemble and compose the answers gathered from the interview<br />

and the written summary <strong>of</strong> the observed performance. Formulate<br />

this as a suggestion for performance - highlighting essential<br />

compositional concerns that you observe in your partner’s work.<br />

Preparation for SODA Presentation:<br />

Document, notate what is necessary to re-perform short performance<br />

that illustrates compositional aspect <strong>of</strong> your practice.<br />

Prepare to read creative response in the form <strong>of</strong> a performance<br />

directive as a framing statement for your partner’s performance.<br />


2. SODA ‘Partner Pr<strong>of</strong>ile’ Presentation for ERASMUS<br />

General Order:<br />

Litó introduces<br />

1.<br />

Willy frames Jee-Ae – Jee-Ae performs<br />

Jee-Ae frames Willy – Willy performs<br />

2.<br />

Hana frames Sonja – Sonja performs<br />

Sonja frames Hana – Hana performs<br />

3.<br />

Lisa frames & reads Andrew’s summary for Igor –<br />

Willy performs Igor<br />

4.<br />

Joana frames Marcio – Marcio performs<br />

Marcio frames Joana – Joana performs<br />

5.<br />

Sonja reads Igor’s frame for Lisa – Lisa performs<br />

Lisa frames Andrew – no performance<br />

Litó leads all participants into the presentation<br />

[...]<br />

Litó requests all Erasmus participants (including SODA students)<br />

to ‘steal’ a fragment <strong>of</strong> movement material from any <strong>of</strong><br />

these performances.<br />

3. SODA ‘Partner Pr<strong>of</strong>ile’ Workshop for Erasmus –<br />

Monday 23 October<br />

Andrew’s ‘missing’ performance after Lisa’s compositional<br />

performance directive / framing statement links us to<br />

afternoon workshop.<br />

Here again:<br />

About Andrew Wass’s performance (written by Lisa Densem)<br />

Clothes or objects can be worn or carried<br />

They can be laid out one by one<br />

They can re-make yourself and/or your space<br />

Perform a re-made world<br />

Stop when you must<br />

Become as you were<br />


Here are three stages <strong>of</strong> creation:<br />

Explore, experiment, execute<br />

Continuous individual writing for five minutes taking above text<br />

as starting point.<br />

Use (1) the above text, (2) the continuous writing and (3) the<br />

movement material fragment ‘stolen’ from the SODA presentation<br />

performances as compositional GUIDE for creating a two<br />

minute performance.<br />

(20 minutes work time)<br />

Pair up and perform as a ‘private performance’ for each other<br />

Perform two times each with attention to possible discrepancies<br />

between original plan, first performance and second<br />

performance.<br />

Write a description in five points <strong>of</strong> what you performed<br />

Extract one description point and teach it to your partner<br />

Write a new performance directive. Assemble and compose with<br />

the following ingredients:<br />

- individual continuous writing<br />

- Lisa’s directive in response to Andrew’s performance<br />

- stolen fragment <strong>of</strong> material from morning SODA performances<br />

experience <strong>of</strong> creating and performing two minute performance<br />

response<br />

written description <strong>of</strong> your performance<br />

description extract <strong>of</strong> two minute performance you observed,<br />

taught to you by your partner<br />

Read/Look at some <strong>of</strong> the new directives and have a discussion<br />

about the workshop.<br />

Litó Walkey, February 2012<br />



The project Capturing <strong>Dance</strong> 5 initiated by Sigrid Gareis sought to<br />

apply new performance theories about the significance <strong>of</strong> documentation<br />

in the artistic process from the visual arts and transfer<br />

them to the field <strong>of</strong> dance in a multiple-phase, flagship project<br />

partnership between Tanz Fabrik, Berlin, HZT (<strong>MA</strong> SODA) & KHM<br />

(Academy <strong>of</strong> Media Arts) Cologne. On a practical level the project<br />

was divided into five phases taking place with a group <strong>of</strong> 20 young<br />

choreographers and new media artists from <strong>MA</strong> SODA / HZT, Berlin,<br />

and KHM, Cologne (students and emergent artists) as well as a<br />

collection <strong>of</strong> notable theoreticians and curators from dance, new<br />

media and performance. The SODA students were mentored by<br />

Boyan Manchev with Eva-Maria Hoerster 6<br />

In June 2015 the project started with a three-day internal introduction<br />

and orientation in Berlin for the choreographers and new<br />

media artists. In October 2015 a public symposium on dance documentation<br />

as artistic practice took place at Uferstudios, Berlin.<br />

Starting from the performance theories <strong>of</strong> the 1990s, historical<br />

and contemporary methods <strong>of</strong> documentation as artistic practice<br />

were introduced and discussed by project participants and interested<br />

members <strong>of</strong> the public. In February 2016 the participants<br />

met in Cologne in a laboratory setting where two workshops were<br />

performed as well as the first concrete photographic and film material<br />

<strong>of</strong> the development <strong>of</strong> dance projects or productions have<br />

been taken. Leading up to the start <strong>of</strong> June 2016 the projects<br />

planned by the participating choreographers were documented in<br />

a series <strong>of</strong> one-week-long residencies. The results <strong>of</strong> the documentary<br />

processes were exhibited at the end <strong>of</strong> June 2016 in the<br />

Ebensperger Gallery in Berlin in collaboration with the curator<br />

Thomas Weski and Sigrid Gareis.<br />

The project’s goal was to develop exemplary artistic and documentary<br />

material from working and production processes and<br />

broaden the possibilities <strong>of</strong> available forms <strong>of</strong> documentation<br />

within the dance field for the future.<br />

www.capturingdance.de/symposium<br />


Janine Iten<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA<br />

2014–2017<br />

Janine Iten (2015) from Moving Bodies Photos © Jeanine Iten<br />


Enrico Wey<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA<br />

2014–2016<br />

ON AN ANI<strong>MA</strong>L|CAPTURING DANCE|A <strong>MA</strong>NIFEST (2016)<br />

This is nothing new. 20<br />

20 It is with full awareness that most if not all content in this document is borrowed,<br />

stolen, appropriated, reinstated as scattered shards to be reformed, reposted,<br />

repeated, re-envisioned, destroyed, to reanimate from ashes. And is in fact, encouraged.<br />

The curse and pursuit <strong>of</strong> understanding leads to further confusion. However,<br />

the value lies, as previously mentioned several times, in the intent. The act <strong>of</strong> questioning<br />

to further understanding and research contributes to the cyclical knowledge<br />

<strong>of</strong> the subject. Is dance something that one can contain and what is the purpose <strong>of</strong><br />

that container? Striving to maintain ephemera is a backwards approach. What one<br />

could strive for, as one <strong>of</strong> many possible proposals, is to maintain ephemerality, allowing<br />

for it, the richness <strong>of</strong> content that can affect change, affect thought, are fleeting<br />

as thoughts themselves and yet impact can be everlasting. To acknowledge this,<br />

is to give oneself over to this power, to give it power, give it import. A document exists<br />

in traces, in physical forms, in memories, in an indescribable feeling. The urge<br />

and desire to recreate or retrieve this feeling and the inevitable failure <strong>of</strong> these acts<br />

is what propels and pushes us further into the dance. It allows space, it allows for<br />

evolution. The moment our capacities <strong>of</strong> pursuit end, is when the dance ends. To which<br />

one may ask again, ‘Why capture it at all?’ A question that asks us to be continued...<br />




In February 2015 an exchange project took place with the Masters<br />

programmes <strong>of</strong> HZT Berlin – <strong>MA</strong> SODA and <strong>MA</strong> Choreography; Centre<br />

Choréographique National de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon,<br />

Montpellier (CCNMLR) – <strong>MA</strong> ex.e.r.ce; and the University <strong>of</strong> <strong>Dance</strong><br />

and Circus, Stockholm (DOCH) – <strong>MA</strong> Choreography. The project<br />

involved thirty-one students and six staff 7 and aimed at sharing<br />

and discussing the different approaches <strong>of</strong> the programmes regarding<br />

research and methods, including the question: how to exhibit<br />

and share research? The focus was on three specific topics:<br />

• composition in contemporary performance and dance<br />

making;<br />

• scoring methods and engagement in the process <strong>of</strong><br />

scoring own work; experimentation with score writing<br />

• writing – especially the connection/relation <strong>of</strong> writing<br />

and research and artistic practice; how writing interferes<br />

with artistic practices; specificity <strong>of</strong> artist’s<br />

writing; including writing in the work (scores, documentation<br />

etc.); and how this can be exhibited.<br />

The meeting included a daily warm up session facilitated by students;<br />

three parallel workshops on writing, composition and scores;<br />

and respective reports to the whole group. The afternoons followed<br />

the concept <strong>of</strong> open space-formats, where three proposals by students<br />

and staff could run in parallel. The evenings were used to see<br />

performances, partly as a group, partly individually. Staff facilitated<br />

and supervised the working sessions with the students and a staff<br />

exchange meeting happened with additional guests Britta<br />

Wirthmüller (HZT) and Isa Wortlkamp (FU Berlin) focusing on the<br />

question <strong>of</strong> how to exhibit and share research, and addressing how<br />

writing is included in the different study programmes.<br />

In addition to the exchanges and networks mentioned here, SODA<br />

and its students, staff and alumni continues to develop its formal<br />

and informal international networks through involvement in festivals,<br />

performances, residencies, and artistic projects in Berlin,<br />

Bucharest, Zagreb, Tel Aviv, London, Porto, Tokyo, Los Angeles, S<strong>of</strong>ia,<br />

New York, Singapore and elsewhere.<br />


1. The <strong>MA</strong> in Contemporary Arts Practice & Dissemination<br />

(<strong>MA</strong>CAPD) (2006–2010) initiated by Ric Allsopp,<br />

Tracey Warr and Roger Sell at Dartington College <strong>of</strong><br />

Arts from 2003, was a two year full-time, cross-disciplinary,<br />

practice-led Masters Award. It provided students<br />

with a unique opportunity to explore strategies, ideas<br />

and practices that permeate contemporary arts. Structured<br />

around a common framework <strong>of</strong> intensive meetings<br />

and three-month residencies, it enabled students<br />

to meet, work and engage with contemporary arts<br />

practice across a network <strong>of</strong> five European partner institutions:<br />

Dartington College <strong>of</strong> Arts (Network Co-ordinator)<br />

(UK); Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning<br />

Academy, Rotterdam (NL); Centre L’Animal / University<br />

<strong>of</strong> Girona (ES); Maska Ljubljana / Nova Gorica University<br />

(SI); and Vilnius Academy <strong>of</strong> Fine Arts (LT). The network<br />

shared a practice-led and critical approach towards<br />

the media <strong>of</strong> production and dissemination in<br />

the fields <strong>of</strong> writing, visual art, performance, theatre,<br />

choreography, and curating.<br />

2. The Platform involved staff and students from ArtEZ<br />

<strong>Dance</strong> Academy (NL), <strong>MA</strong> Contemporary Arts Practice<br />

and Dissemination (<strong>MA</strong>CAPD), Dartington College <strong>of</strong><br />

Arts (UK), <strong>MA</strong> <strong>Dance</strong> Theatre and Choreography, Trinity<br />

Laban (UK); <strong>MA</strong> Choreography & Performance, University<br />

<strong>of</strong> Giessen (DE) and was organised by Rita Roberto<br />

(<strong>MA</strong> SODA) and Anne-Mareike Hess (<strong>MA</strong> Choreography).<br />

The postgraduate contributors invited were three<br />

<strong>MA</strong> Choreography students from ArtEZ, Arnhem (NL):<br />

Emilie Gallier, Tomaz Simatovic and Julian Barnett; four<br />

students from <strong>MA</strong>CAPD at Dartington (UK) and the<br />

Centre L’Animal/ University <strong>of</strong> Girona (ES): Katie Connor<br />

and Nicolas Y Galeazzi; Ayara Hernandez & Ixiar Rosas;<br />

alongside the six <strong>MA</strong> Choreography students then at<br />

HZT - Claudia Garbe, Jana Unmüßig, Barbara Bess,<br />

Marina Tenorio, David Bloom, Ann-Mareike Hess, and<br />

Shang Chi Sun.<br />

3. <strong>MA</strong> Choreography, School <strong>of</strong> <strong>Dance</strong>, ArtEZ, Arnhem,<br />

NL (dir. Joao daSilva); <strong>MA</strong> Choreography, Theatre<br />

Academy the <strong>of</strong> University <strong>of</strong> the Arts, Helsinki, FI<br />

(dir. Kirsi Monni); <strong>MA</strong> <strong>Dance</strong> Theatre: The Body in<br />

Performance, Trinity / Laban, London, UK (dir. Martin<br />

Hargreaves); <strong>Dance</strong> Programme, Falmouth University,<br />

UK (dir. Ric Allsopp) ; <strong>MA</strong> Performance Dramaturgy,<br />

Academy <strong>of</strong> Drama Arts; University <strong>of</strong> Zagreb, HR<br />

(dir. Goran Sergej Pristas) ; and (in 2013) <strong>MA</strong> in Performing<br />

Arts Practice and Visual Culture, University<br />

<strong>of</strong> Castilla-La Mancha, ES (dir. Victoria Perez Royo).<br />

4. The first IP - Practicing Composition: Making Practice<br />

- was held in October / November 2011 at Uferstudios<br />

in Berlin. Staff from each programme presented<br />

their curricula and pedagogical objectives and held<br />

presentation workshops. Lectures and workshops were<br />

given by artists and researchers including Rabih Mroué,<br />

Linah Saneh, Litó Walkey, Scott deLahunta, and Deufert<br />

& Plischke. The students from different programmes<br />

worked in groups for the second week presenting<br />

demonstrations <strong>of</strong> their work in the end <strong>of</strong> the IP. The<br />

second IP - Choreography: Aesthetics and Social Experience<br />

- was held at the Theatre Academy Helsinki in<br />

October / November 2012. 31 students and 14 teachers<br />

participated from six <strong>MA</strong> programmes with Helsinki<br />

students from the TeAK Choreography, Directing, Live<br />

Art and Performance Theory programmes. Workshops<br />

lectures included Sergej Pristas, Ric Allsopp, Esa<br />

Kirkkopelto, Konstantina Georgelou, and Saara Hannula.<br />

The third IP - Composition: Poetics and Procedure in<br />

Individual Performance - was held in Berlin in October<br />

2013. It concentrated on notions <strong>of</strong> structure (poetics)<br />

and making (composition) in individual and solo work,<br />

signature and authorship and included lectures and<br />

workshops from Miika Luoto, Sandra Umathum, Ric<br />

Allsopp, Elena Giannotti, Vaginal Davies, Victoria Pérez<br />

Royo, Konstantina Georgelou, Jasna Zmak, Sophia New<br />

and Martin Hargreaves.<br />

5. A Tanzfonds Erbe Project by Tanzfabrik Berlin,<br />

HZT Berlin (Inter-university Centre for <strong>Dance</strong>),<br />

Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln KHM(Academie <strong>of</strong><br />

Media Arts, Cologne) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft<br />

DFG (German Research Foundation)<br />

Project Verzeichnung; in cooperation with Galerie<br />

Ebensperger Berlin and Luxoom Lab, the Theatre<br />

Studies Institute <strong>of</strong> the Freie Universität Berlin, the<br />

DFG research project ÜberReste; supported by Tanzfonds<br />

Erbe – a German Federal Cultural Foundation<br />

initiative; and the Schering Foundation.<br />

6. Project Participants - Artists: Akseli Aittomäki,<br />

Saori Hara, Liad Hussein Katorowicz, Janine Iten, Lisa<br />

Müller-Trede, Lulu Obermayer, Valentin Tszin, Enrico<br />

Wey, Yuebing Luo (<strong>MA</strong> SODA students at HZT) and<br />

Mariana Bártolo, Hannah Doerr, Peter Haas, Krzyszt<strong>of</strong><br />

Honowski, Şirin Şimsek, Walter <strong>Solo</strong>n, Felix Zilles-Perels<br />

(students at KHM) as well as predominantly younger<br />

artists from Berlin and Cologne: Christina Ciupke,<br />

Miriam Gossing, Felix Ott, Benjamin Ramírez Pérez, Lina<br />

Sieckmann. Theoreticians taking part in the symposium:<br />

Philip Auslander, Barbara Clausen, Susanne Foellmer,<br />

Barbara Formis, Babette Mangolte, Eric Morrill. Project<br />

mentors: Phil Collins, Eva-Maria Hoerster, Boyan<br />

Manchev, Tobias Yves Zintel and the assistent<br />

Ale Bachlechner for the study programmes in Berlin<br />

and Cologne, Sigrid Gareis as project initiator, Patrick<br />

Ebensperger representing the gallery, Ludger Orlok<br />

from Tanzfabrik Berlin, Barbara Greiner, project manager,<br />

Mira Lina Simon, production assistant, and Alexandra<br />

Hennig, project documentation.<br />

7. HZT Berlin: <strong>MA</strong> Choreography (4 students) and <strong>MA</strong><br />

<strong>Solo</strong>/<strong>Dance</strong>/<strong>Authorship</strong> (SODA) (6 students); staff: Rhys<br />

Martin (head <strong>of</strong> the <strong>MA</strong> SODA programme), Sophia New<br />

(lecturer <strong>MA</strong> SODA), Eva-Maria Hoerster (coordinator HZT);<br />

CCNMLR Montpellier: <strong>MA</strong> ex.e.r.ce (15 students); staff:<br />

Anne Kerzerho (director <strong>of</strong> pedagogy), Laurent Pichaud<br />

(artistic director); DOCH Stockholm, <strong>MA</strong> Choreography<br />

(6 students); staff: Frédéric Gies (head <strong>of</strong> programme).<br />


Uferstudios Backgrounds (2011) Photo © Sven Hagolani


Sophia New<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA Staff<br />

2011–2017<br />

SODA is a bubbly s<strong>of</strong>t drink usually containing water and sugar. It<br />

can be drunk alone or mixed with other beverages. SODA is a<br />

course that is a container filled, enlivened and challenged by<br />

those that engage with it. In the ten years that it has bubbled<br />

along I have had the pleasure to witness many different flavours<br />

<strong>of</strong> engagement and the marvellous mixing <strong>of</strong> approaches<br />

amongst different year groups.<br />

Choosing a year group is a bit like alchemy: the Commission’s job<br />

is to get just the right mix to cause a stir but not an explosion. It is<br />

a risk and every year there is the anticipation <strong>of</strong> whether the brew<br />

will bond or break. I say this because the year group is just as vital<br />

as the structure and input <strong>of</strong> the staff and guest teachers. At <strong>MA</strong><br />

level the kinds <strong>of</strong> conversations that can be facilitated can, at best,<br />

provide a fabulous cocktail <strong>of</strong> reflection, insight and inspiration.<br />

What exactly solo dance authorship is and how it is understood<br />

is <strong>of</strong>ten a topic <strong>of</strong> conversation. How might a practice that stems<br />

from drawing or economics or anthropology enter the realm <strong>of</strong><br />

dance? How can a room full <strong>of</strong> performers involved in a process<br />

<strong>of</strong> investigation and research be authored as a solo? In what<br />

ways can two years’ worth <strong>of</strong> ideas and work be shared with an<br />

audience through different means? How as an artist do we speak<br />

about, to and with a certain practice that is being developed?<br />

It is the variety <strong>of</strong> answers and proposals that make SODA a truly<br />

refreshing experience, which will hopefully continue to question<br />

the role <strong>of</strong> making work as an artist in an institutional environment<br />

in the twenty first century.<br />

www.planbperformance.net<br />

Uferstudios Backgrounds (2011) Photo © Sven Hagolani<br />


Boyan Manchev<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA Staff<br />

2011–2017<br />




It has been a vortex, seemingly with no end. A marriage <strong>of</strong> Heaven<br />

and Hell. Obviously, much passion and commitment were<br />

needed for this program to persist through the hurricanes <strong>of</strong> the<br />

last ten years. And here we are now, at a safe shore that has sedimented<br />

for a decade. So, as SODA’s protocol requires, let’s start<br />

with the questions:<br />

How to transmit and produce knowledge without reducing, misguiding<br />

or even corrupting the singularity <strong>of</strong> artistic practice?<br />

How to open horizons for (self-)understanding and growing<br />

awareness <strong>of</strong> artistic practice without negating its driving intuition,<br />

including the intuition <strong>of</strong> the concept? In other words, do we<br />

have a practical means to overcome the Kantian opposition<br />

between intuition and concept, which has dominated artistic<br />

practice and education in the last two centuries (only changing<br />

the privileged term in the opposition but without affecting its dichotomic<br />

structure)? How to evaluate without judging?<br />

To answer such questions – or rather to make them effective by<br />

practical means - suggests a meta-critical vision on both artistic<br />

and reflexive practice, on both ‘art’ and ‘theory’ or ‘critical discourse’.<br />

Hence, I took <strong>MA</strong> SODA’s challenge at a level <strong>of</strong> complexity<br />

I found adequate for my own meta-critical questions at the<br />

time. In other words, I tried to push further and experiment with<br />

this meta-critical vision in the frame <strong>of</strong> the SODA ‘reflexive’ modules<br />

I was directly responsible for as Pr<strong>of</strong>essor <strong>of</strong> Theory between<br />

2011 and 2017.<br />

The task was to experiment with and foster the experience <strong>of</strong> reflexive<br />

knowledge as a premise <strong>of</strong> this educational adventure, and<br />

therefore to experience it precisely as a form <strong>of</strong> adventure in<br />

knowledge, practices and techniques; thus, to foster a new understanding<br />

<strong>of</strong> practice, by practicing reflexive thinking while<br />

unlocking the immanent critical, reflexive – if not ‘theoretical’ –<br />

potential <strong>of</strong> artistic practices themselves.<br />

Such a platform meant taking certain risks, especially in the context<br />

<strong>of</strong> a service-oriented educational economy in the field <strong>of</strong> the<br />

arts: in the first place, to maintain the educational format itself in<br />

its humanistic meaning <strong>of</strong> uninterested transmission and common<br />

production; but also <strong>of</strong> creation, <strong>of</strong> knowledge, while pushing<br />

further its limits and experimenting with its form and content.<br />


Unavoidably, and on meta-critical premises, we had to contest the<br />

processes <strong>of</strong> commodification <strong>of</strong> ‘critical discourse’– a process <strong>of</strong><br />

establishing critical and conceptual normativity, an engine <strong>of</strong> control<br />

for value production – and confront this process by opening<br />

spaces for imagination and experimentation with philosophical<br />

thought, with reflexive tools.<br />

Such orientation implied as well an attempt to overcome the ongoing<br />

bureaucratisation <strong>of</strong> education and the client-focused reduction<br />

<strong>of</strong> intellectual and pedagogic labour through its fragmentation<br />

and adaptation to quantifiable formats, through sustaining a<br />

process <strong>of</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>ound and complex research and experimentation.<br />

These are the only premises for continuity and persistence in the<br />

creation <strong>of</strong> a common good as a final and utopian horizon <strong>of</strong> any<br />

educational process. As such, my six years with SODA felt like a<br />

durational meta-critical seminar, an enduring commitment to an<br />

idea and will to invention in which I didn’t feel alone, sharing beliefs<br />

and conviction and giving each other courage with wonderful<br />

colleagues and students.<br />

SODA Lecture-Seminar Series 2011–2017<br />

My most important activity in the framework <strong>of</strong> SODA was the concept<br />

and the realisation <strong>of</strong> the public lecture series, accompanied<br />

with closed seminars, happening throughout each semester.<br />

The Lecture Series were an integral part <strong>of</strong> SODA’s teaching modules<br />

and set out to enlarge and make more complex the educational<br />

perspective. I aimed at a conceptual continuity for the lectures,<br />

while trying to present a variety <strong>of</strong> critically important<br />

subjects, thus achieving a complex spectrum and multiple conceptual<br />

perspective. More specifically, I tried to open-up the educational<br />

frame <strong>of</strong> SODA to broad philosophical concepts such as<br />

subject and creation, contingency and composition, necessity<br />

and desire, movement and metamorphosis, production and value.<br />

In the continuous stream <strong>of</strong> the series one might identify a few<br />

tendencies that coexisted throughout the years. On one hand, I<br />

presented leading philosophical voices whose conceptual practice<br />

had the potential to stimulate and inspire the students and<br />

the critical artistic community in Berlin 1 . On the other hand, I invited<br />

leading theorists and historians <strong>of</strong> dance, performance and<br />

theatre, or some <strong>of</strong> the younger most original scholars and artists<br />

in the field 2 . In my introduction and in the moderation <strong>of</strong> the lecture<br />

panels I tried to establish a continuity <strong>of</strong> questions and reflection,<br />

thus involving the students and the audience in a common<br />

intellectual endeavour.<br />


The continuity <strong>of</strong> questions and reflection was guaranteed above<br />

all by my own public lectures (usually 1 or 2 in a semester). Initially<br />

I aimed at presenting specific moments <strong>of</strong> my actual research<br />

which could be enriching for educational purposes, but which<br />

would also have the potential to prolong the common work or<br />

open new spaces by means <strong>of</strong> experimentation: a laboratory<br />

space to test philosopher’s tools. From 2015 on I moved the focus<br />

towards a continuous and conceptually homogeneous series<br />

within the semester, in collaboration with the UdK Studium Generale<br />

program, where I examined subjects crucial for contemporary<br />

knowledge and artistic practice and presented their complexity<br />

as models for future experimentation. The general topics <strong>of</strong> these<br />

continuous lecture series, taking place from 2015 to 2017, were<br />

Philosophy <strong>of</strong> Metamorphosis, Metamorphosis <strong>of</strong> Philosophy; The<br />

World must be Romanticised; Human Transitions; and The Future<br />

<strong>of</strong> Art.<br />

www.boyanmanchev.net<br />

1. Including Chantal Mouffe, Elisabeth von Samsonow, Frédéric Neyrat, Esa Kirkkopelto,<br />

Timothy Morton, Federico Nicolao.<br />

2. Including Hans-Thies Lehmann, Ric Allsopp, Franz-Anton Cramer, Helmut Ploebst,<br />

Janez Janša, Bojana Kunst, Sergei Pristaš, Nicholas Ridout, Joe Kelleher,<br />

Constanze Schellow, Noémie <strong>Solo</strong>mon, Martina Ruhsam, and Bignia Wehrli.<br />


Litó Walkey<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA Staff<br />

2007–2013<br />

PERFOR<strong>MA</strong>NCE DIRECTIVES<br />

if language could<br />

be movement<br />

and the double<br />

wasn’t a concern<br />

then we are already<br />

in a new world<br />

not for rest<br />

but for another way<br />

escape in other worlds<br />

Be attentive to it<br />

Make it take place ‘on stage’<br />

Describe it as a kind <strong>of</strong> logic that sings<br />

Make it be exemplary<br />

Activate a part, parts, or the whole<br />

Make it with or without words<br />

Make an environment for it<br />

Join it with another logic<br />

Make it as an accompaniment<br />

Be inattentive to it<br />

every two minutes there is a face that fits the body not until now<br />

did you know love with pulsing sound in the eyes to touch<br />

silence to feel the weight <strong>of</strong> dedication between you and me<br />

every sound has a face looking sideways do you know<br />

Be attentive to it<br />

Make it take place ‘on stage’<br />

Describe it as a kind <strong>of</strong> logic that sings<br />

Make it be exemplary<br />

Activate a part, parts, or the whole<br />

Make it with or without words<br />

Make an environment for it<br />

Join it with another logic<br />

Make it as an accompaniment<br />

Be inattentive to it<br />



slice/twice<br />

background<br />

Instigate disruption, not occasional, but incessant. light loops<br />

Redundantly repeating light loops what was just said. double<br />

negative tempts us to invent a myth <strong>of</strong> meaning With or without<br />

light loops words. Accompanied by double-tongued flute an<br />

awareness or address <strong>of</strong> who this action is dedicated to.<br />

middle<br />

perform it as a memory <strong>of</strong> 1979 dedication water’s over your head:<br />

for we “who love Can I walk in your sleep to be astonished” for<br />

we “water’s over your head who love to see water’s over your<br />

head sound water’s over your head”<br />

And you can’t annul a shake <strong>of</strong> that by Can I walk in your sleep<br />

shaking it again<br />

foreground<br />

the eye swims at the horizon two body parts at different water’s<br />

over your head frequencies carry show me again two words with<br />

not the first part <strong>of</strong> your body you think <strong>of</strong> without eyes, find<br />

show me again the most luminous detail: add a stutter to it add<br />

a stutter to it add a stutter to it<br />

What has become light loops show me again heart?<br />

Be attentive to it<br />

Make it take place ‘on stage’<br />

Describe it as a kind <strong>of</strong> logic that sings<br />

Make it be exemplary<br />

Activate a part, parts, or the whole<br />

Make it with or without words<br />

Make an environment for it<br />

Join it with another logic<br />

Make it as an accompaniment<br />


Be inattentive to it<br />

This is backwards<br />

This is forwards<br />

This is round<br />

o o o<br />

This is counting<br />

This tells<br />

This is empty<br />

o o o<br />

This is thinking<br />

This is time turned down<br />

This is not what I expected<br />

Be attentive to it<br />

Make it take place ‘on stage’<br />

Describe it as a kind <strong>of</strong> logic that sings<br />

Make it be exemplary<br />

Activate a part, parts, or the whole<br />

Make it with or without words<br />

Make an environment for it<br />

Join it with another logic<br />

Make it as an accompaniment<br />

Be inattentive to it<br />


Ric Allsopp<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA Staff<br />

2007–2011<br />

2017–2018<br />


If we follow de Certeau’s formulation that ‘space is practiced<br />

place’ (1984:117), then, in performance, a space <strong>of</strong> appearance is a<br />

consequence <strong>of</strong> the practice <strong>of</strong> (a) place. It is a space within the<br />

material representations <strong>of</strong> performance where something appears,<br />

a moment (or moments) in time, in which the conditions<br />

that constitute place (the physical, aesthetic, and institutional<br />

‘givens’ <strong>of</strong> the performance) give way to something in excess <strong>of</strong><br />

those conditions. Such moments, which are both collectively and<br />

individually perceived or ‘read’, enable the unapparent to become<br />

apparent, an appearance beyond the possibility <strong>of</strong> documentation.<br />

A specific, momentary ‘world’ is created – a possibility (and a<br />

confirmation perhaps) <strong>of</strong> a state or a dynamic beyond the material<br />

conditions that performance can establish. The conditions for<br />

such a space can be reconstructed or repeated (in Gertrude<br />

Stein’s sense <strong>of</strong> repetition without sameness), but there is always<br />

the possibility that a space <strong>of</strong> appearance may not be produced<br />

through the simple repetition <strong>of</strong> conditions.<br />

This space <strong>of</strong> appearance then is not to be imagined as something<br />

that emerges only as a consequence <strong>of</strong> a dramatic or narrative<br />

world. In other words, it is not the revelation or recognition <strong>of</strong><br />

something that clarifies or resolves in some way a dramatic situation;<br />

it is not necessarily predictable or constituted in advance. It<br />

is an epiphanic or visionary space in the sense that it reveals<br />

something or some affect, that was not apparent before, and that<br />

persists beyond the material and aesthetic conditions <strong>of</strong> performance.<br />

It is a space that does not require spectacle, that operates<br />

at the level <strong>of</strong> the everyday, where it might be mistaken for the insignificant,<br />

the peripheral or the nugatory. Here I am thinking <strong>of</strong><br />

performance at its most ‘reduced’ - in a culinary sense <strong>of</strong> its most<br />

intense and concentrated rather than stripped down - that can<br />

produce a space <strong>of</strong> appearance, in the condition <strong>of</strong> the bare, unadorned<br />

physicality <strong>of</strong> the performer in communication with an audience,<br />

operating within a dispositif (or apparatus) <strong>of</strong> the sensory,<br />

an apparatus which is not however separated from the wider contexts<br />

<strong>of</strong> performance and its ideas, images, stories, memories, and<br />

politics. (Allsopp, 2010: 20–21)<br />

Published in 25 Years: Bergen International Theatre - an Anthology ed. Marie<br />

Nerland, Bergen: BIT (2010: 19–26) and in Flemish translation in Etcetera<br />

Vol. 29 No. 124, (March 2011).<br />


Sophia New<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA Staff<br />

2011–2017<br />


Introduction – in which I consider the issues <strong>of</strong> teaching and<br />

learning in 21 st Century<br />

In this paper I will be referring to the dual perspectives that I have,<br />

both as an artist and teacher, referring to the UK (where I am from)<br />

and Germany (where I have lived for the last 15 years). I am advocating<br />

for an educational system that is regularly reassessed by<br />

and through the work that students bring to a course and in dialogue<br />

with the institution. I see higher education as having the<br />

potential to find an equilibrium between necessary institutional<br />

structures and questioning their relevance in relation to contemporary<br />

arts practice. (It is perhaps important to note here I will refer<br />

mostly to <strong>MA</strong> student work rather than BA). I am, however, also<br />

aware that there is another debate to be had in terms <strong>of</strong> the increasing<br />

administrative demands and time restrictions required<br />

and imposed by Bologna 1 . But despite this, how can one retain<br />

flexibility to respond to students’ individual research trajectories<br />

without having to regularly re-write the <strong>of</strong>ficial study regulations?<br />

How do we keep a manageable balance between clear communication<br />

and structure <strong>of</strong> a course and feeding the ever- needy machinery<br />

<strong>of</strong> bureaucracy?<br />

These issues are part <strong>of</strong> my current position at a relatively new<br />

institution: the Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz / Inter-<br />

University Centre for <strong>Dance</strong> (HZT) which will be 10 years old next<br />

year (2017). It is in the process <strong>of</strong> trying new structures and being<br />

student responsive, whilst also establishing itself as a permanent<br />

and sustainable institution, with the current process <strong>of</strong> appointing<br />

longer term positions for its staff.<br />

I also wish to reflect upon teaching itself as a practise that has<br />

shifted and changed, especially in the last 20 years, and to acknowledge<br />

that the old hierarchies <strong>of</strong> imparting knowledge from<br />

the top down has evolved into a situation <strong>of</strong> facilitating, guiding<br />

and framing the practices <strong>of</strong> the current students. This concurs<br />

with Paolo Freire’s position in his book Pedagogy <strong>of</strong> the Oppressed<br />

(1970) in which he argues that the educator, rather than depositing<br />

‘superior knowledge’ to be ‘passively digested, memorized<br />

and repeated’, must engage in a ‘genuine dialogue’ and ‘creative<br />

exchange’ with the students. So, this represents a radical change<br />

<strong>of</strong> the role <strong>of</strong> the teacher to opening up a situation for the sharing<br />

<strong>of</strong> knowledges and peer exchange (which is also a means <strong>of</strong> resisting<br />

the neo-liberal mode <strong>of</strong> the student as ‘customer’ and<br />


staff as ‘service providers’). What I intend then in this paper is to<br />

share with you how I have learnt and continue to learn through the<br />

practices <strong>of</strong> students both as an artist and teacher. [...]<br />

The Middle – in which I consider how student work continues to<br />

push boundaries for me now<br />

I have been teaching on the <strong>MA</strong> <strong>Solo</strong> <strong>Dance</strong> <strong>Authorship</strong> Course at<br />

the HZT for the last four years and from the most recent cohort <strong>of</strong><br />

students who have recently graduated, two are from Fine Art, two<br />

have a dance background and one has a theatre and ethnography<br />

background. This variety <strong>of</strong> backgrounds and practices is typical<br />

for the course and we deliberately look to create a cohort <strong>of</strong> students<br />

whose practices can challenge, compliment and intrigue<br />

one another, as we consider peer learning to be just as important<br />

as the content that we <strong>of</strong>fer as staff. Students who choose this<br />

course also choose to place themselves within a context that examines<br />

what a body-based practice does and what that means for<br />

contemporary discourse.<br />

‘What can a body do?’ is a fundamental question that has always<br />

concerned performance makers, but what has changed in the 21 st<br />

Century? Thinking about that question in relation to those specific<br />

students, one thing I can say is that the Internet changes their relationship<br />

to their body and their access to knowledge and means<br />

<strong>of</strong> researching.<br />

An illustration <strong>of</strong> this can be found in the work <strong>of</strong> the recent graduate<br />

Joshua Rutter, a contemporary dance maker from New Zealand.<br />

He takes actions that he finds on the internet in YouTube<br />

‘how to’ videos which he says ‘sustain my interest as a doer’. Like<br />

such videos his aesthetics are <strong>of</strong>ten DIY-makeshift and making-do:<br />

part <strong>of</strong> an old wig is sellotaped to a bit <strong>of</strong> wood found in<br />

the studio. During his time at HZT in his performance research he<br />

was interested in ‘notions <strong>of</strong> training, rehearsal and performance<br />

which blur into one another’.<br />

When watching Josh’s shows one has the sense that these are<br />

actions he has tried before but they might just go wrong this time.<br />

This genuine ‘not-knowing’ requires a new kind <strong>of</strong> attention from<br />

the live audience. Rather than watching something ‘new’ or even<br />

‘improvised’, they witness rather, something that can genuinely<br />

fail. When things do go wrong or unexpected things arise, he refers<br />

to them in the piece as ‘beautiful problems’ which may be the<br />

twisted bodies <strong>of</strong> himself and the two other performers about to<br />

fall over or a slowly deflating inflatable with a large hole from too<br />

much human manipulation.<br />


I am reminded <strong>of</strong> a quote from Elaine Scarry in On Beauty and Being<br />

Just (2013): ‘When we come upon beautiful things […] they act<br />

like small tears in the surface <strong>of</strong> the world that pull us through to<br />

some vaster space;’ (Scarry, 2013: 111) Joshua’s naming <strong>of</strong> the unexpected<br />

in this way opens an imaginative realm that suddenly<br />

transforms something that could be seen as banal or mundane.<br />

His radical insistence on retaining the fragility <strong>of</strong> trying something<br />

out in front <strong>of</strong> an audience is not only inspiring for my own performance<br />

practice, which is <strong>of</strong>ten concerned with being in and responding<br />

to the moment, but I also find that it resists the commodification<br />

and product-producing trap that artists are <strong>of</strong>ten<br />

critical <strong>of</strong>, but end up falling in to.<br />

Joshua Rutter (2015) from Patterned Interference Photo © Marion Borriss<br />

Another example <strong>of</strong> a student’s work expanding my knowledge <strong>of</strong><br />

what performance research can do is that <strong>of</strong> Hwa Yeon Nam . She<br />

is a visual artist from Korea who previously studied sculpture but<br />

wanted to explore how she would use her own body in performance.<br />

She has spend her time at the HZT fascinated by comets<br />

and their relation to time in performance. Through her research<br />

comparing the performer’s body and the comet’s celestial body,<br />

notions not only <strong>of</strong> time but also dimensions and scale in performance<br />

are exploded. In her illustrated final <strong>MA</strong> thesis she points<br />

out that: ‘...Halley’s Comet is [...] a body that lacks its presence<br />

almost at all times from a human perspective. The chances that<br />

we might see the comet are only once or twice in a lifetime.’ 2<br />

Hwa Yeon is an artist who knows how to take her time in performance.<br />

In her performances she explored being her bored dog under<br />

her desk, the movement <strong>of</strong> ants with their paths traced with<br />


Hwa Yeon Nam (2015) from Body <strong>of</strong> Time Photo © Marion Borriss<br />

string, and the orbit <strong>of</strong> comets reduced to the scale <strong>of</strong> her body<br />

within the studio theatre. When she considers the works <strong>of</strong> Mette<br />

Invagarsten’s Evaporated Landscapes and William Forsyth’s Choreographic<br />

Objects she concluded for her own work that she is<br />

interested in a ‘choreographic other’ which is defined as:<br />

A choreographic other is more than a thing or an object. It<br />

is rather the subject <strong>of</strong> time. It is the condition <strong>of</strong> time that<br />

initiates one’s future. A choreographic other not only enables<br />

the time <strong>of</strong> a being to transgress its present but also<br />

transforms a being into an orbiting body.<br />

Time becomes not only ‘not purely personal duration’ but also<br />

choreographic. It is no exaggeration to say that over the two years<br />

<strong>of</strong> following Hwa Yeon’s work I came to see time in performance<br />

within a new light – that <strong>of</strong> an expanded, extended scale <strong>of</strong> the<br />

macro and micro and to consider time as a separate ‘body’ that is<br />

both over there, out there and here right now.<br />

An interesting challenge to the <strong>MA</strong> SODA course requirements is<br />

how to have a one hour exam when the artist/student wishes to<br />

work with the frame <strong>of</strong> extended time and a one on one performance<br />

rather than a show in a theatre that seats 120 people. This<br />

is not only a challenge to incorporate such a practice into the<br />

course structure but also for the institution to justify the expense<br />

resource <strong>of</strong> having a large theatre available.<br />


Mădălina Dan’s The Agency <strong>of</strong> Touch challenged our requirements<br />

for the graduating performances by being a one-on-one performative<br />

installation. In order for the work to reach a larger public it<br />

was necessary for Mădălina to perform the work for 6 days for 8<br />

hours a day so as to accommodate 70 people. Mădălina’s background<br />

is in ballet and choreography but in the years before coming<br />

to the <strong>MA</strong> she was involved in what within the Anglo-Saxon<br />

world is known as ‘socially engaged practice’, working with<br />

among others, the Roma community from her native Romania. In<br />

The Agency <strong>of</strong> Touch the distance or gap between the performer<br />

and audience (even the examiner!) is radically collapsed through<br />

‘an instant choreography’ performed directly onto the audience’s<br />

body. She says:<br />

I am interested in touch as a performative, intentional gesture<br />

on the body <strong>of</strong> the other as on a canvas, […] I am also<br />

interested to leave open receivers’ active participation in<br />

the reception <strong>of</strong> the touch choreography, intensifying his/<br />

her sensorial faculties <strong>of</strong> subjectively perceiving the work<br />

on his/her own body.<br />

Thinking about the relationship <strong>of</strong> how the body is changed<br />

through its encounter with technology Mădălina argues that her<br />

project is a direct result <strong>of</strong>:<br />

an alienated and sensorially deprived context caused by a<br />

virtual-technology era, by social inequalities and other factors,<br />

this practice privileges touch, haptic, physical experiences<br />

over the visual experience dominating the contemporary<br />

technologised society.<br />

In Peter O’Connor’s and Michael Anderson’s recent Applied Theatre:<br />

Research - Radical Departures (2015) there is also the call for<br />

the body to be put back into the research frame, that it ‘almost<br />

disappeared within Western Academic thought, in the privileging<br />

<strong>of</strong> knowledge that stems from intellect as opposed to the senses’<br />

(O’Connor & Anderson, 2015: 26). In surrendering my body to be ‘the canvas’<br />

for the performance I was able to delight in a new kind <strong>of</strong><br />

playfulness and consider how a therapeutic approach can lead to<br />

a holistic, sensorial and potentially synaesthetic experience.<br />

Mădălina’s work made me reflect on my own early one-on-one<br />

performances as well as challenging me to open myself to being in<br />

the position <strong>of</strong> an examiner being touched for 20 minutes by the<br />

student I was examining.<br />


Mădălina Dan (2015) from The Agency <strong>of</strong> Touch Photo © Marion Borriss<br />

The End – in which I wonder how to strike a balance between the<br />

act <strong>of</strong> facilitation and one’s own artistic development<br />

To be clear I could just have easily taken more time to discuss the<br />

work <strong>of</strong> other students at the HZT who’s practices cover areas <strong>of</strong><br />

expertise that I had little knowledge <strong>of</strong> before such as Economics,<br />

Anthropology, Ethnography, Linguistics, and from dance practices<br />

such as Traditional Korean <strong>Dance</strong>, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Ballet<br />

and somatic practice. Coming into contact with these practices I<br />

see myself being in an environment <strong>of</strong> ‘contagion’, (to borrow<br />

Sarah Whatley’s term from yesterday) 3 . I am taken outside any<br />

comfort zone <strong>of</strong> my known references and thrown into the mash<br />

up <strong>of</strong> a diverse set <strong>of</strong> references (not unlike being on the internet).<br />

How then do we go about sharing or creating a language within<br />

which to have meaningful exchange? Well, we try to practice different<br />

forms <strong>of</strong> feedbacking – being careful to position or contextualise<br />

where a comment or opinion might originate from or trying<br />

to find tools to assist the ‘maker’ in taking their creative work further.<br />

I do this within a format open to all students called Maker’s<br />

Open and some students use this as a platform for showing work<br />

while others are clear that they want to practice giving feedback.<br />

Facilitating this format has also made me aware when doing<br />

showings myself to become clearer about what I want to know<br />

from an audience in relation to the stage <strong>of</strong> the work.<br />

Another format we regularly use that I have begun to question is<br />

mentoring: there has been the idea for a while floating around at<br />

the HZT to shift the dynamic <strong>of</strong> mentoring from it mostly being<br />

an imparting <strong>of</strong> knowledge <strong>of</strong> an older person to a younger and to<br />


turn the tables. One student admitted to me recently that she tries<br />

to find a way to meet in her mentor’s house or studio, engaging<br />

them in conversation about their work before turning to her own.<br />

Students have also begun to acknowledge that all sorts <strong>of</strong> people<br />

and things ‘mentor’ them: their friends, peers as well as books,<br />

the work <strong>of</strong> others etc. I was moved to hear that one student regularly<br />

visits a much older woman in her 80s where the exchange<br />

between them is that the student questions the older woman<br />

about music and literature, which were the subjects she used to<br />

teach, while the dance student teaches her how to be less afraid<br />

<strong>of</strong> falling at home. I have also begun to seek mentoring for myself<br />

outside <strong>of</strong> the HZT and work to articulate what it is I want from a<br />

mentor which is in itself a great advantage.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> the challenges for artists working in higher education today<br />

is how to find the time to keep up with the requirements <strong>of</strong> the<br />

course – to be available for the tutorials, showing and feedback<br />

sessions, the intensive workshops, the marking <strong>of</strong> workbooks and<br />

exams (all <strong>of</strong> which have proved to be invaluable for the course and<br />

the trajectory <strong>of</strong> the student development), and to make your own<br />

work as an independent artist. It seems that the smartest, most<br />

economical model is to find ways <strong>of</strong> making the work within the<br />

teaching environment or at least explore avenues that are <strong>of</strong> current<br />

interest for your own artistic development within the course.<br />

At the HZT there is an understanding that staff need a ‘research<br />

month’ a year to develop their own work. I hope that these structures<br />

work to keep the ‘genuine critical engagement’ between<br />

staff and students, allowing the influence (contagion) to travel in<br />

both directions and ultimately for the exchange to be fruitful and<br />

deep in an environment <strong>of</strong> respect, generosity and curiosity. [...]<br />

Conference Paper for ‘21st Century Performance Research’, Malta University (March, 2016)<br />

1. Since 1999 the Bologna Process has supported the voluntary regulation <strong>of</strong> Higher<br />

Education and promotes mutual recognition <strong>of</strong> qualifications, transparency <strong>of</strong> systems, and<br />

mobility <strong>of</strong> staff and students across the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).<br />

2. Halley’s Comet is a short-period comet visible from Earth every 74–79 years that last<br />

appeared in the inner parts <strong>of</strong> the Solar System in 1986 and will next appear in mid-2061.<br />

3. Sarah Whatley is Pr<strong>of</strong>essor <strong>of</strong> <strong>Dance</strong> and Director <strong>of</strong> the Centre for <strong>Dance</strong> Research<br />

(C-DaRE) at Coventry University (UK).<br />


INTERVIEW: RHYS <strong>MA</strong>RTIN (2017)<br />

Ric Allsopp: These are the questions<br />

I would like to ask you: What<br />

do you consider to be the ethos <strong>of</strong><br />

the SODA programme? How has your<br />

view <strong>of</strong> SODA changed over time<br />

from 2005 to present, and how has<br />

that shifted in relation to what your<br />

view <strong>of</strong> dance and choreographic<br />

practice is and is becoming; how far<br />

does the programme reflect, integrate<br />

or align with the wider contemporary<br />

field <strong>of</strong> choreographic<br />

performance practice? Okay, so<br />

let’s start with the question <strong>of</strong> ethos.<br />

Rhys Martin: It’s a great question<br />

because it’s been a surprise to me how<br />

many people have applied to the programme<br />

since we began. I didn’t really<br />

know this 12 years ago – there was a lot<br />

<strong>of</strong> guessing, and bravado, right at the beginning<br />

in 2005 when we were fighting to<br />

get SODA accepted – but I had a gut feeling<br />

at the time, a perception that the educational<br />

system for dance was changing.<br />

To embrace a new kind <strong>of</strong> academic pr<strong>of</strong>ile<br />

by reorienting towards cognitive learning<br />

benchmarks and moving away from the<br />

empirical and the intuitive, the academy<br />

was losing a segment <strong>of</strong> artistic practitioners.<br />

I felt that there was a need to bridge<br />

an emerging gap between these approaches.<br />

This had a lot to do with my own experience<br />

<strong>of</strong> escaping from academia.<br />

After studying literature and fine<br />

arts at university, I found out that I wasn’t<br />

interested in purely pursuing the theoretical,<br />

so I kind <strong>of</strong> fled to the practice. Beyond<br />

a desire to do something other than read,<br />

I didn’t have a lot <strong>of</strong> confidence in my own<br />

practical artistic ability. I first set out to<br />

be a painter - but by chance and circumstances,<br />

ended up being connected to<br />

dance. I became totally fascinated by the<br />

exoticism, not <strong>of</strong> the established but <strong>of</strong><br />

the fringe, alternative, demi-monde, marginal<br />

art world. Peopled by individuals who<br />

I found to be committed and pr<strong>of</strong>ound<br />

thinkers but who didn’t share at all in the<br />

ways I’d learned to relate to ideas within<br />

academia. Initially communication with<br />

them was awkward, even suspicious. Discourse,<br />

tropes and rhetorical exchanges<br />

were not cool – but there was a fantastic<br />

vitality <strong>of</strong> action despite, in my view an<br />

<strong>of</strong>ten self-indulgent, narcissistic eccentricity,<br />

which I saw at the time as an inability<br />

to think critically. But I nevertheless<br />

grew to understand the ‘logic’ <strong>of</strong> idiosyncracy<br />

as a key to artistic practice. Years<br />

later, as a performer and maker entering<br />

the pr<strong>of</strong>essional mainstream, I remained<br />

attracted to those anarchic practices and<br />

artistic work. Work anchored in strong and<br />

individual empirical intuition that was unsettling,<br />

difficult and strange.<br />

Part <strong>of</strong> the ethos <strong>of</strong> the SODA<br />

course is attached to being able to empower<br />

interested artists, whose creativity<br />

lies outside the academic or pr<strong>of</strong>essional<br />

mainstream; and to access and benefit<br />

from the educational institution. I am<br />

convinced it is absolutely critical for contemporary<br />

artistic and social evolution.<br />

I am deeply curious to learn how to support<br />

such individuals make quantum leaps<br />

<strong>of</strong> imagination and gain poetic insights.<br />

In my pr<strong>of</strong>essional experience this seldom<br />

happens in a logical or strictly coded cognitive<br />

referential frame. The idea is to provide<br />

an autonomous institutional space to<br />

allow a rigorous mode <strong>of</strong> research and<br />


development driven by individual perceptions<br />

<strong>of</strong> the world; but to do this with a<br />

heterogeneous community able to share<br />

its understanding <strong>of</strong> being in the world<br />

within a wider artistic and social context.<br />

RA: How would you summarise that?<br />

If you are saying that you think that<br />

the SODA programme is there to<br />

provide a space for individual exploration,<br />

that you can follow your own<br />

work and your own intuitions, how<br />

does that idea relate to what is happening<br />

and what has happened with<br />

SODA? Are you able to summarise<br />

what you think it is that SODA is<br />

<strong>of</strong>fering - what are the distinctive<br />

things about it that makes it different<br />

from other postgraduate programmes<br />

that we are in touch with?<br />

RM: I am aware that what I just said<br />

could be patronising; but I don’t think <strong>of</strong><br />

it as a place in which society domesticates<br />

critique by marginalising its own eccentricity<br />

in bourgeois art academies. Despite<br />

its unerring focus on the individual, as<br />

artist, as maker/performer, the SODA programme<br />

has never just been a place for<br />

cultivating solipsism. On the contrary, it<br />

has always been a test <strong>of</strong> how to maintain<br />

an openness to the otherness <strong>of</strong> one’s<br />

peers, even where difference borders on<br />

conflict; for instance when people have<br />

said ‘Why should I have to deal with that<br />

which doesn’t interest me?’ or ‘Why am<br />

I being addressed as part <strong>of</strong> a group?<br />

I don’t see myself as part <strong>of</strong> a group. I am<br />

an individual practitioner!’ But for me,<br />

university is an exercise in democracy, and<br />

not solely about artistic agendas. It’s<br />

about working within a multiplicity <strong>of</strong> doings<br />

and thinkings; about being able to<br />

cope with these other ways without losing<br />

one’s own perspective; to balance<br />

and square the circle <strong>of</strong> how to commit to<br />

one’s own direction, and at the same time<br />

be a supportive part <strong>of</strong> a community. The<br />

SODA programme seeks to practice this, in<br />

ever changing iterations. Its emphasis on<br />

the relationship between collective and<br />

self, differentiates it in its aspiration from<br />

similar programmes interested in<br />

research- driven learning and expanded<br />

notions <strong>of</strong> choreography and dance, and<br />

<strong>of</strong> course, through its specific focus on the<br />

terms ‘solo’ and ‘authorship’.<br />

RA: How far has that shifted then in<br />

your view? It seems to me that<br />

looking at the early SODA materials,<br />

that’s not where it started, in the<br />

sense that one <strong>of</strong> the critiques <strong>of</strong> the<br />

notion <strong>of</strong> solo as an educational<br />

frame in the initial Symposium was<br />

precisely that it would spawn very<br />

individualistic work, or that it would<br />

become very solipsistic; that you<br />

would have a group <strong>of</strong> separate individuals<br />

who just happened to be in<br />

a loose framework following their<br />

own thing. It seems to me that SODA<br />

has shifted from that kind <strong>of</strong> position<br />

to a point where it is very group focussed.<br />

There is a lot <strong>of</strong> learning<br />

that is done together – whether that<br />

is input, or simply being together in a<br />

space where you are doing the<br />

same kinds <strong>of</strong> things. I am wondering<br />

where you think that has come<br />

from?<br />

RM: The value <strong>of</strong> a move away <strong>of</strong><br />

hierarchical learning structures and content<br />

has become clear, but keeping a balance<br />

between ‘those who know and those<br />

who are learning’ is still a challenge. To go<br />

all the way back to the beginning, one <strong>of</strong><br />

the mistakes I made was perhaps the assumption<br />

that there would be students<br />

who would be interested in being part <strong>of</strong><br />

a group which simply saw value in discussion<br />

with their peers and invited established<br />

artists with other ways <strong>of</strong> seeing<br />


the world than theirs. This collapsed. The<br />

whole approach to learning has become<br />

much more institutionalised. My aim was<br />

to start a dialogue with experienced practising<br />

artists and to use them as a living<br />

resource library to answer questions and to<br />

<strong>of</strong>fer experience, to see where this would<br />

develop. The result was open ended. To my<br />

surprise there was a huge push back from<br />

from some students who seemed uninterested<br />

in exploring experience, outside<br />

their own concerns. There was a feeling<br />

that they were wasting their time by being<br />

asked to listen to discussions <strong>of</strong> no relevance<br />

to their perceived direct interests,<br />

suggesting that traditional forms <strong>of</strong> lessons,<br />

such as close-reading practice,<br />

practice and theoretical lectures, were <strong>of</strong><br />

more value. Counter-intuitively, this was<br />

the pedagogical world I had rejected, and<br />

contrary to how I and many <strong>of</strong> my generation’s<br />

peers emerged as artists via engaging<br />

directly and openly with established<br />

practitioners. So, we moved the focus<br />

away from a generic sense <strong>of</strong> enquiry to<br />

concentrate on the specific questions <strong>of</strong><br />

individual students. This approach, which<br />

now combines taught input with individual<br />

enquiry, has proved better suited to the<br />

needs <strong>of</strong> current emerging artists.<br />

RA: I read in the 2006 Symposium<br />

report put together by Franz-Anton<br />

Cramer, that Alice Chauchat had<br />

said during the Symposium ‘I don’t<br />

want to be told what I have to study’,<br />

which I thought was an interesting<br />

position to hold. It’s a position which<br />

seems to stand against your sense<br />

that because you are interested in<br />

solo or your own work, it does not<br />

necessarily exclude the idea that<br />

you can find out about yourself, and<br />

what it is you do as an individual,<br />

through a discourse or a practice<br />

that involves other people. Is that<br />

the position you are taking?’<br />

RM: To find out from each other, by<br />

being open and curious about the<br />

apparently non-relatedness <strong>of</strong> other work,<br />

as opposed to assuming or speculating<br />

that what we have to say to each other may<br />

be not <strong>of</strong> interest for our own customised<br />

concerns. My own initial leanings were<br />

towards Paul Illich’s idea <strong>of</strong> ‘de-schooling<br />

society’ and Piaget’s thoughts on teaching<br />

creativity, which I had encountered in my<br />

postgraduate studies in art education.<br />

Ideas that argued against the convention<br />

<strong>of</strong> knowledge as appropriation, in favour<br />

<strong>of</strong> learner-driven contexts which emphasise<br />

a creative environment through which<br />

we can learn together. Yet this proved far<br />

from simple at the time. I put a lot <strong>of</strong> effort<br />

into talking to colleagues and asking them<br />

not to teach their particular, regular approach,<br />

but to ‘just be there for questions<br />

and exchange.’ In what I called an ‘artistic<br />

reference frame’ I asked people like Deborah<br />

Hay 2006) along with two colleagues <strong>of</strong><br />

her choice, to <strong>of</strong>fer their knowledge within<br />

and open and flat hierarchy <strong>of</strong> discussion<br />

and exchange. Not to say that this is the<br />

way to do anything. But then, despite the<br />

success <strong>of</strong> this experiment, the same approach<br />

was rejected in the programme<br />

with statements like ‘I’m not here to do<br />

solo’. Susanne Linke for example, who<br />

gave a workshop in the first week <strong>of</strong> the<br />

pilot programme, despite a willingness to<br />

experiment soon resorted to rather conventional<br />

strategies <strong>of</strong> teaching, in the face<br />

<strong>of</strong> an inability on all sides to reserve judgement<br />

about procedure and practice. It surprised<br />

me how <strong>of</strong>ten the class refused to<br />

at least enter a positive and open discussion<br />

about how to take on board the perceived<br />

eccentricity <strong>of</strong> other artists. For<br />

me it was simply historical the way that<br />

Susanne Linke has come to her own decisions<br />

and actions as a solo practitioner.<br />

One could choose to go with it or around it<br />

and certainly not to stubbornly reject iconic<br />

role models out <strong>of</strong> hand. This resistance<br />

was a shock. Statements like ‘I don’t have<br />


time because my life’s too short to be able<br />

to do things for which I can’t immediately<br />

see personal value’ really threw me. This<br />

was commoditised thinking; needing to<br />

know in advance why it’s necessary to do<br />

this or that, as opposed to a phenomenological<br />

evaluation through experience. I<br />

thought ‘where is the epistemological progress<br />

in that?’<br />

Now ten years down the track, I’ve<br />

employed those lessons about institutional<br />

behaviour on all sides; about expectation<br />

and habit, and fear attached to a responsibility<br />

when determining one’s own educational<br />

trajectory, when challenged to set up<br />

from scratch; where, despite institutional<br />

critique, there is <strong>of</strong>ten quick acceptance <strong>of</strong><br />

the security and comfort <strong>of</strong> the system.<br />

Rethinking the coordinates was simply a<br />

lot <strong>of</strong> work and effort during the pilot phase.<br />

When it became apparent that the first<br />

proposal was proving too radical, I <strong>of</strong>fered<br />

the students the opportunty to reconsider<br />

and for us to develop the program together.<br />

In fact, the system had given us this fantastic<br />

opportunity at the prototype stage,<br />

but there was little real enthusiasm for this<br />

challenge and nobody ‘had time’. So, to go<br />

forward we stepped back.<br />

RA: I remember that at the end <strong>of</strong><br />

the first year in 2008 we realised that<br />

we needed to re-formulate the programme<br />

for the second year and put<br />

more structure into it.<br />

RM: Yes, and it took a lot <strong>of</strong> the fear<br />

away. There is a lot <strong>of</strong> fear in the author /<br />

performer relationship - fear <strong>of</strong> failure, <strong>of</strong><br />

exposure, <strong>of</strong> self-confrontation and loneliness.<br />

External structure has provided some<br />

helpful security but without courage, determination<br />

and confidence no structure<br />

will prevent this. If we ask why people see<br />

themselves in the programme, my observation<br />

is that it is to do with the desire not<br />

only to come here to make a specific kind <strong>of</strong><br />

work through performance, but to finally<br />

engage the world entirely on their own<br />

terms. Many <strong>of</strong> the motivation statements<br />

from SODA applicants regularly explain<br />

that their needs as artists aren’t compatible<br />

with other study programmes. Their<br />

aspiration is not only to do and make work,<br />

but also to understand both the work itself<br />

and the processes and choices that<br />

bring it into the world. In a self-authored<br />

practice, rewards and risks are closely<br />

wedded. Recognising its precarious nature,<br />

we have developed our generic tools for<br />

diagnostic analysis <strong>of</strong> own work, for writing<br />

and documentation, and for the crafts<br />

<strong>of</strong> invention and composition.<br />

RA: How might this relate to<br />

performing for others?<br />

RM: People rightly assume that<br />

SODA is a place to share new and emerging<br />

work with others. A place for what is<br />

otherwise a potentially lonely, detached<br />

and demanding pursuit. Instead, we are <strong>of</strong>fering<br />

a research community context to<br />

enable work on what one does, not what<br />

one is.<br />

But what is oneness? For example,<br />

Rebecca Schneider, in her article ‘<strong>Solo</strong>,<br />

<strong>Solo</strong> <strong>Solo</strong>’ (2004) adds her voice to those<br />

critics who argue that there is in fact, no<br />

true solo. Coming from such intertextual<br />

and postmodernist readings, solo is inevitably<br />

impossible, a ‘group’ work always,<br />

made via all the other contributions to the<br />

performance, via cultural transmission or<br />

cooperation as artist partner. But this is<br />

to deny plain experience, when as author/<br />

performer you are taking the heat at that<br />

moment <strong>of</strong> presentation. I have always<br />

maintained this to be an extreme focus <strong>of</strong><br />

decision making. Final responsibility is an<br />

immanent feature <strong>of</strong> the liveness in selfauthored<br />

work: the apex <strong>of</strong> any pyramid <strong>of</strong><br />

influence. The audience identifies you as<br />


an artist; you the maker and you the person<br />

claiming their attention. The personal<br />

becomes public. Self-authored performances<br />

require specific skills and knowledge.<br />

In my work as a director and choreographer,<br />

I never felt personally exposed<br />

in the same way as when on stage in a<br />

solo <strong>of</strong> my own making. There is a heightened<br />

awareness <strong>of</strong> presence, <strong>of</strong> the timespace<br />

continuum, <strong>of</strong> the freedom and constraint,<br />

power and responsibility. From my<br />

own personal experience, I realised that<br />

making solo work was an exceedingly demanding<br />

form <strong>of</strong> social interaction. SODA<br />

continues to ask what are the conditions,<br />

methods and processes that can be identified<br />

in making new work <strong>of</strong> this kind. What<br />

are the epistemological consequences <strong>of</strong><br />

the coexistence <strong>of</strong> subject and object<br />

when seen through the practices <strong>of</strong> the students<br />

and their collaborators and mentors?<br />

RA: Looking back, what do you think<br />

about the elements <strong>of</strong> the course?<br />

What you have described is that it is<br />

not simply a free space in which we<br />

decide what it is that we are going<br />

to do, but it has to fit within a given<br />

academic framework. What do you<br />

think about the relationship between<br />

the elements that make up the<br />

course - essays, workshops, lectures,<br />

training etc. - and does this support<br />

the more radical notion that the individual<br />

can find their own direction,<br />

but find it in relation to other people<br />

and still develop their work. Do you<br />

think that those elements work as a<br />

set <strong>of</strong> ingredients that can essentially<br />

‘teach artists how to make art’<br />

given that people say you can never<br />

teach people how to be artists?<br />

Effectively the elements <strong>of</strong> the SODA<br />

programme haven’t changed significantly<br />

since 2010 when we put the<br />

validated programme in place building<br />

on what we learned from the<br />

pilot phase. Since that point those<br />

ingredients have remained relatively<br />

stable.<br />

RM: I’ve kept them stable deliberately<br />

and quite stubbornly because <strong>of</strong> the<br />

immediate demands <strong>of</strong> delivering an enormously<br />

challenging study program for staff<br />

and students alike. All the elements that<br />

make up the SODA programme have been<br />

in some way useful, but none <strong>of</strong> them in<br />

themselves are fixed. They are simply<br />

formal constraints which help students to<br />

identify discursive and practical issues<br />

emerging from their own work or that <strong>of</strong><br />

others. But by dealing with constraints we<br />

are also busy with escaping them. We<br />

have experimented with writing and textual<br />

practices that lie outside received<br />

academic orthodoxies. We have for example<br />

investigated ways <strong>of</strong> writing that deal<br />

better with questions <strong>of</strong> subjectivity and<br />

embodied experience; embraced non-linguistic<br />

experience and knowledge through<br />

somatics, proprioception, intuitive belief<br />

and speculative insights; employed diverse<br />

strategies <strong>of</strong> feedback and critique, and<br />

practice-specific forms <strong>of</strong> documentation.<br />

We have explored inputs from critical,<br />

media and literary theory, from queer and<br />

performance theory; and from philosophy,<br />

sociology anthropology and psycho analysis,<br />

as well as from dance and choreography,<br />

and worked with mentors and collaborators<br />

and a myriad <strong>of</strong> other transdisciplinary<br />

concerns and interests.<br />

We are still developing the curriculum<br />

structure, deciding and appointing<br />

staff and harvesting a diversity <strong>of</strong> student<br />

learning experiences. We have been<br />

tremendously fortunate to have found<br />

wonderfully committed colleagues who<br />

have shaped and developed the program<br />

with me, in particular, yourself, Sophia<br />

New, Litó Walkey, Boyan Manchev and<br />

Sheena McGrandles, not to mention my<br />

HZT colleagues and many loyal guests.<br />


Until now, I haven’t felt we had the need,<br />

the time and or occasion for a major review.<br />

We were still learning how to use the program<br />

in its initial form.<br />

Each intake <strong>of</strong> students has been<br />

so fundamentally different, that every year<br />

the program has required us to adapt to<br />

new challenges and provide appropriate<br />

responses within its existing parameters.<br />

It has been a steep learning curve for all<br />

involved. But I have always thought that ten<br />

years was about the right time to have<br />

enough information to think about and<br />

consider our achievements so far. On a<br />

year-to-year basis, there is always a<br />

reason to think how to do this or that<br />

differently – and we have done this or that<br />

differently, trying things out, following<br />

suggestions from staff and students.<br />

As a pedagogical rationale, to test its<br />

sustainability over time. I’ve just kept on<br />

saying that we keep it like this until we<br />

will have a quantitative and qualitative<br />

basis for discussion. In the education<br />

game, I think we have moved a long way<br />

but we don’t have to change the position<br />

<strong>of</strong> the goalposts. Little has stopped us<br />

from playing the field where they are.<br />

Berlin, 30 July 2017<br />

www.rhysmartin.com<br />



Uferstudios Backgrounds (2011) Photo © Sven Hagolani<br />


Ana Monteiro<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2010–2012<br />

www.fakenature.carbonmade.com<br />

Ana Monteiro (2011) from Showcase Photos © Sven Hagolani<br />


From my SODA experience, I took away<br />

the desire to think and practice choreography<br />

from expanded points <strong>of</strong> view,<br />

tearing through artistic and academic<br />

milieus in order to keep asking vital<br />

questions about life and how to live<br />

together. I never forgot the title <strong>of</strong> a<br />

text we read during the program<br />

‘Looking Away from Art’, I cannot find<br />

it now, maybe it never existed. Somehow<br />

it has been in those tensions, displacements<br />

and movements <strong>of</strong> looking<br />

away and back to artistic and aesthetic<br />

endeavours that I have been dwelling<br />

ever since, while expanding notions <strong>of</strong><br />

collective to the non-human and fostering<br />

the desire <strong>of</strong> living in the south<br />

<strong>of</strong> the planet.<br />

Ed. The text was Irit Rog<strong>of</strong>f’s ‘Looking Away:<br />

Participations in Visual Culture’ (2004, 117–134)

Andrew Wass<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2011–2013<br />

www.wasswasswass.com<br />


Andrew Wass (2012) from The Signal and the Noise Photo © Marion Borriss<br />

My time in the SODA program re-affirmed the value<br />

and the necessity <strong>of</strong> physical practice. The tacit<br />

valorization <strong>of</strong> the conceptual, <strong>of</strong> the cerebral over<br />

the corporeal, the sweaty, the repetitive led me to<br />

investigate and search for the conceptual and<br />

theoretical within physical practice. Continued<br />

physical research has proven for me, time and time<br />

again, the reciprocal and cumulative relationship<br />

between theory and practice. My research, post-SODA,<br />

has led to expanded notions <strong>of</strong> theory: theory as the<br />

liminal spaces between practices, theory as the<br />

search for equivalences among disparate practices,<br />

theory as doing whatever it takes to get beyond my<br />


Willy Prager<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2011–2013<br />

www.antistaticfestival.org<br />

www.brainstoreproject.com<br />

www.nomaddanceacademy.org<br />

Willy Prager (2012) from The Victory Day Photo © Marion Borriss

Reformulation, translation, horse-jump, parasitizing, mapping<br />

are the tools that I use in my work as an artist and producer.<br />

SODA, deufert&plischke and Victoria Pérez Royo are some <strong>of</strong><br />

my main influences in my practice.<br />

I still present my SODA works Transformability (2012) and<br />

The Victory Day (2013) in many festivals around Europe.<br />

I still meet my SODA colleague and friend Sonja Pregrad.<br />

We keep our collaboration and together, in Berlin, we created<br />

the performance Sequel for the Future - A <strong>Dance</strong> in 2043 /<br />

A <strong>Dance</strong> in 2044 (2014) and a year later Balkan <strong>Dance</strong> Reality<br />

Show (2015) (together with our Giessen colleagues Iva<br />

Sveshtarova and Rose Beerman).<br />

I still meet my SODA colleague and friend Igor Koruga.<br />

We keep thinking about the future <strong>of</strong> the Balkan region and<br />

we are partners in the NO<strong>MA</strong>D <strong>Dance</strong> Academy network. For<br />

the last 12 years NO<strong>MA</strong>D keeps advocating for better dance<br />

conditions in the Balkans, develops alternative educational<br />

programmes, exchanging artistic practices and theories.<br />

I still create performances with my colleague and friend Iva<br />

Sveshtarova in the frame <strong>of</strong> our organization Brain Store<br />

Project, which this year we are going to celebrate its 12th<br />

year. Our most recent performances are Our Last Pas de Deux<br />

(2014), <strong>Dance</strong> Simulation (2016) and Shamebox (2017)<br />

I still co-organize the Antistatic-Festival for Contemporary<br />

<strong>Dance</strong> and Performance in S<strong>of</strong>ia together with Iva Sveshtarova<br />

and Stephan A. Shtereff (www.antistaticfestival.org). This<br />

year we celebrated its 10th edition. During all these years we<br />

have presented more than 100 performances from around<br />

the word, many workshops, lectures, discussion etc. Most<br />

recently we presented HZT artists such as: Dragana Bulut,<br />

Igor Koruga, Sonja Pregrad, Daniel Kok, Helena Botto, Elisabete<br />

Finger, Jee-Ae Lim, Tian Rottevel, Lee Meier, Zeina Hanna,<br />

and Andrew Wass.<br />

I still believe in the Armenian philosopher Irina Porruzian.<br />


Daniel Kok<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2010–2012<br />

www.diskodanny.com<br />

Since SODA, I have constantly tried to<br />

balance out different facets <strong>of</strong> a pr<strong>of</strong>essional<br />

choreographic practice - such as<br />

theoretical research, heuristic processes,<br />

collaborative processes, artistic production,<br />

dissemination <strong>of</strong> work, etc. I realise<br />

that these different interfaces <strong>of</strong> an independent<br />

practice (‘solo’, ‘dance’ and<br />

‘authorship’) make contacts with different<br />

members <strong>of</strong> the international dance community<br />

who may not be concerned with<br />

the varied aspects <strong>of</strong> my work. I have had<br />

to negotiate, sometimes defend, the wearing<br />

<strong>of</strong> these different hats.<br />

More importantly, SODA was where I worked<br />

through my persistent desire to dance. In<br />

SODA, I found a way to deal with the politics<br />

<strong>of</strong> relationality in performance by referring<br />

to the figure <strong>of</strong> a pole dancer as a dispositif.<br />

Since then, I have explored other figures<br />

<strong>of</strong> performance, such as the cheerleader,<br />

the bondage master, the devadasi (Hindu<br />

temple dancer) and the octopus.<br />

A short list <strong>of</strong> what I am ‘busy with’<br />

these days:<br />

• Referring to Chantal Mouffe’s ‘agonism’<br />

and ‘radical democracy’ to define<br />

‘audienceship’ which I distinguish from<br />

‘spectatorship’.<br />

• Squaring Ranciere’s Politics <strong>of</strong> Aesthetics<br />

(2006) with Queer Theory.<br />

• Articulating the Female/Feminine/Feminist<br />

Gaze as an alternative to the status quo.<br />

I see this as an urgent project in the light<br />

<strong>of</strong> current ‘masculinist’ politics.<br />

• Identifying ‘ways <strong>of</strong> seeing’ in the visual<br />

arts that can augment, and thereby <strong>of</strong>fer<br />

insights to the ways dance spectatorship<br />

is configured.<br />

• Studying Indian classical performance;<br />

specifically the principles behind<br />

abhinaya – the use <strong>of</strong> hands, eyes and<br />

facial expression.<br />

During SODA, I tried to read broadly and to<br />

synthesise my interests by attempting to<br />

marry notions and practices from Anthropology,<br />

Economics, Design, Art and my personal<br />

life. I was also looking for ways to<br />

adapt into my work my love for pole dance<br />

then. I think I left SODA having not yet<br />

resolved these different ideas that were<br />

floating around for me. I’d like to think that<br />

I’m now quite a bit clearer about what I<br />

am trying to do. The SODA workshop that<br />

left the deepest impression on me was<br />

definitely with Jeanine Durning. There were<br />

also other seminars and workshops (eg:<br />

with Ric Allsopp, Deufert & Plischke) that<br />

gave me valuable insights into the ways<br />

that text and movement can inform each<br />

other in dance. By this, I am not only referring<br />

to how text and movement operate as<br />

performance material for the stage. More<br />

significantly, I am inspired by what I understand<br />

as a post-structuralist approach to<br />

text and movement that can be applied<br />

across different aspects <strong>of</strong> choreography.<br />


Daniel Kok (2011) from The Gay Romeo Photos © Sven Hagolani

Enrico D. Wey<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2015–2017<br />

www.enricowey.com<br />


SODA was a struggle. It opened up a line <strong>of</strong> questioning<br />

that I was not prepared for, in terms <strong>of</strong> what I wanted<br />

out <strong>of</strong> making and <strong>of</strong> process. The challenge <strong>of</strong><br />

academia and context in the <strong>of</strong>fered format gave me<br />

pause. What sort <strong>of</strong> spaces do I occupy? Where do I<br />

place myself within these structures? This friction led<br />

to new understandings <strong>of</strong> the roles I play and how I<br />

consciously choose to approach them. It came and<br />

went, slipped into s<strong>of</strong>tness, and try as I might, the<br />

experience continues to remain unclear. These notknowings,<br />

these persistent questions sink in further.<br />

Certain depths have shifted and that is perhaps a sign<br />

<strong>of</strong> strength. Enrico D. Wey (2006) from Still Lives Photo © Manuel Moncayo<br />


Yaron Maïm & SODA Year 1 & Year 2 Students<br />

www.groupsolo.org/publication<br />

‘With her sword in one hand, parchment in the other, she ventured<br />

onto the battlefield, gracefully.’<br />

(Liadain to Nicola)<br />

‘‘Who is to say that robbing a people <strong>of</strong> its language is less violent<br />

than war?’ (Gloria Anzaldua).’<br />

(Agata to Maque)<br />

‘The eye <strong>of</strong> the hunter, the eye <strong>of</strong> the prey, the third eye and the eye<br />

<strong>of</strong> the tiger, all <strong>of</strong> them the same.’<br />

(Maque to Agata)<br />

‘Spread out inspirations with a lucid theory and trashy practices<br />

even into non-conductive matters.’ (Furu to Taylor)<br />

• ‘All over watched by machines <strong>of</strong> disgraceful love.’<br />

(Pauline to Alejandro)<br />

‘From utopian body to individual body, how are we, together?’<br />

(Pauline to Larisa)<br />

‘There must not be limits <strong>of</strong> human endeavour. We are all different.<br />

No matter how hard life is, there is always something you can<br />

do and succeed in. While there’s life, there’s hope.’<br />

(Larisa to Pauline)<br />

‘I-Ching You-Ching thank you for reading me, but will we ever find<br />

the answers?’<br />

(Mmakgosi to Mariana)<br />

‘Once upon a time I was falling in words, but now I am<br />

only falling in white.’<br />

(Alejandro to Jan)<br />

The assemblage and the score on these pages, made especially for the present book, gives an<br />

insight into one process <strong>of</strong> art making – the collaborative ‘groupsolo’. It follows procedures <strong>of</strong><br />

sampling, copying, remixing and sharing – see www.groupsolo.org/publication<br />


‘When you swallow your heart where does it disappear into?’<br />

(Mariana to Mmakgosi)<br />

‘Janine builds delicate makeshift boats that look like giant polygon<br />

mesh or stringed instruments.’<br />

(Yaron to Janine)<br />

‘Human emotions abstracted and rendered into clear geometric<br />

forms with the intention to create a universal aesthetics.’<br />

(Janine to Saori)<br />

‘You are a master <strong>of</strong> short stories, sharp humor, deep questions and<br />

unexpectable answers, always never too much, never too close to<br />

the point to have opportunity to see it.’<br />

(Evgenia to Furu)<br />

‘Everyday drawing in combination with object and movement,<br />

metamorphosing into poetic universe <strong>of</strong> visuality.<br />

‘I draw or paint not the things I see but the feelings they arouse<br />

in me.’ (Franz Kline).’<br />

(Felix to Yaron)<br />

‘Evgenia creates (worm)holes that transport bodies and their<br />

consciousness to unexpected landscapes.’<br />

(Nic to Evgenia)<br />

‘So, here are some brooms and a vacuum cleaner. Would you,<br />

please, help me clean the stage?’<br />

(Jan to Felix)<br />

‘A comfortable tinnitus, it sounds familiar to me, I’ve heard it<br />

somewhere, sometime.’<br />

(Furu to Liadain)<br />

The drawings on pages 108–109 have been made by Yaron Maïm – www.yayaMaïm.com<br />

in collaboration with all the current first (2017–2019) and final year (2016–2018) SODA<br />

students – www.groupsolo.org<br />


1. Nicola Van Straaten<br />

2. Jan Rozman<br />

3. Mariana Vieira<br />

4. Maque Pereyra<br />

5. Felix Ofosu Dompreh<br />

6. Janine Iten<br />

7. Larisa Navojec<br />

8. Yaron Maïm<br />

9. Furutan Michiyasu<br />

10. Pauline Payen<br />

11. Agata Siniarska<br />

12. Evgenia Chetvertkova<br />

13. Liadain Herriott<br />

14. Mmakgosi Tsogang Kgabi<br />

15. Taylor Kendall<br />

16. Alejandro Karasik<br />

17. Saori Hara<br />


Drawing<br />

© Yaron Maïm (2017)

11. Photo © Agata Siniarska<br />

14. Photo © Thomas Aurin<br />

1. Photo © Nicola Van Straaten<br />

16. Photo © Ailin Formia<br />

15. Photo © Brigid Cara<br />

12. Photo © Evgenia Chetvertkova<br />

2. Photo © Anže Kokalj<br />

10. Photo © Pauline Payen 8. Photo © Yaron Maïm

9. Photo © Evgenia Chetvertkova<br />

13. Photo © Paul McCarthy<br />

6. Photo © Janine Iten<br />

3. Photo © Mariana Vieira<br />

7. Photo © Hrvoje Jelinčić<br />

4. Photo © Maque Pereyra<br />

17. Photo © Otome Kaita<br />

5. Photo © Philip Weinrich & Felix Ofosu Dompreh

Katrin Memmer<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2012–2014<br />

www.katrinmemmer.de<br />

Katrin Memmer from<br />

almost a no body (2013)<br />

Photo © Marion Borriss<br />

There have been many influences and thoughts<br />

which grew on me during my time in SODA. As a<br />

lover <strong>of</strong> quotes I have picked three which still<br />

come to me from time to time. One for example<br />

appeared in the first workshops with Boyan<br />

Manchev. We were engaging with Derek Jarman’s<br />

book Chroma: A Book <strong>of</strong> Colour (1993) and<br />

I had picked the colour blue and the chapter<br />

‘Into the Blue’, where Jarman writes:<br />

‘For accustomed to believing in image, an absolute<br />

idea <strong>of</strong> value, his world had forgotten the<br />

command <strong>of</strong> essence: Thou Shall Not Create<br />

Unto Thyself Any Graven Image, although you<br />

know the task is to fill the empty page. From the<br />

bottom <strong>of</strong> your heart, pray to be released from<br />

image.’ And the second: ‘For blue there are no<br />

boundaries and no solutions. (Jarman, 1993: 115).

During our Erasmus Intensive Project (2012) in<br />

Helsinki I got to know the Finnish artist Terike<br />

Haapoja. I have not forgotten her. Look at her<br />

work: In and Out <strong>of</strong> Time (2005). At the same<br />

event I attended a lecture by Ric Allsopp on<br />

Latency and Composition in which he mentioned<br />

a quote by Charles Olson, which says: ‘One loves<br />

only form, and form only comes into existence,<br />

when the thing is born.’ (Olson, 1992:7)<br />

Beside this the workshops with Michael Klien and<br />

Joao Fiadeiro come to my mind as an important<br />

input which SODA gave me. And also a quote from<br />

Joao (or as I later found out maybe not only <strong>of</strong><br />

Joao, but also <strong>of</strong> Master Yoga from Star Wars):<br />

‘Don’t try. Do. Or do not. There is no try.’<br />


Ixchel Mendoza Hernandez<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2013–2015<br />

www.ixchelmendozahernandez.weebly.com<br />

I would like to come back to the concept that drew a line <strong>of</strong><br />

research, questioning and discovery, during my research at the<br />

SODA program into the phenomenon <strong>of</strong> the Visual Ghost. During<br />

that time I had made investigations <strong>of</strong> how this phenomena can<br />

be created not only through the body, but as well with the use <strong>of</strong><br />

sound, text and their combination. The aim was to find ways to<br />

provoke the audience to experience certain kind <strong>of</strong> ‘images’ not<br />

present in vision, nevertheless still present. The Visual Ghost<br />

corresponds to ideas that suddenly become apparent through our<br />

senses, by experiencing them, a kind <strong>of</strong> awareness or<br />

consciousness that materializes, making them graspable. We live<br />

in a world that has material and visible elements as well as the<br />

immaterial and the invisible. For me it is interesting to think and<br />

experiment into how these invisible elements come into<br />

presence, and as a result <strong>of</strong> what kind <strong>of</strong> events.<br />


Ixchel Mendoza Hernandez (2014) Re-entering: Visual Ghost Photos © Christiane Schniebel

Elisabete Finger<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2010–2012<br />

www.elisabetefinger.com<br />

Elisabete Finger (2011) from Studies for<br />

Monstro Photo © Ric Allsopp<br />

Elisabete Finger (2011) from O.<br />

Photo © Sven Hagolani<br />

Elisabete Finger (2011) from Workbook. Photos © Elisabete Finger

Since more than a year I have been working in a series <strong>of</strong> situations I’m calling ‘Studies for<br />

Monstro’. The studies for Monstro are possible compositions for the same group <strong>of</strong> elements:<br />

an egg, two pieces <strong>of</strong> fur, an arrow, a hole, a golden helium balloon, a song, coca-cola,<br />

something red, something hairy, something flying, something turning, something dying, and<br />

a body in action. O. is the 6 th and the last experience in this series. O. is a circle, a hole.<br />

O. is for me (headless) an abyss, a fascinating and almost unbearable vertigo. O. may be for<br />

you a precarious image-movement, an image that is made and unmade, that is traversed, torn,<br />

pierced, devoured by Monstro.<br />

(SODA Works programme note, December 2011)<br />


Helena Botto<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2013–2015<br />

helenabotto.weebly.com<br />

Helena Botto (2013/14) from The Silly Piece Photo © André Uerba

Helena Botto (2013) Feeling Like Not Feeling Photo © Helena Botto<br />

In 2013 I wanted to enter in the <strong>MA</strong> SODA programme as a way to disrupt<br />

a certain methodological tradition in which I was taught and<br />

operated for many years in making work. During the first year I was<br />

obssessed by the question: ‘How can I break my patterns <strong>of</strong> performing<br />

and construct a “new” way <strong>of</strong> making work?’ With time it became<br />

clear how näive that question was and how impossible it would be to<br />

reboot my body and make it a blank sheet.<br />


Kyla Kegler<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2013–2015<br />

kylaaverykegler.com<br />


My experience in SODA was a process<br />

<strong>of</strong> identifying and articulating the fundamental<br />

questions and musings that<br />

motivate me to make work, and then<br />

using that insight to produce. It was a<br />

wealth <strong>of</strong> conversations, input, and relationships<br />

that I cherish and which<br />

have forever changed my relationship<br />

to art making, fortifying in me a conviction<br />

in the unique potential <strong>of</strong> artistic<br />

research as a lens through which to interpret<br />

life.<br />

Prior to SODA I was working in the field<br />

<strong>of</strong> visual arts and social arts practices,<br />

and had no exposure to the somatic,<br />

body-based discourse that I was introduced<br />

to during SODA, and which I have<br />

since adopted fundamentally into my<br />

own practice and artistic discourse.<br />

The diversity in culture, sensibility, and<br />

pr<strong>of</strong>essional backgrounds coming from<br />

my colleagues was a precious resource<br />

that both challenged my existing ideologies<br />

and opened me to a far more interesting<br />

conversation than would have<br />

been possible had we all come from<br />

more homogenous circumstances.<br />

You and I are collaborators.<br />

You are my host.<br />

We occupy your headspace and generate<br />

your thoughts and sensations,<br />

together.<br />

We enable each other’s present modes<br />

<strong>of</strong> existence.<br />

We hold each other accountable.<br />

While you are here with me, thinking<br />

about these words, we will explore ways<br />

that we can use your mind and your<br />

body to decode and perceive the world<br />

around us, to dwell in your sensations<br />

and interpretations <strong>of</strong> our ideas.<br />

If at any point you need me, I will be here,<br />

inside <strong>of</strong> you.<br />

I have no autonomous agency.<br />

My work and I exist through you.<br />

I need you to help me understand what<br />

this experience means, now that it belongs<br />

to you.<br />

121<br />

Kyla Kegler is an artist based between Buffalo<br />

NY and Berlin. She holds an <strong>MA</strong> in <strong>Solo</strong>/<br />

<strong>Dance</strong>/<strong>Authorship</strong> from HZT Berlin, 2015, and<br />

is currently on a fellowship to complete an<br />

MFA in Visual Arts at the University <strong>of</strong> Buffalo,<br />

USA (2018). Her recent research explores<br />

therapeutic bodywork and haptic language.<br />

She makes videos, audio guides, installations,<br />

performances, and paintings that seek<br />

to privilege the body as an intelligent sense<br />

organ in an art-experience.<br />

Kyla Kegler (2013) Photo © Kyla Kegler

Mădălina Dan<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2014–2016<br />

www.Mădălinadan.tumblr.com<br />

www.cargocollective.com/theAgency<strong>of</strong>Touch<br />

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFjVeepIwXs&t=32s<br />

As an educational and academic framework, SODA program distils eventually<br />

in a very specific and pragmatic artistic process characterized by having to<br />

engage simultaneously in practice, discourse, methodology, documentation,<br />

logistics <strong>of</strong> making work. I could not say that I would engage in a similar process<br />

in every work I’ll make, but for sure I have a toolbox <strong>of</strong> notes, references,<br />

tools, shortcuts, encounters to revisit. After finishing the program, in 2016,<br />

as an associated artist at The National <strong>Dance</strong> Center in Bucharest I invited my<br />

SODA colleagues to show the work and their artistic research produced in this<br />

framework in Bucharest. It felt relevant and necessary to create this sharing<br />

space, both for the dance and performance field in Bucharest and also for<br />

us, the ‘graduates’ to transplant our work and methodology in another artistic<br />

community. Over the two years, SODA was also a context to reflect upon<br />

problematics such as: the privileges <strong>of</strong> studying in general, the access - who<br />

gets to benefit from Western art school education, where does the financial<br />

support comes from, the pr<strong>of</strong>ile <strong>of</strong> students who study in HZT.<br />

It would not make sense to list titles, names and references, there are too many,<br />

and I find more distinctive the processes <strong>of</strong> learning from colleagues, teachers,<br />

mentors, visits to the library, watching DVDs in the Mediathek, going to lectures,<br />

taking classes etc. I found a real pleasure and gratitude to be in the study<br />

state, to have extraordinary encounters with very generous and gifted teachers,<br />

artists and peers.<br />

As a visible pro<strong>of</strong>, I would share a few pages <strong>of</strong> my notes from SODA, also to<br />

trigger my memory, but unfortunately I don’t have them with me right now.<br />

What also stays distinctive is processing references, scraps <strong>of</strong> texts, ideas,<br />

images, conversations into useable material <strong>of</strong> work for workbook, essays<br />

and artistic input.

123 Mădălina Dan (2015) from The Agency <strong>of</strong> Touch Photos © Marion Borriss

Sheena McGrandles<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2010–2012<br />

SODA Staff 2013–2017<br />

www.sheenamcgrandles.com<br />

Sheena McGrandles (2012)<br />

from Meatbook<br />

Photos © Sheena McGrandles<br />

Sheena McGrandles (2011)<br />

from EEE Series<br />

Photo © Diego Wiltshire<br />


Arriving as a student in April 2010 with 9 others we were<br />

informed that SODA was not a residency, we couldn’t just float<br />

in and out, curate our schedule and get distracted by the metropolis<br />

<strong>of</strong> Berlin. Although the focus was on our individual<br />

practices which had various needs we were clearly in an<br />

educational frame. SODA, a creative friction for some, became<br />

a temporary artistic dwelling during my two years <strong>of</strong> study. At<br />

this time we were a group <strong>of</strong> distinctive people from Europe,<br />

Asia, Canada and Australia all there to interrogate, come closer<br />

and to (re)formulate our practice. This chosen group was<br />

the foundation <strong>of</strong> my study. It was a group that functioned as<br />

a peer to peer physical network, locating itself on the perimeters<br />

<strong>of</strong> my work, critically entangling itself in my ‘messiness’<br />

and (un)consciously contaminating my research. It is in this<br />

regard that I see SODA as a mesh <strong>of</strong> people, contexts, resources,<br />

aesthetics and perspectives, <strong>of</strong>fering a sort <strong>of</strong> distracted<br />

and informed companionship in the process <strong>of</strong> doing and<br />

thinking. It is a situation that I have not found myself in again<br />

and <strong>of</strong>ten something I long for; to be followed and at the same<br />

time follow another’s work so closely. In short my essence <strong>of</strong><br />

SODA is that <strong>of</strong> a temporary ecology <strong>of</strong> idiosyncratic mismatched-matched<br />

artists that come to their own work,<br />

through and with the presence <strong>of</strong> others.<br />

I developed a meatbook in parallel to the performance Eee (2012). I wanted to expand the<br />

notion <strong>of</strong> the book and the material forms it normally takes, but more importantly I wanted<br />

to find other modes in which I could materialise my research. It was framed as a performative<br />

action that documented my process in the studio and at the same time raised<br />

questions and interests around my curiosity <strong>of</strong> body, language and voice and its potentials.<br />

It took a whole day to cut, sew and stamp the meat. I chose a specific text from one<br />

<strong>of</strong> the works <strong>of</strong> Beckett, Unnameable (1953) which talks explicitly about the position <strong>of</strong><br />

the voice, in-between.<br />

Sheena McGrandles (2011) from EEE Series Photo © Sven Hagolani

Liad Hussein Kantorowicz<br />

<strong>MA</strong> SODA 2014–2016<br />

www.liadland.wordpress.com<br />

www.instagram.com/liadland<br />

www.facebook.com/liadhusseinkantorowicz<br />

The documents ‘i embody everything’ + ‘i woke up after sleeping 10 hours’ are from an intensive with<br />

Eva Meyer- Keller for making new work. In it is a text I used in making a performance, using the Adrian Piper<br />

photo I Embody Everything that You Most Hate and Fear (1975) from her series The Mythic Being, which made its<br />

way to my workbook.<br />

The first image is a collection <strong>of</strong> photos used in a Victoria Pérez Royo ‘Tarot card’ reading.<br />

She asked us to bring photos that we are drawn to so they can be used to read our future.<br />

If you look at the photos, they were most definitely a direct indication <strong>of</strong> what my performative future would look<br />

like, at least in the scope <strong>of</strong> the SODA study programme.<br />

I finally woke up after sleeping for 10 hours. I slept with my dress on. I was shaking for about an<br />

hour in bed. I pushed the alarm buzzer 6 times before getting up.<br />

I embody everything you most hate and fear.<br />

My mind started racing over things that need to be done today, this week, in the next two months. I have a meeting<br />

to prepare for tonight, and one tomorrow morning.<br />

I embody everything you most hate and fear.<br />

I go to the computer to write an email to confirm it. Instead <strong>of</strong> opening my mail I open facebook to look at the<br />

route <strong>of</strong> this Saturday’s gay pride march.<br />

I embody everything you most hate and fear.<br />

There’s some debate about why the alternative gay pride in Kreuzberg is too commercial and shouldn’t be supported.<br />

I open the facebook page <strong>of</strong> an Israeli friend <strong>of</strong> mine who participated<br />

in the online debate.<br />

I embody everything you most hate and fear.<br />

She wrote a status equating the mega-fascist Israeli independence day festivities to experiencing the world cup<br />

in Germany when Germany plays and her downstairs neighbours yell ‘heil hitler’. I comment on that post. Then I<br />

remember that I still have a meeting to confirm via email.<br />

I embody everything you most hate and fear.<br />

I go to make c<strong>of</strong>fee. I throw the old c<strong>of</strong>fee beans out and realize that the package-recycling part <strong>of</strong> the trash<br />

needs to be taken out. I say to myself ‘ill do it later’. I wait for the c<strong>of</strong>fee to be ready and sit by the computer<br />

again.<br />

I embody everything you most hate and fear.<br />

I’m reading a text from a lecture I attended about post colonial justice and Berlin, and riots. My c<strong>of</strong>fee is ready.<br />

Then I jump to texts written by and about Adrian Piper. In between I think about my former boyfriend. I start to<br />

shake.<br />

I embody everything you most hate and fear.<br />

In between reading about Adrian Piper I check my former boyfriend’s facebook wall. Considering that we are still<br />

in contact, I wonder if to tell him that if he fucks this girl he’s around who was my friend and stabbed me, I’ll stop<br />

talking to him.<br />

I embody everything you most hate and fear.<br />

Dear Walid, I decided that our current relationship hurts me and catches me at weak points rather than being<br />

empowering. So, I want to end it for now. No wait. I decided not to be in contact with you any more. Please stop<br />

contacting me. I formulate this in my head several times over c<strong>of</strong>fee, but never send this text message.<br />

I embody everything you most hate and fear.<br />

I write a facebook post about the world cup and gay pride. I drink some c<strong>of</strong>fee, then check how many people<br />

liked it.<br />

I embody everything you most hate and fear.

127<br />

Liad Hussein Kantorowicz (2015)<br />

Photos © Liad Hussein Kantorowicz


Uferstudios Backgrounds (2011) Photo © Sven Hagolani<br />


<strong>MA</strong> SODA STUDENTS<br />

(2009–2017)<br />

SODA Pilot (2007–2009)<br />

Anat Eisenberg, Corsin Gaudenz<br />

Thérèse Nylen, Rita Roberto<br />

Susanne Martin, Mirko Winkel<br />

Felix Marchand, Aikaterina Papageorgiou<br />

(Kat Válastur)<br />

SODA 1 (2010–2012)<br />

Sheena McGrandles, Ana Trincão<br />

Keith Lim, Ana Monteiro<br />

Dragana Bulut, Elisabete Finger<br />

Zoja Smutny, Yair Vardi, Daniel Kok<br />

SODA 2 (2011–2013)<br />

Andrew Wass, Willy Prager<br />

Igor Koruga, Marcio Carvalho<br />

Hana Lee Erdman, Sonja Pregrad<br />

Jee-Ae Lim, Joana von Mayer Trindade<br />

SODA 3 (2012–2014)<br />

Niels Bovri, Allison Peacock<br />

Maria Baroncea, Katrin Memmer<br />

Céline Cartillier, Kiran Kumar<br />

Sergiu Matis, Flavio Ribeiro, Lisa Densem<br />

SODA 6 (2015–2017)<br />

Enrico D. Wey, Akseli Aittomäki<br />

Liad Hussein Kantorowicz<br />

Lisa Müller-Trede, Luo Yuebing<br />

Lulu Obermayer, Valentin Tszin<br />

[Janine Iten]<br />

SODA 7 (2016–2018)<br />

Felix Ofosu Dompreh, Alejandro Karasik<br />

Yaron Maïm/ Larisa Navojec<br />

Pauline Payen, Maqué Pereyra D. Medina<br />

Jan Rozman, Agata Siniarska<br />

Saori Hara, Janine Iten<br />

SODA 8 (2017–2019)<br />

Nicola Van Straaten, Mariana Vieira<br />

Mmakgosi Kgabi, Evgenia Chetvertkova<br />

Furutani Michiyasu, Liadain Herriott<br />

Taylor Kendall<br />

SODA 4 (2013–2015)<br />

Helena Botto, Rodrigo Garcia Alves<br />

Ixchel Mendoza Hernandez,<br />

Yusuke Kimura, Kyla Avery Kegler<br />

David Pollmann, André Uerba<br />

SODA 5 (2014–2016)<br />

Andrew Kerton, Hwa Yeon Nam<br />

Ivo Serra, Joshua Rutter<br />

Mădălina Dan, Miral Yigit Daldikler<br />

[Saori Hara]<br />

Exchange students & guests (2010–2016)<br />

Jarkko Partanen (2010–2011)<br />

TeAK, UniArts, Helsinki FI<br />

Phoebe Robinson (2011–2012)<br />

Critical Path, Sydney AUS<br />

Hana Vojáčkova (2014–2015)<br />

Central St. Martins, London UK<br />

Meredith Glisson (2015–2016)<br />

Falmouth University UK<br />

UArts, Philadelphia USA<br />



(2007–2017)<br />


(2006–2017)<br />

Rhys Martin<br />

Director since 2007<br />

Ric Allsopp<br />

2007 - 2011<br />

2017 - 2018<br />

Litó Walkey<br />

2009 - 2013<br />

2017 - 2018<br />

Boyan Manchev<br />

2011 - 2017<br />

Sophia New<br />

2011 - 2017<br />

Sheena McGrandles<br />

2013 - 2017<br />

Nik Haffner<br />

Artistic Director since 2012<br />

Artistic Director (team <strong>of</strong> Directors) 2008–2012<br />

Boris Charmatz<br />

Artistic Director (team <strong>of</strong> Directors) 2006–2008<br />

Ingo Reulecke<br />

Artistic Director (team <strong>of</strong> Directors) 2006–2012<br />

Eva-Maria Hoerster<br />

Managing Director (team <strong>of</strong> Directors) 2006–2013<br />

Project Coordinator since 2013<br />

Sabine Trautwein<br />

Administrator 2006–2013<br />

Administrative Director since 2013<br />

Maximilian Stelzl<br />

Technical Director since 2014<br />



(2009–2017)<br />

SODA New Performance Work (July 2009)<br />

Rita Roberto Envisage<br />

Thérèse Nylen Piece<br />

Susanne Martin Rosi tanzt Rosi- The Conference<br />

Corsin Gaudenz Lass uns immer aufbrechen und nie<br />

ankommen. Eine Verzettelung<br />

Anat Eisenberg A Provocation Pure and Simple<br />

Mirko Winkel Tricks<br />

Felix Marchand Awarness Étude for One Performer and<br />

an Audience<br />

Aikaterina Papageorgiou (Kat Válastur)<br />

So Many Gens Dark<br />

SODA WORKS (December 2011)<br />

Ana Trincão Crystal<br />

Zoja Smutny This I LOVE YOU Thing<br />

Elisabete Finger O.<br />

Daniel Kok The Gay Romeo<br />

Keith Lim re:self->com<br />

Dragana Bulut Pass it on<br />

Sheena McGrandles Eee<br />

Ana Monteiro Showcase<br />

Yair Vardi You never look at me from the place I see you<br />

(January 2012)<br />

SODA WORKS (December 2012)<br />

Jee-Ae Lim Raw Material<br />

Marcio Carvalho Impossible Chronologies<br />

Joana von Mayer Trindade ZOS (She Will Not Live)<br />

Willy Prager The Victory Day<br />

Andrew Wass The Signal and The Noise<br />

Sonja Pregrad The Carnival Tent Rusts in the Evening<br />

Breeze<br />

Igor Koruga Come Quickly, My Happiness is at Stake<br />

Hana Lee Erdman These Children Singing in Stone<br />

SODA WORKS (December 2013)<br />

Niels Bovri The Théatrophone<br />

Allison Peacock Zebra<br />

Maria Baroncea A Certain Togetherness<br />

Katrin Memmer almost a no body<br />

Céline Cartillier Pathfinder’s Rhapsody<br />

Kiran Kumar Project Entitled ‘Architectures <strong>of</strong> <strong>Dance</strong>’<br />

Sergiu Matis Keep It Real<br />

Flavio Ribeiro STUFF<br />

Lisa Densem Silently the Birds Fly Through Us<br />

SODA WORKS (December 2014)<br />

Kyla Avery Kegler Histrionics <strong>of</strong> a Contortionist<br />

(Flip it and Reverse it)<br />

Rodrigo Garcia Alves StudioDisorder – La Maison<br />

Baroque<br />

André Uerba Terrarium<br />

Ixchel Mendoza Hernandez Re-entering: Visual Ghost<br />

Yusuke Kimura I saw a shadow in the dark<br />

David Pollmann YUKO & VORTEX<br />

Helena Botto ABRAHAMIC WHOLENESS (or my god is<br />

better than yours)<br />

SODA WORKS (December 2015)<br />

Andrew Kerton The Work / _ fieldnotes<br />

Hwa Yeon Nam Body <strong>of</strong> Time<br />

Joshua Rutter Patterned Interference<br />

Ivo Serra P dance<br />

Mădălina Dan The Agency <strong>of</strong> Touch<br />

SODA WORKS (December 2016)<br />

Enrico D. Wey ruhestätte | still lives<br />

Akseli Aittomäki Actors <strong>of</strong> Production<br />

Liad Hussein Kantorowicz Terrorist Superstars<br />

Lisa Müller-Trede effusion 01-07<br />

Luo Yuebing Mesh Work<br />

Lulu Obermayer Manon Lescaut<br />

SODA WORKS (December 2017)<br />

Agata Siniarska the s<strong>of</strong>t act <strong>of</strong> killing<br />

Maqué Pereyra TaypiMami – Footnotes to Myself<br />

Felix Ofosu Dompreh Laborlaboratory<br />

Janine Iten States <strong>of</strong> Transition<br />

Jan Rozman ƒ (being)<br />

Pauline Payen A Very Unique Gift<br />

Alejandro Karasik Machine <strong>of</strong> Grace<br />

Larisa Navojec A <strong>Solo</strong> Together<br />

Yaron Maïm Material for <strong>Solo</strong>metrics<br />

Saori Hara Da Dad Dada<br />



(2007–2017)<br />

Visiting Guests & Mentors (2007–2017) including:<br />

Detlev Alexander, Ric Allsopp, Una Bauer, Antonia Baehr, Rosemary Butcher,<br />

Jonathan Burrows, Ramsay Burt, Rosa Casado, Alice, Chauchat, Emilyn Claid,<br />

Franz-Anton Cramer, Bojana Cvejic, Kattrin Deufert, Igor Dobricic, Joanne Dudley,<br />

Jeanine Durning, Ewa Einhorn, Kate Elswit, Joao Fiadiero, Heiner Goebbels, Nik Haffner,<br />

Julyen Hamilton, Heide-Marie Härtel, Deborah Hay, Helgard Haug, Reinhild H<strong>of</strong>fmann,<br />

Myriam van Imshoot, Marc Jackson, Janez Janša, Joe Kelleher, Jeuno Kim,<br />

Esa Kirkkopelto, Bojana Kunst, Vivien Lee, Hans-Thies Lehmann, Xavier Le Roy,<br />

Susanne Linke, Sarat Maharaj, Boyan Manchev, Annemarie Matzke, Eva Meyer-Keller,<br />

Catherine Milliken, Timothy Morton, David Moss, Chantal Mouffe, Martin Nachbar,<br />

Sophia New, Isabel de Navarán, Frédéric Neyrat, Kira O’Reilly, Anja Osswald,<br />

Jeroen Peeters, Thomas Plischke, Helmut Ploebst, Sergei Pristaš, Nicholas Ridout,<br />

Daniel Belasco Rogers, Victoria Pérez Royo, Felix Ruckert, Martina Ruhsam,<br />

Elisabeth von Samsonow, Miriam Schaub, Constanze Schellow, Robyn Schulkowsky,<br />

Noémie <strong>Solo</strong>mon, Sharon Smith, Robert Steijn, Litó Walkey, Bignia Wehrli,<br />

Christoph Winkler, Siegmar Zacharias<br />

External Examiners (2009–2017)<br />

Ric Allsopp (2012), Sonja Augart, Simone Aughterlony, Silke Bake, Toni Cots,<br />

Reinhild H<strong>of</strong>fmann, Bojana Kunst, Margie Medlin, Peter Stamer, Maren Strack<br />

Erasmus IP (2011–2013) including:<br />

Sergej Pristaš, Joao Da Silva, Kirsi Monni, Konstantina Georgelou, Jasna Zmak,<br />

Victoria Pérez Royo, Martin Hargreaves, Ric Allsopp, Rabih Mroué, Lina Saneh,<br />

Litó Walkey, Scott deLahunta, Deufert & Plischke, Esa Kirkkopelto, Saara Hannula,<br />

Miika Luoto, Sandra Umathum, Elena Giannotti, Vaginal Davies, Sophia New,<br />

Terike Haapoja, Eva-Maria Hoerster<br />


Photo © Sven Hagolani<br />

Rhys Martin (Director, <strong>MA</strong> SODA since 2007) graduated from Sydney<br />

University in Literature and Fine Arts before his move into dance<br />

and Australia’s innovative fringe theatre scene, where he was a<br />

founding member <strong>of</strong> the experimental One Extra <strong>Dance</strong> Company<br />

under choreographer Kai tai Chan, eventually performing with the<br />

company in London. After briefly working with a dance in education<br />

company in England, he moved to Germany to join Reinhild H<strong>of</strong>fman’s<br />

internationally celebrated Bremer <strong>Dance</strong> Theatre. After touring<br />

extensively, he later moved with the choreographer to work alongside<br />

the acting ensemble <strong>of</strong> the Bochumer Schauspielhaus. Since<br />

1986 he has worked extensively as freelance director and choreographer<br />

for dance, opera, musical, film and theatre. His work was<br />

awarded first prize at the Unesco XII Choreographer’s Competition<br />

in Cologne and at the Theaterzwang Theatre Festival in Nordrhein-<br />

Westfalen, recommended for a London New Choreographers Award<br />

and a special mention in the Concours de Lausanne in Switzerland.<br />

He has been invited internationally as a teacher <strong>of</strong> contemporary body-based<br />

performance practice and is currently Pr<strong>of</strong>essor <strong>of</strong> <strong>Dance</strong>, Choreography and Musical<br />

Staging at Berlin’s University <strong>of</strong> the Arts and program founder / director <strong>of</strong> the HZT<br />

<strong>MA</strong> in <strong>Solo</strong> <strong>Dance</strong> <strong>Authorship</strong>. Besides directing and producing numerous student<br />

performances, recent commissions have included an invitation from the education<br />

program <strong>of</strong> the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra to choreograph a new orchestral work<br />

commissioned from leading American jazz composer Wynton Marsalis conducted<br />

by Sir Simon Rattle for two hundred Berlin young performers (2010), and a commission<br />

for the Theater Ulm, where he choreographed and directed a radical new production<br />

<strong>of</strong> West Side Story (2016)<br />

Photo © Sven Hagolani<br />

Ric Allsopp (<strong>MA</strong> Staff 2007–2011; 2017–18) is an independent writer,<br />

editor and consultant, and Emeritus Pr<strong>of</strong>essor <strong>of</strong> Contemporary<br />

Performance at Falmouth University, UK where he was Head <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Dance</strong> & Choreography from 2011–2016. He lectured in Theatre at<br />

Dartington College <strong>of</strong> Arts (1982–90) and was involved in the innovative<br />

Performance Writing course between 1996 and 2004. He has<br />

worked extensively in continental Europe since 1990, teaching at<br />

the School for New <strong>Dance</strong> Development in Amsterdam (1990–94),<br />

the European <strong>Dance</strong> Development Centre in Arnhem (1998–2000),<br />

and making individual and collaborative performance works (1997–<br />

2001) as well as leading writing and choreographic workshops and<br />

lecturing in Holland, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Spain,<br />

Croatia and Slovenia (1992–2011). He was a Senior Research Fellow<br />

in the Department <strong>of</strong> Contemporary Arts at Manchester Metropolitan<br />

University (2007–2009), a member <strong>of</strong> the International Advisory<br />

Board and Guest Pr<strong>of</strong>essor for <strong>MA</strong> SODA at the HZT, University <strong>of</strong><br />

the Arts, Berlin from 2006–2011. Since 1996 he has been Joint Editor <strong>of</strong> Performance<br />

Research, a bi-monthly international journal <strong>of</strong> contemporary performance (London &<br />

New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis) recently editing issues ‘On Radical Education’<br />

(2016), ‘On Sleep’ (2016) and ‘On Performance & Poetics’ (2015). His research interests<br />

include poetics and histories <strong>of</strong> ‘open work’, the choreographic image and<br />

spaces <strong>of</strong> appearance, and relations between writing, dance and poetics. His work<br />

has been published in a variety <strong>of</strong> books and journals including Frakcija, PAJ,<br />

Tanz-Journal, Theater der Zeit, and Performance Research.<br />


Photo © Matthias Heyde<br />

Litó Walkey (<strong>MA</strong> Staff 2007–2013; 2017–18), <strong>of</strong> Canadian Greek origins,<br />

is a choreographer and performer based in Berlin.<br />

Her artistic practice works with inscribed compositions that access,<br />

index and invite a relation to performance through suggesting processes<br />

that re-route and re-centre natural trajectories <strong>of</strong> attention.<br />

Litó initiated as if it’s just about to happen (2016) a publication <strong>of</strong><br />

collaborative writing expanding from workshops facilitated at HZT<br />

Berlin. Her performance projects include asweare/ Weld Company<br />

(2017), A populated soliloquy (2016), aswebegin / Weld Company<br />

(2013), Where’s the rest <strong>of</strong> me? (2012), Like that,Like this (2008),<br />

instanded i turn (2006), The Missing <strong>Dance</strong> No.7 (2005) and wings<br />

raised to a second power (2002).<br />

From 2002–2009 Litó was a member <strong>of</strong> the Chicago-based performance<br />

group Goat Island. She maintains ongoing collaborations<br />

with artists such as Boris Hauf, Jeanine Durning, Lucy Cash and Karen<br />

Christopher and worked as a performer with choreographers Vera<br />

Mantero and Martine Piscani (a.o.). Litó completed her BA and Masters Studies in<br />

Choreography at the Amsterdam University <strong>of</strong> the Arts. Litó has taught regularly in<br />

the <strong>MA</strong> SODA and BA <strong>Dance</strong> Context Choreography programs at HZT Berlin since<br />

the pilot phase in 2007, and was Pr<strong>of</strong>essor and Head <strong>of</strong> the BA program at HZT from<br />

2013–2016. She teaches in the <strong>MA</strong> Choreography program at DOCH Stockholm and<br />

is <strong>of</strong>ten invited to advise on choreographic work.<br />

Boyan Manchev (<strong>MA</strong> Staff 2011–2017) is a philosopher, and Pr<strong>of</strong>essor<br />

at the New Bulgarian University (since 2001), Guest Pr<strong>of</strong>essor at<br />

S<strong>of</strong>ia University (where he taught between 1997 and 2001), Hollins<br />

University (USA), and UdK Berlin. He is also the former Director <strong>of</strong><br />

Programme and Vice- President <strong>of</strong> the International College <strong>of</strong><br />

Philosophy in Paris (2004–2010). Boyan has lectured widely at<br />

European, Asian and North- American universities and cultural<br />

institutions. He has also participated as author, theorist, dramaturge<br />

or performer in theatre and contemporary dance projects, including<br />

Tim Etchells and Adrian Heathfield’s The Frequently Asked (2007);<br />

Boris Charmatz’s expo zero and poster session Mouvement for the<br />

Festival d’Avignon (2011); Ani Vaseva’s Frankenstein (2010), A Dying<br />

Play (2010), and Phaeton: Miscreants (2013); and Vierte Welt Kolaborationen<br />

Pandora’s Daughters (2016).<br />

Photo© Marion Borriss<br />

In the last two decades Boyan’s work has focused on ontology,<br />

philosophy <strong>of</strong> art and political philosophy. He is consistently developing the project<br />

<strong>of</strong> a philosophy <strong>of</strong> metamorphosis, based on an idea <strong>of</strong> a dynamic modal ontology.<br />

He is the author <strong>of</strong> eight books and around two hundred book chapters, catalogues<br />

and other publications in more than twenty languages including: Clouds. Philosophy<br />

<strong>of</strong> the Free Body (S<strong>of</strong>ia, 2017), Logic <strong>of</strong> the Political (S<strong>of</strong>ia, 2012), Miracolo (Milano,<br />

2011), L’altération du monde (Paris, 2009); La Métamorphose et l’Instant –<br />

Dés organisation de la vie (Paris, 2009). His book The Body–Metamorphosis (S<strong>of</strong>ia,<br />

2007) deals extensively with contemporary art, performance and dance.<br />


Photo © Sophia New<br />

Sophia New (<strong>MA</strong> Staff 2012–2017) studied Philosophy and Literature<br />

with German at Sussex University (1993– 1997) and has an <strong>MA</strong><br />

in Feminist Performance from Bristol University (1998). She is a<br />

co-founder <strong>of</strong> plan b with Daniel Belasco Rogers. Since 2002 they<br />

have made over 25 projects for different cities, festivals, and galleries.<br />

Their work is <strong>of</strong>ten site-specific and includes performance, GPS,<br />

sound and video, dealing with issues around personal data and the<br />

everyday. She also has worked as a solo performer and video maker<br />

and had grants from Artsadmin, the Anglo German foundation in<br />

London and Isis Arts in Newcastle. As a freelance performer she has<br />

worked with Antonia Baehr, Penelope Wehrli, Petra Sabish, Gob Squad,<br />

and Forced Entertainment. She has taught on performance courses<br />

in Gloucester University, Aberystwyth University and Das Arts in<br />

Amsterdam, as well as giving courses on Urban Interventions with<br />

Daniel Belasco Rogers at the HafenCity University Hamburg, Leipzig<br />

University and Art school. She regularly teaches Live Art and Performance<br />

with Siegmar Zacharias at Folkwang University for the Arts, Bochum. Sophia<br />

was a Pr<strong>of</strong>essor at the HZT from 2012– 2017 teaching mainly on <strong>MA</strong> SODA but also<br />

on the other two courses and developed the Makers Open as a format for all students<br />

to show and feedback on work at any stage. Her pedagogical interest is in specifically<br />

supporting students in finding ways to express within the work and through<br />

supporting statements and documents, a synergy between making and reflecting<br />

on one’s own practice.<br />

Photo © Diethild Meier<br />

Sheena McGrandles (<strong>MA</strong> Staff 2013–2017), born in Northern Ireland,<br />

graduated with a BA in <strong>Dance</strong> Theatre from Laban Center, London<br />

(2007). With a scholarship from Studienstiftung des Deutschen<br />

Volkes in 2012 she completed her <strong>MA</strong> in <strong>Solo</strong>/<strong>Dance</strong>/<strong>Authorship</strong> at<br />

HZT/UdK, Berlin. In 2013 Sheena was selected for the 8–month<br />

residency in Kampnagel Hamburg ‘K3’ in which she developed the<br />

work true balls (2013). She has been the recipient <strong>of</strong> the ‘travel and<br />

training’ grant from the Irish Arts Council for research projects in<br />

Vienna (2013) and San Francisco (2015). Sheena’s works have been<br />

presented both nationally and internationally and currently she is<br />

developing a series <strong>of</strong> works with Claire Vivianne Sobottke Bounty<br />

(2016) and S<strong>of</strong>t Burn (2017). Sheena’s artistic practice, both performative<br />

and visual is concerned with queering the body in performance<br />

and the representation <strong>of</strong> women on stage. She is currently<br />

an artistic research associate on the BA <strong>Dance</strong>, Context, Choreography<br />

at HZT, and artistic director <strong>of</strong> Agora MOVE.<br />


References<br />

Allsopp, Ric (2010) ‘Some Remarks on a Space <strong>of</strong><br />

Appearance’ in 25 Years: Bergen International Theatre,<br />

ed. Marie Nerland, Bergen: BIT<br />

Allsopp, Ric (2015) ‘Performing Poetics’ in Contact<br />

Quarterly Vol.40, No.1 (Winter / Spring) pp.24–26<br />

de Certeau, Michel (1984) The Practice <strong>of</strong> Everyday<br />

Life trans. Steven Rendall, Berkeley: University <strong>of</strong><br />

California Press<br />

Cramer, Franz-Anton (2006) ‘Symposium <strong>Solo</strong> <strong>Dance</strong><br />

<strong>Authorship</strong> - A Summary’, unpublished report, SODA<br />

Archive, Berlin: HZT<br />

Freire, Paulo (2007 [1972]) The Pedagogy <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Oppressed trans. Myra Ramos, New York: Continuum<br />

Illich, Ivan (1999 [1971]) De-Schooling Society<br />

London: Marion Boyars<br />

Jarman, Derek (1993) Chroma: A Book <strong>of</strong> Colour<br />

London: Vintage<br />

Manchev, Boyan (2007) The Body-Metamorphosis<br />

S<strong>of</strong>ia: Altera<br />

Martin, Rhys (2005) ‘Proposal for <strong>MA</strong> in <strong>Solo</strong>, <strong>Dance</strong> /<br />

Choreographic <strong>Authorship</strong>’ unpublished paper, SODA<br />

Archive, Berlin: HZT<br />

Martin, Rhys (2006) ‘Draft SODA Curriculum’ unpublished<br />

paper, SODA Archive, Berlin: HZT<br />

Monni, Kirsi & Ric Allsopp (eds) (2015) Practicing<br />

Composition: Making Practice Helsinki: Kinesis / UArts<br />

O’Connor, Peter & Michael Anderson (2015)<br />

Applied Theatre: Research - Radical Departures<br />

London: Bloomsbury<br />

Olson, Charles (1992 [1960]) The Maximus Poems<br />

Berkeley: U. California Press<br />

Ranciére, Jacques (2006) The Politics <strong>of</strong> Aesthetics<br />

London: Bloomsbury<br />

Ridout, Nicolas (2009) Theatre and Ethics London:<br />

Palgrave Macmillan<br />

Rog<strong>of</strong>f, Irit (2004) ‘Looking Away: Participations in<br />

Visual Culture’ in After Criticism: New Responses to Art<br />

and Performance, ed. Gavin Butt. Oxford: Blackwell<br />

Scarry, Elaine (2013) On Beauty and Being Just<br />

Princeton: Princeton University Press<br />

Schneider, Rebecca (2004) ‘<strong>Solo</strong>, <strong>Solo</strong>, <strong>Solo</strong>’ in<br />

After Criticism: New Responses to Art and Performance,<br />

ed. Gavin Butt. Oxford: Blackwell<br />

SODA.Works (2011) ‘Anything But <strong>Solo</strong>’ in SODA.Works:<br />

New Performance Work programme, Berlin: HZT<br />

SODA Handbook (2017–19) SODA Archive, Berlin: HZT<br />

Walkey, Litó (2012) ‘Report: SODA Contribution 2011<br />

Erasmus IP - ‘Practicing Composition’’ unpublished<br />

report, SODA Archive, Berlin: HZT<br />

Wirthmüller, Britta & Nik Haffner (2017) drawing from<br />

what lies next to you Berlin: HZT<br />

New, Sophia (2016) ‘Expanding Notions through Practice’<br />

conference Paper for ‘21st Century Performance<br />

Research’, University <strong>of</strong> Malta, (March 2016)<br />


With thanks<br />

to the following whose energies<br />

and visions have helped to shape<br />

the programme <strong>of</strong> the HZT Berlin<br />

since its inception including:<br />

Barbara Kisseler, Claudia Feest<br />

Tanzbüro Berlin:<br />

Barbara Friedrich, Karin Kirchh<strong>of</strong>f<br />

the partners <strong>of</strong> the<br />

TanzRaumBerlin network;<br />

Madeline Ritter and the entire team<br />

<strong>of</strong> Tanzplan Deutschland.<br />

SODA gratefully acknowledges<br />

financial support for this publication<br />

from:<br />

Pr<strong>of</strong>. Martin Rennert, President <strong>of</strong><br />

the Berlin University <strong>of</strong> the Arts,<br />

Ständige Kommission für Künstlerische<br />

und Wissenschaftliche Vorhaben<br />

(KKWV);<br />

Freundeskreis der UdK, Berlin –<br />

Karl H<strong>of</strong>er Gesellschaft e.V.;<br />

Buchhandlung EbertundWeber.<br />

Production<br />

Editor: Ric Allsopp<br />

Design: Ta-Trung (Pierre Becker,<br />

Henning Ramke)<br />

Print: H. Heenemann GmbH & Co. KG<br />

Image & Photo Credits:<br />

David Bergé, Marion Borriss,<br />

Sven Hagolani, he.he, Matthias<br />

Heyde, Yaron Maïm, Diethild Meier,<br />

Manuel Moncayo, Christiane<br />

Schniebel, Diego Wiltshire.<br />

Translation & SODA Support:<br />

Vera Laube, Elsa Goulko<br />

Contents<br />

© HZT Berlin<br />

All rights reserved. No part <strong>of</strong> this<br />

publication may be reproduced<br />

in any form by any electronic or<br />

mechanical means (including photography,<br />

recording or information<br />

storage or revival) without permission<br />

in writing from the publisher.<br />

Produced for the 10 th Anniversary<br />

<strong>of</strong> the HZT Berlin.<br />

Publisher<br />

Berlin University <strong>of</strong> the Arts, 2017<br />

ISBN 978-3-89462-297-8 (Brochure)<br />

ISBN 978-3-89462-298-5 (PDF)<br />

Bibliographic Information <strong>of</strong> the<br />

German National Library<br />

The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek<br />

lists this publication in the German<br />

National Bibliography; detailed bibliographic<br />

data are available in the<br />

Internet through http://dnb.d-nb.de<br />

A digital version <strong>of</strong> this<br />

publication can be found at<br />

www.issuu.com/hztberlin<br />

The HZT Berlin is administrated by the Berlin University <strong>of</strong> the Arts (UdK),<br />

the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst ‘Ernst Busch’ in cooperation with TanzRaumBerlin,<br />

a network <strong>of</strong> Berlin’s pr<strong>of</strong>essional dance scene.<br />



The HZT Berlin is administrated by the Berlin University <strong>of</strong> the Arts (UdK),<br />

the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst ‘Ernst Busch’ in cooperation with TanzRaumBerlin,<br />

a network <strong>of</strong> Berlin’s pr<strong>of</strong>essional dance scene.<br />

140<br />

ISBN 978-3-89462-297-8

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