A Look Back on Tanz im August 2017

On 2.9. the 29th edition of Tanz im August, Berlin's international for dance presented by HAU Hebbel am Ufer, ended with a big Closing Party. In its eventful three weeks Tanz im August brought 69 performances to 11 locations all over Berlin, over 150 artists from 21 countries were involved in the 28 productions. Among them 3 world premieres and 14 German premieres. Let's risk a look back.
Applause for Serge Aimé Coulibaly "Kalakuta Republik" | Credit: Dajana Lothert
On 11.8. Serge Aimé Coulibaly's Kalakuta Republik opened the festival, an hommage to Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, followed by the German premiere of FUN! by Lea Moro, the outdoor performance Au-delà de l’humain by Cie Zora Snake and Alexandra Bachzetsis' Private: Wear a mask when you talk o me. The opening party was celebrated at WAU.
Bibliothek im August at HAU2 | Credit: Dajana Lothert
This year HAU2 became once again the festival center, not only a location for many performances but also the location of the Bibliothek im August, which opened on 12.8. with the lecture performance In Bodies We Trust – Tongue Smell Color Revisited by Brenda Dixon-Gottschild and Hellmut Gottschild. Throughout the entire festival duration the Bibliothek was the meeting point for the audience and artists at many Adience Emgagement Formats and a quiet place to rest and read.
Festival curator Virve Sutinen and La Ribot at the opening of the retrospective. | Credit: Dajana Lothert
This year's retrospective was dedicated to the spanisch-swiss choreographer LA Ribot, throughout Tanz im August many of her pieces were shown in Berlin. La Ribot's unique works combine contemporary dance, visual art, video and performance – In Berlin the audience got to see the six hour long performance Laughing Hole (2006), a selection of her "Distinguished Pieces" in Panoramix (1993–2003) and Another Distinguée (2016), shown as a German premiere. Together with Mathilde Monnier La Ribot also brought her piece Gustavia (2008) to Berlin. The retrospective was completed by two exhibitions, a selection of La Ribot's Films & Installations (2002-2017) was shown at Galerie Barbara Weiss, the short movie Mariachi 17 was shown at Houseclub HAU3.
Takao Kawaguchi: About Kazuo Ohno | Credit: Dajana Lothert
After the opening weekend the festival continued with a packed follow-up programme. Among many others Tanz im August saw the return of the Michael Clark Company with the new piece to a simple, rock’n’ roll . . . song., the outdoor performance Trophée by Rudi van der Merwe as well as Jessica and me, a self-reflective look by the the former Pina Bausch dancer Cristiana Morganti. With Caen Amour by Trajal Harrell and Takao Kawaguchi's About Kazuo Ohno two productions dealt with Japanese Butoh dance. The Butoh focus was also accompanied by two audience formats: The artist talk between Kawaguchi and Harrell as well as a presentation of The Kazuo Ohno Archive by initiator Toshio Mizohata.
Anna Halprin, Anne Collod: Blank placard dance, replay | Credit: German Palomeque
The third festival week presented an eclectic mix of internationally acclaimed choreographers and new names, among them Kreatur by Sasha Waltz & Guests, the German premiere of Facing the sea, for tears to turn into laughter by Tunisian-French choreographer Radhouane El Meddeb as well as the touching performance Unwanted by Rwandan singer, author and choreographer Dorothée Munyaneza.
The Spanish dancer and choreographer Rocío Molina explored the limits of Flamenco with her piece Caída del Cielo, in A Line_up the Swedish company ccap deconstructed the Musical genre with a bold re-interpretation of "A Chorus Line". Berlin's scene was featured with the world premiere of Dark Field Analysis by Jefta van Dinther. At Sophiensæle the choreographers Rosalind Goldberg, Sandra Lolax and Stina Nyberg dealt with bodily defects in Immunsystemet.

With Anne Collod's re-enactment Blank placard dance, replay,Tanz im August took a piece to the streets of Berlin. In this work 20 performers went on a silent protest march carrying white placards as projection surfaces for the citizen's wishes.
Eszter Salamon: MONUMENT 0.4: LORES & PRAXES (a ritual of transformation) | Credit: German Palomeque
In the final festival week Tanz im August continued in full swing. El Baile by French choreographer Mathilde Monnier and author Alan Pauls explored the spirit and history of Argentina. The durational performance / exhibition MONUMENT 0.4: LORES & PRAXES (a ritual of transformation) by Eszter Salamon brought Tanz im August to the gallery spaces of KINDL - Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst in Neukölln. A final world premiere, the Lecture Performance TALOS by Arkadi Zaides, examined migration at EU borders as a form of choreography. Finnish Die group K&C Kekäläinen & Company made bodily differences and fragilities visible in their piece Hafed Collage of Differences and Fragility.
Tanz im August Party at WAU | Credit: German Palomeque
For the big finale Tanz im August invited Sasha Waltz once more with her world premiere Women – a choreographic ritual to St. Elisabeth Church as well as Marcelo Evelin's take of Japanese Butoh dance in Dança Doente. The big Closing PArty was celebrated on 2.9. once again at WAU – bringing together audience, team and artists.

The festival team would like to thank all artists, partners and the audience for this exciting and memorable 29th edition of Tanz im August. We can't wait to see you again in 2018.