National Contests

Tanztreffen der Jugend – Forum 2015

The Tanztreffen der Jugend’s Forum is aimed at dancers, dance educators and choreographers as well as at experienced theatre makers. It also features a closed programme for students. The Forum is divided into the sections Practice, Dialogue and Focus. The workshops in the Practice section will demonstrate various artistic strategies for developing movement material, providing practice-oriented inspiration for the further development of participants’ own work. Dialogue includes all performance discussions which will take place on the following day. In this context, the Focus on “Let’s talk about dance” will provide the discursive foundation for a discussion about the possibility and impossibility of verbalizing aspects of dance. Attendance at the performances presented by the Theatertreffen der Jugend is an essential element of the Forum, which will be partly held in English.

The Forum was conceived and will be headed by Martina Kessel.
Martina Kessel studied dance education at the Academies of Rotterdam and Essen and followed this with a degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Islamic Studies and Education from the University of Cologne. She worked as a research associate at the Universities of Göttingen and Cologne. From 2003 to 2013, she was project manager of “Take-off: Junger Tanz” at tanzhaus NRW, where she established the department “Dance for young audiences”. Currently, she is project manager of the “ChanceTanz”-programme, a project of the federal association Tanz in Schulen e.V. (Dance in schools) which operates within the framework of “Kultur macht stark. Bündnisse für Bildung”, a programme of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research.


This year’s Practice-workshops will examine the generation of movement material. How can we put creative processes in motion, leading to new and experimental forms based on one’s own movements, not only in young people, but also in professional and adult amateur dancers? And how can we help young dancers in particular to gain the confidence in their own physical powers of performance which is the foundation of their stage presence and their “being there” on stage? In their workshop, David Hernandez and Michel Debrulle choose rhythm as the prime engine for developing movement, and give insights into selected concepts of rhythm and their transformation into movement. Steve Kirkham will introduce us to the methods of movement generation developed by the British company Frantic Assembly. He also focuses on ways of developing stage presence and demonstrates practice-oriented techniques.

Practice I

Rhythm and Move
Part 1: SAT 26.09.2015, 09:30 – 12:00
Part 2: SUN 27.09.2015, 09:30 – 12:00
Part 3: SUN 27.09.2015, 13:30 – 16:00
Part 4: MON 28.09.2015, 09:30 – 12:00
Venue: Uferstudios Berlin Wedding

This joint work of David Hernandez and Michel Debrulle focuses on ways to transform concepts of rhythm into physical movement. The workshop will begin by giving an insight into the diverse rhythmical structures of various cultural origins. African, Afro-Cuban, Indian and contemporary rhythm structures will be demonstrated and, in the next step, used as the starting point for developing movement as well as contributing to the elaboration of new forms of movement. The architecture of the rhythmic structures determines the moving composition of the body, giving it impulse and form. By internalizing both the rhythms and the ability to experiment with them with increasing freedom, by playfully varying both their tempo and their space, the participants will experience new and surprising moments of movement. Together, David Hernandez and Michel Debrulle teach at the Belgian institute P.A.R.T.S., among others, and they are renowned for their lively teaching methods.

David Hernandez (BE/US) studied studio music, jazz and opera in Miami before training as a dancer at the New World School of the Arts. He moved to New York to train with the Trisha Brown Dance Company, among others. In 1993, he came to Europe with Meg Stuart, where he supported the establishment of Damaged Goods, working a performer and assistant. He was responsible for the company’s training classes for five years. David has been working as a choreographer, dancer, composer, teacher and dramaturg for and with artists like Brice Leroux (France), Labor Gras (Berlin), Rebecca Murgi (Italy), Anouk van Dijk (Amsterdam/Melbourne ) and Rosas (Brussels). Together with Meg Stuart & Christine de Smet, he developed the improvisation project “Crash Landing” (1996-1999), which traveled to Vienna, Paris, London, Moscow and other cities. Further improvisation projects were created for festivals like Klapstuk, Springdance and Sum of the P.A.R.T.S. He was featured as a dancer in improvisation projects with artists like Katie Duck, Steve Paxton, Vera Mantero, Meg Stuart and others. David has been choreographing his own work since the 1990s. Since 2009, he has been operating under the company name DH+ and in 2015, developed the production “Hullabaloo”, a sextet with live music, together with Michel Debrulle. David Hernandez is in international demand as a teacher and has been teaching for ten years, at P.A.R.T.S., among others. He was Head of the Performance Education Programme (PEP) at STUK in Leuven.

Percussionist Michel Debrulle (BE) trained at the I.A.C.P. in Paris and the Conservatoire Royal de Liège, where he studied improvisation and jazz amongst other subjects. At the Creative Music Studio in the US, he took master classes with Trilok Gurtu (India), Nava Vasconcellos (Brazil) and Amadu Jarre (Sierra Leone). A scholarship from the S.P.E.S. Foundation enabled him to travel to India and Cuba, where he expanded his musical skills. Michel travels through Europe, the US, Canada and Morocco as a musician and teacher. He performs with various musical ensembles such as Trio Bravo, La Grande Formation, Tous Dehors Big Band, Trio Grande or Rêve d’ Eléphant. In addition, he has played on numerous CD recordings. As a musician, he often contributes to theatre and dance performances and teaches rhythm classes and workshops at P.A.R.T.S. (Brussels), the conservatory in Liège (drama department), Rosas (Brussels) etc. In his educational work, he concentrates on the organic understanding and the internalization of rhythm.

Practice II

Devising process – Frantic Assembly
Part 1: MON 28.09.2015, 13:30 – 16:00
Part 2: TUE 29.09.2015, 09:30 – 12:00
Part 3: TUE 29.09.2015, 13:30 – 16:00
Part 4: WED 30.09.2015, 09:30 – 12:00
Venue: Uferstudios Berlin Wedding

What methods can we use to motivate young dancers, professionals, theatre makers and amateurs to create varied movement material? What processes should we set in motion to develop and strengthen the participants’ confidence in their own ability to perform on stage? These and other questions will be dealt with in a two-day workshop led by Steve Kirkham, who will be teaching methods developed by Frantic Assembly.

Frantic Assembly is an internationally renowned theatre company based in Great Britain. They specialize on working with young and new audiences. Furthermore, Frantic Assembly regularly create dance productions with male youths as part of their “Ignition”-project. For these shows and for Frantic Assembly’s various cross-genre devised productions, the company developed methods that proved helpful in developing or strengthening creative potential and stage presence in professional performers, amateurs, students and educators.
The workshop will offer a practice-oriented insight into methods for developing creative processes and provides participants with an opportunity to return to their own fields of practice with a wealth of new techniques.

Steve Kirkham (UK) has been working with Frantic Assembly since 1998. He has choreographed productions and led numerous workshops for teenagers and young adults. In this context, he has recently been teaching at The Place, Trinity Laban and Belgrade Coventry, among others. He is currently working on Frantic Assembly’s production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” as Associate Movement Director. As a founding member of the Featherstonehaughs, he has been a dancer for that company for 11 years. He also performed with DV8 and danced various parts in productions by Matthew Bourne.


Let’s talk about dance
SAT 26.09.2015, 14:30 – 16:00
Venue: Upper Foyer Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Talking about the experience of watching contemporary dance can often pose challenges. Is it possible at all to talk about something of a physical nature, something that often develops without following a written or even verbally expressed logic? What could be the basis for a verbal description and analysis of dance?

Representatives from the fields of dance studies and dance journalism will be joined by other experts to discuss the possibilities of verbalizing dance. This discussion will also give impulses to the professional exchange of the performance discussions.


Performance discussions
SAT 26.09. to THU 01.10.2015, 17:30 – 18:30, FRI 02.10.2015, 10:30 –11:30
With Jo Parkes

Every day, there will be a discussion of the aesthetic, topical and formal aspects of the performances presented the night before. The discussion will be joined by members of the jury, the production’s choreographers and directors as well as interested Forum-participants.

Jo Parkes (D/UK) is a dance and video artist. As Mobile Dance, she has been heading innovative and participatory dance projects with professional and non-professional performers in international frameworks for the past 16 years. As a “documentary dance maker”, her projects have combined dance and story-telling. One of Mobile Dance’s goals is to introduce people to contemporary dance who would normally not come into contact with this form of dance. Jo Parkes has realized many projects with schools, regularly provides training courses for artists and teachers and is in international demand as a workshop leader. From 2007 to 2011, she was in charge of quality management and facilitation for TanzZeit – Zeit für Tanz in Schulen, where she supervised 40 dance artists in more than 50 Berlin school-classes. Since 2014, Mobile Dance has been developing a programme for refugee shelters, partly in partnership with Uferstudios as part of the Berlin Mondiale project.
In 1995, Jo Parkes obtained a Fulbright Scholarship to complete her Master’s Degree in Choreography at the University of California in Los Angeles. She also graduated from Oxford University with a First Class Degree in English and German. In 2009, her project “Postcards from Berlin” won the Kinder zum Olymp-Award. In 2002, she won the Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award.

Introduction to the performance discussions
All participants of the performance discussions are cordially invited to attend an event that will introduce the methods employed at these discussions.
Date: SAT 26.09. 17:00 – 17:30
Venue: Rehearsal stage Haus der Berliner Festspiele