Dance Me! is a dance marathon between two competing generations. The stage is an arena in which She She Pop and guests take on the role of the elderly; the others are a group of young performers. Mutual incomprehension, otherwise known as the generation gap, is brought to the stage and celebrated in a strict dance ritual. The teams take turns: those who are not on the dance floor man the microphones and make music. The two generations not only make the other group dance to its beat: they also push each other to exhaustion while chalking up a long list of insults, complaints and justifications. Or is it a show of admiration? Gratitude? — We don’t know. For the show, the two teams have practised separately and face off their opponents with their latest moves.
What is a generation anyway? Does it really exist? And if so: what do we have to say to each other? Look here, listen: this is what we have learned, this is where our wisdom lies, this is our concern, our desire, our boredom, our blind spot. This dance step, this formation tells of it, this song line sums it all up! Get up, stand up / Let me hear your body talk / Don’t stop til you get enough / Shablam for me / Da Da Da / Dance me to the end of love…! For the show, the two teams have practised separately and face off their opponents with their latest moves.
Concept/Idea: She She Pop (The cast changes every show). By and with (old): Sebastian Bark, Dan Belasco Rogers, Santiago Blaum, Johanna Freiburg, Fanni Halmburger, Lisa Lucassen, Mieke Matzke, Ilia Papatheodorou, Tatiana Saphir, Claudia Splitt, Berit Stumpf. By and with (young): Hiyam Biary, Eren M. Güvercin, Jan Nwattu, Şimal Nil Şahin, Nikolas Stäudte, Béla Arnaud Weimar-Dittmar, Zelal Yesilyurt, Sindi Zeneli.
Artistic Advise: Laia Ribera Cañénguez, Rodrigo Zorzanelli Cavalcanti, Stage: Jan Brokof, Costumes: Lea Søvsø, Costumes Assistance: Marie Göhler and Gabi Bartels, Light Design: Andreas Harder, Michael Lentner, Light Design Assistance: Vito Walter, Choreografic Advise: Jill Emerson, Sound: Xavier Perrone, Technical Director: Sven Nichterlein, Production: Valeria Germain, Production Assistence Young: Sarah Mounia Kachiri, PR, Communication: ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro, Freelance Communikation Support: Tina Ebert, Financial Administration: Aminata Oelßner, Company Management: Elke Weber.
Workshop Input: The Darvish, Jasmine Thomas, Bree Hauschild, Sven Drühl.
Special thanks to: Max Knoth, Stella Konstantinou and Peggy Mädler.
Simultaneous English Live Translation: PANTHEA / Irina Bondas (22.01. and 23.01.2022)
Audio description: Pingpong Translation & Subtitling / Martina Reuter (24.01.2022)
A Production of She She Pop in Co-Production with HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Kampnagel Hamburg, Künstler*innenhaus Mousonturm, FFT Düsseldorf, HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste. Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and by the City of Berlin – Department for Culture and Europe.
past dates:March 16/18, 2023
, BerlinFebruary 10/11/12, 2023
, FFT Forum Freies Theater
, DüsseldorfFebruary 03/04, 2023
, Hellerau-Europäisches Zentrum der Künste
, DresdenJanuary 19/20/21, 2023
, Frankfurt am MainOctober 29, 2022
, Spring Dance Utrecht
, UtrechtSeptember 01/02, 2022
, TANZtheater INTERNATIONAL
, HannoverFebruary 11/12/13, 2022
, HamburgJanuary 19/21/22/23/24, 2022
, BerlinJanuary 18, 2022, HAU, Berlin
“(…) If Dance Me makes one thing clear, it is that achievements are not for eternity. In a theatrical battle, the Berliners of She She Pop playfully tackle these facts. Even if the tempo slackens a little here and there, the one hundred minute performance is entertaining due to a healthy dose of humour. (…)Dancing with oranges between their bodies or enjoying a rave: various exercises are used in each round. In between the exercises, we are playfully provided with information about the different generations. Thus we learn that the young wallow in melancholy with their fondness for singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey, while the rebellious elderly lovingly ruin the song ‘The Wall’ by Pink Floyd. ‘Teacher, leave them kids alone’ is symbolic self-irony and exactly in the spirit of She She Pop. The established ideals of the older generation, who quickly have the audience wrapped around their little fingers with their disarming dances, are constantly undermined. We make progress, but then we fall short again. Apparently they are not sustainable. The new generation will have to reinvent the wheel again. The audience, in front of whom young and old struggle for recognition over the course of the entire performance, is thrilled.”
Moos van den Broek, www.theaterkrant.nl, 31.10.2022
“It is most powerful when the young refuse the concept of generations, when they present themselves as diversity per se. And the elders, who increasingly meet at funerals, now move to join them, gently leaning on them, but also becoming a support for some of the young bodies. But before this tips over into intergenerational sentimentality, here comes the hard truth: the elders can’t win this battle, they’re going to die first. But the success of the younger ones is also fleeting: they will eventually follow. The young man with the tattoo inspires a beautiful thought: to die with the feeling of first love that would be his dream. Who doesn’t share this wish, no matter how old?”
Andreas Berger, Tanznetz, 03.09.2022
“In “Dance Me!” the performance collective She She Pop pits two age groups against each other in the style of a TV show: Five 20-year-olds have to hold their own in various disciplines against an over-50 quintet. However, unlike TV shows such as “Little vs. Big” or “Let’s Dance”, there is nothing to win, only less to lose. Both teams run out of steam as the evening progresses (…). Those who have retained some residual energy at the end – in this case the younger ones – can watch the others die.”
Stefan Arndt, Neue Presse Hannover, 03.09.2022
“The performers themselves belong to the over-50 age group. They have invited colleagues around the age of 20, some even younger. The representatives of both age cohorts compete as two teams in a kind of game show, the prototype of which was developed by She She Pop’s parents’ generation – back when television was gaining colour. Classic elements of boxing are adopted, with blue and red boxing coats to identify the rivals, with gongs that ring in each new round, with luminous displays and a square as the fighting arena. (…) The older performers routinely demonstrate the advantages of early childhood music lessons and manually recreate the songs of their generation on accordion, electric guitar and flute. The younger ones let machines perform, at best turning the knobs. On the other hand, the younger ones’ repertoire of movements is more flexible; they adapt their rehearsed moves more smoothly to the music presented to them by their elders.”
Tom Mustroph, taz, 20.01.2022
“The music is produced live, that is one of the most charming ideas in this overall very charming and also rousing evening, that the (participants) all make music themselves. But also that it is exactly the music that is dear to their hearts (…), the (participants) thereby have very different ideas of music. (…) One notices that there are deep rifts and the evening does not glaze over them (…), it is a mutual declaration of love.”
André Mumot, Deutschlandfunkkultur, 20.01.2022
“The accompanying dance interludes demonstrate a great love of abandon and choreographic commitment, pop culture reminiscences, charming, Macarena song-inspired arm and hip swaying, trance and improvisation. Body strength and weight are danced into the floor, repetitive formations are charted to club sounds, sequences of movements by individual performers translated into group images over and over again. These are beautiful images for tensions in which individual lifestyles meet zeitgeist, socialization and economy.”
Stephanie Drees, Nachtkritik, 19.01.2022