Dance Me!

Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
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.

 

Credits

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, 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, Künstlerhaus 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.

Trailer

Dates

September 01/02, 2022, TANZtheater INTERNATIONAL, Hannover
October 29, 2022, Spring Utrecht, Utrecht

past dates:
February 11/12/13, 2022, Kampnagel, Hamburg
January 19/21/22/23/24, 2022, HAU, Berlin
January 18, 2022, HAU, Berlin

Dates

September 01/02, 2022, TANZtheater INTERNATIONAL, Hannover
October 29, 2022, Spring Utrecht, Utrecht

Press

“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

Hexploitation

Foto: Dorothea Tuch
Foto: Dorothea Tuch
Foto: Dorothea Tuch
Foto: Dorothea Tuch
Foto: Dorothea Tuch
Foto: Dorothea Tuch
Foto: Dorothea Tuch
Foto: Paula Reissig
Foto: Paul Holdsworth
Foto: Gernot Wöltjen
Foto: Gernot Wöltjen
Foto: Gernot Wöltjen
Foto: Gernot Wöltjen
Foto: Gernot Wöltjen
Foto: Gernot Wöltjen
Foto: Gernot Wöltjen
In 1962 the film Whatever Happened to Baby Jane was released into the cinemas. The psycho-horror thriller about two ageing female movie stars was a surprising hit and kicked off a whole new film genre known as the ‘psycho biddy’ or ‘hagsploitation’ movie. The film diva steps in front of the mirror in a studied pose, sees her aged face – a distorted version of how she sees herself – and lets out into a blood-curdling scream. This has become an iconic image.

This year, the members of She She Pop will all be about 50. And so, they explore society’s fear of the ‘hag’ – the old woman and witch – in their new production Hexploitation. Naturally, they will be using their ageing bodies for this purpose: to fight against the invisibility and loss of status that women suffer in society when they are no longer of childbearing age. To this day, the term ‘witch’ is used to belittle or reduce women. The witch – an anarchic, heretical woman – stands for sexuality beyond reproduction and subversive behaviour towards power structures and authorities.

In Hexploitation, She She Pop lock themselves and the audience in a mise en scène reminiscent of a low-lit, kitschy film set from which there is no escape. A live camera serves as a magnifying glass and intimate examining tool. With its help, the She She Pop team, in the guise of ageing psycho biddies, explore their own disturbing imperfections and obsessions, go in search of taboos and examine traditional witchcraft. They also discover the camera as a magic box through which they can repeatedly transcend their bodies to create liberating self-portraits, coupled with melodramatic disgust and comical lust, reminiscent of Norma Desmond’s memorable line: ‘Mr DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up!’ (Sunset Boulevard, 1950).

Credits

By and with: Sebastian Bark, Johanna Freiburg, Fanni Halmburger, Lisa Lucassen, Mieke Matzke, Ilia Papatheodorou, Berit Stumpf.

Music: Santiago Blaum, Director of Photography & Video Installation: Benjamin Krieg, Sets: Sandra Fox, Costumes: Lea Søvsø, Costumes assistance: Lili Hillerich and Mads Dinesen , Artistic and dramaturgical Advice: Laia Ribera Cañénguez, Sound Design: Manuel Horstmann, Light Design: Michael Lentner, Technical Director: Sven Nichterlein, Video Support: Daniela Garcia del Pomar, Precision Mechanics Camera Control: Thilo Gödel, Embedded Software Engineer – Camera Control Grzegorz Zajac,  Interns: Carolin Bodensteiner, Rodrigo Zorzanelli Cavalcanti, Production: Valeria Germain, PR, Communication: ehrliche arbeit–freelance office for culture, Freelance Communication Support: Tina Ebert, Financial Administration: Aminata Oelßner, Company Management: Elke Weber.

Special thanks to: Veronica Dyas (Dublin), Claudia Opitz (Basel), Eva von Redecker (Berlin), Takako Shibata (Tokyo).

A production of She She Pop in Co-production with HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Kampnagel Hamburg, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, FFT Düsseldorf, Residenz Schauspiel Leipzig, HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste, Kaserne Basel and Festival delle Colline Torinesi Turin / TPE – Teatro Piemonte Europa.

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and by the City of Berlin – Department for Culture and Europe.
www.kulturstiftung-des-bundes.de

Trailer

Dates

September 30, 2022, Festival Politik im freien Theater, Frankfurt am Main
October 01, 2022, Festival Politik im freien Theater, Frankfurt am Main
October 25/26, 2022, Festival delle Colline Torinesi, Turin

past dates:
May 26/27/28/29, 2022, HAU, Berlin
February 18/19, 2022, Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Hellerau, Dresden
February 07/08/09, 2022, Residenz Schauspiel Leipzig, Leipzig
December 10/11/12, 2021, FFT, Düsseldorf
November 26/27, 2021, Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Hellerau, Dresden CANCELLED
July 14/15/16/17, 2021, Mousonturm im Frankfurt LAB, Frankfurt am Main
June 17/18, 2021, Kaserne Basel, Basel
January 29/30, 2021, Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Hellerau, Dresden CANCELLED
November 01, 2020, Kampnagel, Hamburg
October 30/31, 2020, Kampnagel, Hamburg
September 20/22/23/24, 2020, HAU, Berlin
September 19, 2020, HAU, Berlin

Dates

September 30, 2022, Festival Politik im freien Theater, Frankfurt am Main
October 01, 2022, Festival Politik im freien Theater, Frankfurt am Main
October 25/26, 2022, Festival delle Colline Torinesi, Turin

Press

“Like fresh teenagers on a self-awareness course, four members of the She She Pop team (Johanna Freiburg, Berit Stumpf, Mieke Matzke, Sebastian Bark at the premiere) sit half-naked on stage, looking at their genitals with mirrors. The time is ripe for them to take a good look at their bodies again, which they do right from the start with a touch of delightful intimacy lacking any embarrassment. (…) (…) All is revealed. The show examines issues of getting thinner or fatter, age spots and wrinkles, spare tyres and period blood. The performers do a self-deprecating survey which, by the end, has become a fantastic She She Pop spectacle (…)
(…) In one of the best scenes, separate body parts are assembled on the video screen. For example, a head becomes a belly or Sebastian Bark crawls out from a women’s pubis like during birth. It’s a show wonderfully self-mocking images about gender, in a cinematic transformation that lands punches and teases every which way. (…)”
Simone Kaempf, nachtkritik, 19.09.2020

“Not only wrinkles and belly fat are shown, but close-ups of a woman’s pubis are projected onto the set and quickly distorted in fast succession. Body parts and faces connect while the history of witch-hunts is discussed or the performers discuss menstruation, the female body in capitalism and bodily self-image. “Is it the spotlights or am I just having a hot flash?” asks Berit Stumpf at one point. The evening, which lasts just seventy minutes, is a post-dramatic tour de force, joyous, funny and feisty. (..)(…) They question and film each other, set challenges, concoct artificial menstrual blood for the man in their team and keep raising the stakes until, in a rapturous finale, the old tropes are abolished. Loyalty to the male gaze, which reduces women who can no longer have children to witches, is renounced. (…) The effect is electrifying, and the audience ends up bewitched, bothered and bewildered.”
André Mumot, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 19.09.2020

“The fact that this neither seems pornographic or provocative, but just a natural part of intimate research, is down to the group’s tongue-in-cheek performance. Nothing about this show is uptight or exhibitionistic. (…) (…) it is a highly self-deprecating mixture of horror film and witches’ kitchen. (…) It is (…)[the] intimacy, the light-heartedness and the humour that touch you.” Barbara Behrendt, Inforadio RBB Kultur, 19.09.2020 “A body is never just a body, least of all when it is female. And this is why Hexploitation primarily consists of the performers beating their way through the tangle of male-dominated tropes of the Other, as well as myths and manipulations that classify the female body and render it available. Persistent diagnoses of irritability during the menopause, for example, which Mieke Matzke presents in a lecturer’s tone, are countered by the performers’ radically unemotional, cold view of their genital anatomy. (…) Hexploitation (…) takes you by surprise with its completely unashamed radicalism.”
Doris Meierhenrich, Berliner Zeitung, 21.09.2020

“(…) Most of the scenes are performed throughout in an open bathrobe or completely naked. This does not break any aesthetic conventions, but points to the fact that spaces and roles for women over 50 are dwindling, not least in the cultural sector. The menopause is a metaphor for invalidation. And it’s about women’s bare existence. She She Pop celebrate the attempt to break away from this age-old trope of withering femininity in a cool film-studio setting. Here, video artist Benjamin Krieg creates a striking visual layer with his own narrative: he shows close-ups of vulvas, which sometimes take up the entire theatre in a carousel of images, and morphs the faces of the performers into each other, as well as other clever cross-fades (…).”
Patrick Wildermann, Tagesspiegel, 21.09.20

“(…) The show is a potent mixture of witches’ sabbath and a discourse on exploitation, which, as is customary in She She Pop, finds its roots in the group’s radical exhibitionism, but almost immediately spills over into a comprehensive structural analysis that spans decades. In the witches’ cauldron, we find the pathologised woman of around fifty; medical research, which orients its drugs on men’s organisms; an armada of misogynistic poets and thinkers (such as Rainer Maria Rilke and “The Faded One”) alongside many other wicked things, combined with unsparing close-ups of fleshy folds, drooping breasts and the members’ thinning hair. Those who scream “authenticity” here must also scream “ironic twist”, because the much-maligned concept of authenticity is, as always in She She Pop’s work, skilfully undermined in this lecture-performance that combines text, music (Santiago Blaum), video (Benjamin Krieg) and outlandish costumes (Lea Søvsø).”
Dorte Lena Eilers, Theater der Zeit, 1/2021

“(…) She She Pop declares war on the patriarchs of this world and then belt out Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful”, in which being “young” and “beautiful” happen not to be requirements for a worthwhile life. Now, if not sooner, it is clear that the group understands female issues without falling into heavy-handed activism. Because this is not a moralising show. It considers its subject realistically in the context of culture and pop-culture, initiating a self-healing process with its open display of bodies and self-doubt, of which many fashionably feminist theatre professionals can only dream.”
Anna Fastabend, Theater heute, Oktober 2020

Workshop International Summer Camp Academy 2021 (Warsaw)

The Summer Camp Academy is organized in collaboration with Komuna/Warszawa, La Comedie de Clermont Ferrand and the Epidaurus Festival in Athens as part of Creative Europe’s project “In Search of a Home – Ithaca”.

Credits

This She She Pop Workshop was funded by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of “NEUSTART KULTUR.”

Dates


past dates:
July 01-03, 2021, Nowy Teatr, Warschau

Canon

Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Dorothea Tuch
Foto: Dorothea Tuch
Foto: Dorothea Tuch
Foto: Dorothea Tuch
Foto: Dorothea Tuch
Foto: Dorothea Tuch

She She Pop will create a canon of moments from the audience’s perspective – an unlimited list of unmissable moments from the memories of those present. Of all the events we have seen on stage, which ones do we not want to forget? Which ones do we have to talk about? What was so fascinating and sublime, or painful or plausible, liberating or amazing that we need to remember it?

Canon is both a ritual and a revue. And it is a collective historiography, especially for those productions that are outside the dramatic canon, of which nothing seems to remain after their performance except for the memories of those involved in their choreography, performance or happenings. 

The list that we will create will represent a ‘Canon from below’ with no censorship whatsoever. May your spirit be blown in any direction. Any suggestion that attests to a charismatic event is valid. Canon will work with every means of transience produced by these art forms themselves. The evening ranges from simple re-telling to an attempted reenactment. How do bodies, gestures, organisms, space, objects, architecture and installations, rhythm, duration, voices, language, sound and music survive? In the memories of those who have experienced them, in their re-enactment. The vagueness and distortion of memory is just as essential here as the joy of the unforgotten moment.

Canon will be developed by She She Pop and other artists: selected guests from the independent arts scene have been invited to participate in this collective ritual of remembering. But audience members who happen to be present at the show are invited to participate too by writing down their own memories of special moments in theatre. Thus, Canon will develop into a new and spontaneous community performance every evening. The relationship between mutual obligation and commitment between stage and audience, as is often found in contemporary theatre forms, is mirrored, celebrated and used in Canon. The community evolves only through the invocation of a common Canon. In the moment of being represented, an acute experience combines with the formation of stories and history, the intention of distortion for one’s own purposes – resulting in the fiction of history. In the theatre, a “memory space” emerges from the recollections of those present and from the collective anticipation of the new.

Credits

By and with: Sebastian Bark, Johanna Freiburg, Fanni Halmburger, Lisa Lucassen, Mieke Matzke, Ilia Papatheodorou, Berit Stumpf and guest performance with a changing cast.

Guest performance Berlin with a changing cast: Antonia Baehr, Daniel Belasco Rogers, Jean Chaize, Martin Clausen, Brigitte Cuvelier, Sean Patten, Tatiana Saphir, Leicy Valenzuela, Zelal Yesilyurt.
Guest performance Frankfurt: Irene Klein, Joana Tischkau, Leander Ripchinsky.
Guest performance Munich: Sybille Canonica, Maxwell McCarthy, Lavinia Nowak.

Costumes and props: Lea Søvsø. Light Design: Michael Lentner. Sound Design: Jeff McGrory. Sets: Sandra Fox. Choreographies: remembered and reinterpreted by Constanza Macras. Artistic Advice: Valeria Germain, Alisa Tretau, Laia Ribera. Support Costumes: Jana Donis. Support Choreography: Miki Shoji. Trainee: Magdalena Hofmann, Natasha Borenko. Technical Director: Sven Nichterlein. Production: Anne Brammen. PR, Communication: ehrliche arbeit – freelance office for culture. Freelance Communication Support: Tina Ebert. Financial Administration: Aminata Oelßner. Company Management: Elke Weber.

A production of She She Pop in Co-production with HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Kampnagel Hamburg, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, FFT Düsseldorf and Münchner Kammerspiele.

Funded by the City of Berlin – Department for Culture and Europe and Hauptstadtkulturfonds.

Trailer

Dates

October 07/08/09, 2022, Kampnagel, Hamburg

past dates:
December 17/18/19/, 2020, FFT, Düsseldorf CANCELLED
November 06/07, 2020, Theater Rampe, Stuttgart CANCELLED
April 23/24/25/, 2020, FFT, Düsseldorf POSTPONED
March 12/13/14/, 2020, HAU, Berlin CANCELLED
February 07/08/09, 2020, Münchner Kammerspiele, München
January 23/24/25, 2020, Mousonturm, Frankfurt am Main
November 23/24/25/26, 2019, HAU, Berlin
November 22, 2019, HAU, Berlin

Dates

October 07/08/09, 2022, Kampnagel, Hamburg

Press

(…) The canon in Kanon is essentially a show of non-dramatic, non-representational stage works. Moments Christoph Schlingensief, Johann Kresnik, Pina Bausch, William Forsythe (dance features a great deal, adapted with choreographic support by Constanza Macras) are summoned. Forced Entertainment and other British groups are admired, along with Susanne Kennedy’s “Selbstmord-Schwestern” and Milo Rau’s “Die Wiederholung.” Lea Søvsø’s fancy costumes pay homage to pop-like allusions to “patron saints of action art” – from Joseph Beuys to Valie Export and Yves Klein. (…)
The evening has a sentimental charm. She She Pop (in the premiere: Sebastian Bark, Johanna Freiburg and Ilia Papatheodorou) and guests (in the premiere: Brigitte Cuvelier, Sean Patten, Leicy Valenzuela, Zelal Yesilyurt) describe their personal “unforgettable” theatre moments as they happened while the other perfomers in the background try out an emphatically amateurish visualisation of the moment using scant costumes and handicraft utensils. Soon it takes on the atmosphere of Robert Lembke’s “Was bin Ich”, as you secretly puzzle (and congratulate yourself if you quickly recognise one or other of the productions). (…)
In this episode, Ilia Papatheodorou recalls her first encounter with American hardcore performer Ann Liv Young in “Cinderella” in January 2011. (…) Now, eight years later, Papatheodorou re-enacts the situation, scrabbling about in the audience, indulging in moments of Young-like forcefulness. Meanwhile Sean Patten (who usually works for the Gob Squad collective) has to urinate in a bucket. Young actually craps at this point, but they didn’t manage to reproduce with one hundred per cent faithfulness. Papatheodorou reflects on the system of submission in Ann Liv Young’s theatre: “She shoved us under her artistic yoke.” Wonderfully put.
Christian Rakow, Nachtkritik, 27.10.17

It is a family album in which She She Pop and their followers flip through. As cosy as a pub quiz for post-dramatic theatre, which is currently being honoured by theatre academic Hans-Thies with a festival at the HAU. The group’s recognisable focus is on the warm heart of the performative, which, in its exposure of material and construction, makers and the made, often provides more potential for identification than the fluid representational techniques of classical drama.
Janis El-Bira, Berliner Zeitung, 23.11. 2019 

The evening gets exciting when the spectators are invited to tell each other their own “goose-bump moments” of theatre. The memories told on stage are almost always about moments when the fourth wall between the audience and the stage disappeared or was blown away – literally, during a performance in Avignon that went down in a thunderstorm, or in the story of Sebastian Bark, who remembers a performance of Jerome Bell’s “The Show Must Go On.” (…) Against national identity, or against a national educational canon. She She Pop (…) focuses (…) on sharing individual memories. On the way home I can’t get the question of my own personal theatre canon out of my head. I have become part of a collective process called “post-dramatic theatre”.
Gerd Brendel, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 23.11.19

This review of individual experiences is undisputedly entertaining. The evening is – to borrow a word with which Lehmann described the multiple presence of post-dramatic theatre – “colourful.” Patrick Wildermann, Tagesspiegel, 24.11.19 The evening could also be called “Introduction to She She Pop’s methods” because it shows what a experiment in a theatrical arrangement can look like on stage. The focus is not on an overarching directorial concept, but on the process itself. (…) The questions it raises about the ephemeral nature of theatre and the associated difficulty of how to convey this are exciting and topical. In any case, the show makes you curious about some past theatre events. It’s just a pity we’ll never see them (again). Nora Auerbach, Die deutsche Bühne, 25.11.19 This canon is an entertaining retrospective of the past three decades and a revealing evening about theatre history (…)
Das Kulturblog, 25.11.19

It’s a show consisting of declarations of love, made decisively as a collective. (…) in fact, many great things happen over the space of two hours, during which the most successful German-language performer’s collective celebrates the power of the performing arts. Because the (…) actors (…) not only use strange props, but also leave plenty of room for exaggeration, grotesqueness and drama when re-enacting the scenes they remember. And at the bottom of it all is the question: why. (…) It is particularly fortunate for the Frankfurt version that Irene Klein, a dancer who worked with the Frankfurt Ballet for 20 years, is also on stage. Because Constanze Macras (…) has worked with She She Pop on their memories of choreography, including a very funny recollection of a Pina Bausch move. She has also recreated a fast-paced, demanding sequence from “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated” for non-dancers. And it is funny in a particularly touching way when, between slightly crooked poses, Klein’s body demonstrates that he remembers all these movements – just as we remember our best theatre moments. A delightful collective experience (…).
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 25.01.20

In Canon, She She Pop attempt the impossible: to repeat the live moment of sometimes decades-old productions and to briefly outwit the ephemeral, which is so firmly woven into the DNA of the theater, for the sake of magic. This joint journey through time, space and feelings is a great, blissful declaration of love for the magic of theater.
Christian Lutz, Süddeutsche Zeitung
, 10.02.20