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selfportrait24 (ongoing work)

Twenty-four dancers are sitting in chairs on either side of a white square on the stage: the audience settles, and the piece begins. One by one, they take turns presenting themselves with short solos—some detailed, others physically impressive, and many inducing uncontrollable laughter. The element of improvisation is tangible and exciting, and the audience is curious to read the text scrolling at the bottom of the stage that announces the name, birth date, and country of origin for each dancer: South Korea, Germany, Columbia, Italy, England, Turkey, Canada, Brazil, China, Norway, Spain, USA, Japan, Cuba, Puerto Rico…

Although the piece seems at first glance to be about the individuals, the power of the work lies in the way the group works together to create the through-line of the entire piece. Since the the order of the solos is not prepared beforehand each dancer is responsible to feel what the piece needs as a whole before they begin their solo.  The current solo is therefore always influenced by the context of what came before, and being at the beginning or the ending holds the special responsibility of opening or closing the performance

The inspiration for the piece came from an audition. In auditions you often have to present yourselves one by one towards the end. In that particular audition we all did 2 minutes solos one by one, and I remember being fascinated by seeing each dancer so intimately and vulnerable—someone who had dedicated nearly their whole life to study and practice movement - all coming together in those short moments.

In the piece that I created from this idea, the whole evening is in silence to highlight the musicality and communicative power of bare movement as human expression. The minimal and rather cold setting gives the feeling of an interview, waiting room, audition, visa application—any application process where you have to present yourself.  However, due to the way the piece is prepared with intensive workshops and group work beforehand,  the overwhelming sense of the work is warm and deeply moving. Its power lies in the way it shares and celebrates the diversity, connection, and community of the participants.

*some descriptions from an interview in Thalo Arts Magazine – April 8, 2018 by Alena Giesche

Concept and Direction:  Marcela Giesche


Volume 1. March 28 & 29, 2014 (DOCK 11, Berlin)

Kiani del Valle Pinero, Bar Altshuler, Ben Block, Shiori Tada, Arianna Rodeghiero, Meltem Nil, Sunniva Vikør Egenes, Leyla Postalcıoğlu, Katharina Schwärzer, Jonas Büchler, Sonya Levin, Rosabel Huguet, Sebastian Collado, Valentina Migliorati, Ofir Najary, Annapaola Leso, Sinja Maucher, Andrea Krohn, Isabel Cuesta Camacho, Ilana Reynolds, Winnie Ho, Jadi Carboni, Moo Kim, Felix Ariel Castillo, Shin Jung Park

Volume 2.  15 & 16 May, 2015 (Lake Studios Berlin)

Gali Kinkulkin, Kei Minoura, Kazuma Glen Motomura, Anni Latunen, Eve Kolinski, Paula Monticenos, Justyna Kalbarcyzk, Danilo Andres, Bridie Gane, Kora Radella, Ellinor Lyungkvist, Andre Soares, Karen Harvey, Yotam Ariel Calo'Livne, Karina Suarez Bosche, Kareth Schaeffer, Amir Moll, Kata Kovacs, Moo Kim, Elena Dragonetti, Zwoisy Maers Clarke, Verena Sepp, Michael Shapira, Monica Gentile, Angela Munoz

Volume 3. 20. & 21. May, 2016 (Lake Studios Berlin)

Gali Kinkulkin, Antoine Ragot (Saturday), Kira Kirsch (Friday), Monica Gentile, Kazuma Glen Motomura, Clare Schweitzer, Vasanthi Argouin, Tina Benko, Lexy Panetta, Peter Waschinsky (Friday) Luisa Scholz, Zuzana Stütz, Jürgen Kuhne, Lucilla Rudolph, Dagmar Spain, Thomas Der See, Sophie Ketteniß, Jana Gehrke, Nina Dohle, Simone Ulrich Bochmann, Mathilde Jesse, Michael Jesse, Katharina Jesse, Sarah Menger, Isabella Drischel

Production:  Lake Studios Berlin, DOCK 11 Berlin

Volume 4. May 2019, Budapest Dance Academy Students, Trafo Theater

Volume 5. selfportrait24: Ōtepoti - Dunedin, 2024 currently in creation process as the Caroline Plummer Fellow in Community Dance, University of Otago.

VIDEO Volume. 1:

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