tv Arts.21 - Meet the artist Choreographer Sasha Waltz Deutsche Welle September 18, 2018 8:30am-9:01am CEST
well let's stick in this big thing up and sexual frustration. i still have to get used to these robot noises exploring new frontiers in sex and love three point zero. september twenty fifth. has liberated contemporary dance by crossing boundaries germany's renowned choreographer is in constant search of new challenges and collaboration is with other artists. for twenty five years she's led her company and guests on journeys into the unknown. and this is the
scottish capital for me the strength of dance lies in the freedom of its language but if i wanted to work in a way that was more linear i would just work on fisa to get back. in the early one nine hundred ninety s. left new york for a newly reunified berlin since then has had one success after the other we sat down with the energetic choreographer to talk about her rise from the french to major opera houses and her next job as co artistic director of the berlin state ballet.
so as you started your company twenty five years ago with your hands under it could you ever have imagined the international success you've had since not africa as a nonsense time noises and after in one thousand nine hundred three after the fall of the berlin wall and shortly after unification the central district of measure was a place of seemingly endless opportunities. we any opened of anyone the safin sailor three years later in one thousand nine hundred six the year before that we were like nomads wandering from one industrial space to the next and each time we started up a nice cheerio as it isn't and far from the outset we turned internationally we toured the us and our second or third year we traveled to india and toured a lot in europe pealing or. so right from the start travelling was part of our identity it was our aspiration and our concept of those. scenes up on our also selfish then nestles at us that we wanted to build bridges with our art
and take it to different audiences to countries and cultures that also inspire our work. for the year in so in that respect our life today isn't all that different than it was twenty five years ago. isn't the only one gets. us us. was it's our. safin zillah emitter once hosted meetings of left wing revolutionaries later it was used by the nazis then it was a fear workshop with its dilapidated charm and checkered history it was the perfect setting for such of arts as breakthrough production. and offbeat provocative production. part of
a trilogy on the uncertainties of domestic life the company research from months in communist era housing complexes. initially rush of arts danced along with her ensemble but she was always striving for new forms of expression and cooperation with other artists for her dance along with never enough. money that i know. ten seven i began downs lessons with one teacher i started taking classes from the age of five and the teacher i was with the age of twelve had studied under mary whitman so i have a very very deep connection to german expressionist dance kind i just got up but it didn't really influence my decision to start dancing professionally because at the time i wanted to pursue a career in the visual arts. it was only through my discovery of post modern dance
and contact improvisation and all of these consciousness techniques that i developed an interest in studying don't. this and. intricate consisted in the life you generally don't produce strictly narrative pieces it's not dance theatre which some critics hold against you they say your work is to associate ivar serial that. are you bothered by such criticism i get is and a critic. is coming because i need to be honest i can't remember reading such reviews i normally i don't read reviews anyway. i say get on there if ariel dimension that is accessed through association is very important to me and in our communication with the audience we call them bus i live in that's purely one dimensional where you're saying just one thing and everyone understands the same thing i find that boring. it. it's
a. it has to be something that speaks to each individual in a unique way. that touches something deep down in each person and the audience. but it has to be entirely free. of us with cancer eyes that's when the work becomes profound as it does when it touches on the mystery and science course. and that doesn't happen if you're simply telling a linear story. involves developed one of the most significant productions kerber during her five year stint as courtis to director of berlin's shall be in a theater it's an exploration of anatomy that delves into every aspect of the human body. time and again the company conjures images that sear themselves into the viewer's memory like a nightmare. at the same time vult isn't afraid of venturing into more abstract territory in her piece for hour and
she takes dance back to its origins in ceremonial rituals. while her early works were wild her later choreography is still more crafted for our tour she transforms dancers into animalistic creatures and explore social issues like power and helplessness freedom and control. your mother was a gallery astin your father an architect so you may have inherited your talent for strong visuals from the one side but space has also always played a key role in your work it's very central. what do you look for in a space could you imagine staging a production for example at the building site of berlin's new international airport through coffin solution. you are. asked building sites are certainly and trading spaces and we've often rehearsed a building site the jewish museum had only just been completed it was still empty.
well the collection hadn't yet been installed and the boys have usually we perform at that intermediary moment before the space assumes the function it was designed for so before the exhibit moves then in an op ed it's exciting because it's really a moment that breathes life into a space it's a real integration. by that i came really clear to me with our work for the lens noiselessly on the how to off the space had this incredible energy that had been abandoned for so long and then undergone twelve years of reconstruction. on the spot so it was intriguing for me to envision what it would become and to awaken actually to life a dance past as i'm deal but what does tense other's thoughts on thoughts only as a device be for example we focused on the cult of the dead in a room that would display the past of queen after t.t. it will cause the noise in the same house as a large injection collection and that's why i did a lot of research on ancient egypt. if i get on so it also says
inspiration not just the building in the architecture such as the site in its entirety that shows me how to put a space and motion that all done in the vehicles at the me i am twenty thirteen the company was invited to kolkata then calcutta to cap year of cultural exchange between india and germany off the production was staged in the courtyard in wings of an old private palace dating from colonial times. such about's collaborated on a project with the indian choreographer apartment each a tour and her ensemble i. eat. it and sons it was out of the plan. checked in kolkata was very unusual it was an
old palace so naturally a different way of telling stories emerged because the rooms had simply been sealed off and there was this life that had taken place previously as have time it stood still like a fairy tale when everyone's fallen into a deep sleep and time goes on and the pictures in the malls fade to black and dust settles everywhere on to papers on the bed it was really a very interesting experience. having noise all across europe without a record of calling to a new genre the choreographic opera it incorporates elements of contemporary dance into operatic stage productions but it treats all parts as equals as like i said music the dancers the singers in all i'm bracing art form what appeals to you about working on the stages of major opera houses and institutions. first in your thoughts. for misfires and then when. that was a great experience for me to be able to choreograph a body of people as
a whole i and then of course incorporate carpark. so it's not about the dancers and a choir and some of us anymore but about the group that now i had in mind comes and becomes an entity and you can't really identify who is doing what and i extended that idea and began working with orchestras so that they also start moving start dancing so that the orchestra would also become one body once you can achieve an amazing dynamic in a room where sound literally moves. then clung this. is the the i am.
many of the world's major opera houses were now open to her parents tokyo and berlin. she would oversee the entire stage production managing to transform even the unwieldy medium of opera and give it her own signature. that. after all you said you often look for female protagonists in opera to do was one of those how did you deal with her character who was on the difficult issues usually condemned as the barbaric child murderer. in the. production coincided with the case of a mother here in germany who was on trial for murdering her children what approach did you take for the piece medea. if in this i think there's no bond. i think she's a very interesting character but she's also very ambivalent i wanted to take time to think about her intensively without judging. just imagine at what point as
a woman capable of killing her children what extreme pain or despair do you have to experience to reach that point as a. so way since high point of how. i found it very difficult to put myself in that position and direct the production. of course i had to imagine it and be part of it which at times was unbearable. there's heaps of it was really hard to give myself over to it. clients a bit. there is one of the best known characters in greek mythology she famously helped jason and the argonauts retrieve the golden fleece jason binn married her only to later leaves. her for another woman the daughter of the king
crayon medea took revenge by killing crayon his daughter and her own two children to. the air. in this production the children of the shovels and her husband york in zandi were part of the cast further intensifying the emotions felt by their mother. who became necessary for the children it was like playing it was a great experience for them they learned all the songs and the wonderful thing about it is that it is a lot like playing we play dead and then we'll get up again. but again unlike with your children we're often with you during productions and while traveling or on tour and the dancers were with you to. get up by it was like one big family for you and also for me was it done with a. babysitter and the tourist i always had babysitters with me. but they did
spend a lot of time with the dancers during rehearsals that. made intense and and when they were dancing too they were just part of the cost they didn't get any special supervision oil on and i always tried to have them with me. i never forced them to come so i always asked if that's what they wanted one but i just wouldn't see enough of the children otherwise because we spent a lot of time working and at the theaters and were often out of the evening. out of obviously we've tried to strike a balance. but fortunately both the children loved dancing and singing and going to the theatre and playing theatre. so it seems that passion has been passed on to them. he said like shaft but. you invested a lot of time in promoting young talent start you have the children's dance company
. parent company you've also been involved in dance in schools how important is that to you. the this this is. yeah i was as is. my interest in children stance actually came with my first child last night . asked me last year all i got on a workshop at a school and it grew from there and that's what the love either and they couldn't have i found it more and more interesting as i realized how important our ancestors particularly for children approaching puberty and then a couple interacting with other people's bodies with their own bodies their own self-image stuff because you're very much confronted with yourself and as process because you're working in a group to lance if you're single and a lot about group dynamics you get a nice spatial awareness how do i move within a room how do i stand in relation to somebody else i'm at home secondly
a great help in everyday life it's not that everyone needs to become a dancer it's about learning to live in your own body to feel your body and to feel at home in your body. as a whole that. if you've ever read the. last year you yourself danced again here at the ready as is tim for the project sooner and. do you mr instinct would you like to do it more often. but. i love dancing on stage but i can't do both if i'm choreographing a big piece i can't be on stage myself as well that's just the way it is but if i can dance for special projects now and then i'm happy. for booking your play. one of those special projects superman or listen it offers dancers and artists from various parts of the world scope to interact and explore current political and
social issues through art an opportunity for azhar shovels to explore and improvise to. as if the mystic at the root is an easy but you know passing on a growing number of pieces to outside companies including some abroad where your dancers oversee the rehearsals and if there is this an opportunity to release the ensemble to work independently of you a line are by the book and. yes this is a new branch of my work you could say. i think it's good for experienced dancers to pass on what they know and that these compositions continue to live on and the younger generation feel it and said but many dancers who pass on what's continue to
dance themselves i think it's good to give others the opportunity to be involved but it becomes like a whole new production you think you just passing something on but that's not actually the case thank goodness i'm going to work out that it's our county is marginalise i usually do a workshop of the dancers where i go through the entire piece as it's intended with all the moves so that i know what it's all about when i can squeeze in it intends and that's not just that i can't do that a lot but it's exciting to pass something on and watch it take on a new life on the scene it is that noise laden called. in the spring of this year that half of the live veil in lisbon performs us about this piece of content. the dancer spent five weeks rehearsing the actual bouts then turned up to add the finishing touches. to of her experience dancers had overseen all the rehearsals. from israel. and cloudier show others from portugal so
it was their job to help the dancers find their own style rather than just copying certain moves suddenly the two were working as equals alongside their longstanding boss i think it's working relation of many years and the personal relation also you know so. yeah. i think in that case gives a lot of trust like she gave her responsibility to hand over the piece and she gives a trust and also we have been working with them for five weeks so we can actually we know them better than her in this situation so it's a it's a good thing that to still stay. in communication with each other for certain things i mean then something she comes and she wants to bring it from the outside more her own home owner sensations and smell and to put something on top of what we brought but it's it's a long term collaboration so we are communicating in
a very natural way that truly are my so i still see things differently sometimes and i pass on the specific details that are important to me and then kind of else i know that the dancers i've chosen a very precise and that i can trust them and so far it's worked very well touch wood and there's been no problems if i enjoy being able to let go and step back a bit. the piece takes on a life of a time and it's not a fixed creation rose and moves away from me back. when yeah. let's talk about your new production exodus which you did for the twenty fifth anniversary of your dance company. exit those big cities from the greek both in the sense of departure and escape what led you to this idea. i was big and it was this idea of fleeing from more scaping from something finding
our way out that obviously we associated on the one hand with the bible and the exodus of the israel lights from egypt. but when you're in greece for example you see it written in every subway station many clubs and bars have adopted the name exodus. that fascinated me and that's often. on the one hand. you have this idea of a group that's running away their corporate fleet leaving one place and moving somewhere else in. it on this and i gather this process that takes place more in the mind. as often cup as we all step out of your body into another dimension and to this techno trance or ecstasy taking off comes up and all that techno x. task that's gets very much about a group experience it includes going to new and past the point of exhaustion with
the audience. and so that's like a journey to. a journey that last two and a half hours involving captivity then finding a way out and escaping it raises questions such as what we're fleeing from and where to exodus is intense and heavy going and for now at least it will be the last production that slash about stages with her company. she will remain the official director but she will leave the body as this dame it will continue as a production and performance venue for the company but she now has a new position she'll become the first woman to head up the highly traditional berlin state ballet. recitals nandan in twenty nineteen you'll take over as artistic director of the berlin state pele alongside your highness ermine are you excited maybe a bit apprehensive. now there's no cause that also wrong to start taking on the state ballet is certainly
a major challenge so i've been preparing for it for two and a half or nearly three years i think. it's a very long process and yes i want to actually start a job until two thousand and nineteen common. there were initially huge protests over the decision to appoint a contemporary choreographer to co-direct estate ballet the traditional dancers were not happy with that of art had actually worked with the state ballet before writing a solo piece for its former artistic director of light in their mother called to great acclaim. these angry protests have now seen just. one thing is clear taking over the state well a rush of angst is biggest breakthrough today and a huge challenge. it's obvious for ten times that all if i think it's a great opportunity for dance in general to explore these extreme positions this class or upper lip look it's bizarre on the one hand to really preserve classical ballet and the whole history and to stage classical productions that are very high
level because one of the island's ited i don't have a hand to have contemporary choreographies with a contemporary language with all that darius he actually placed in all the different ways of using the body. again and so creation ensemble that is capable of working with both these extremists. is extremely it's definitely a fascinating project. the other thing. into the sunspot act. is written gather enough from i'd like to end by asking you what comes to mind when i say. borders. do you have also the challenges we face today yet you know your reality to be as free as children now again. our brains. really since learning so quickly i don't know ninety
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