Isabelle Schad: Reflection (2019) – festival opening

The website of choreographer Isabelle Schad, who was honoured for her outstanding artistic development in contemporary dance as part of the German Dance Award in 2019, introduces her work by saying that it »focuses on the materiality and processuality of the body and on its possibility to be experienced. At exactly this intersection, she deals with the relationship between body, choreography and (re)presentation and issues of community building and political engagement«. This programme note could hardly summarise more accurately the artistic commitment of this choreographer, who has stripped contemporary dance of its stylistic, formal, compositional and figurative clutter, and theatre dance of its identity specificities, so that bodies do not encounter themselves or others in anything but their very material and human potentiality. Isabelle Schad no longer needs any of the established social rituals, configurations, manners and patterns (of behaviour) that Pina Bausch had delightfully and humorously brutalised in her choreographies. In her trilogy on collective bodies, which she began with the work Collective Jumps (hosted at CoFestival in 2016) and concluded with her performance Reflection, the choreographer is not concerned with the dismantling of social compositions or ideological body trainings, but with the potentiality of human presences (with the archive of the unrealized), which can only emerge in the form of critical modalities of action when bodies »arrive to themselves«. Once they enter the realm of difference, into the condition of what they can only become. Perhaps this is why we are so struck by the performances of Isabelle Schad, because, if only for a brief moment, as in Reflection, time is reversed and human bodies are given some perspective, we are suddenly struck by how rare it is to see people in dance performances without the choreographies showing (representing) them. People, with the fragile and unstable fullness of their bodies. When this happens, the political character of dance becomes more apparent, which has to give up (self-) performance in order to find its way to another body.

Concept and Choreography: Isabelle Schad
Co-choreography and Performance: Jozefien Beckers, Barbara Berti, Frederike Doffin, Ewa Dziarnowska, Josephine Findeisen, Przemek Kaminski, Mathis Kleinschnittger, Manuel Lindner, Jan Lorys, Claudia Tomasi, Nir Vidan, Natalia Wilk
Dramaturgical and Artistic Collaboration: Saša Božić
Artistic Assistance: Claudia Tomasi
Composition and Sound: Damir Šimunović
Light Design and Technical Direction: Emma Juliard
Tech Team: Andreas Harder, Dominik von Stillfried
Costumes: Charlotte Pistorius
Costume Assistance: Maja Svartåker
Theoretical Collaboration: Elena Basteri
Production Management: Heiko Schramm

Production: Isabelle Schad
Co-production: HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Pact Zollverein Essen
Supported by Capital City Cultural Fund, Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe
Supported by Wiesen55 e.V., Goethe-Institut Indonesia

Organisation: Kino Šiška and NDA Slovenija

Kino Šiška, Katedrala Hall?
Thursday, 25th November, 2021, at 8:00 p.m.
Entry: 7/9 EUR

Supported by the NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ International Guest Performance Fund for Dance, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.


FOTO: Urška Boljkovac / arhiv Kino Šiška