Every year, we arrange a certain amount of work exchanges for people who would like to come and spend time at Ponderosa. The details of how this works are outlined on our page about work exchanges, here.
Apart from these more general possibilities, we also occasionally offer the possibility of specific exchanges for particular roles or tasks over the next few months — and we have a few of these for the upcoming 2019 summer season. Maybe you might be the person we need? Or someone you know? Let us know! The details are below...
However, before we get to the full details of the available exchanges, we also want to outline the possibility to undertake a direct solidarity work exchange, in the context of Color Block and the W.E.R.K. series of events at Ponderosa.
In our usual work exchange, participants come and work for one week, and then participate in a workshop for one subsequent week. You have no food and accommodation costs, and you only pay for the workshop fee. However, with the direct solidarity work exchange, you can come and work for one week, without any food and accommodation costs, as normal, and then make a donation of the week of workshop participation that you have worked for.
Through this direct solidarity exchange, you can allow a participant in Color Block to participate without food and accomodation costs — their costs of food and accommodation will be covered through your work exchange. Through this exchange, the space of Ponderosa becomes more accessible and more sustainable, and is able to more easily offer a space for radical explorations of movement, race, politics, and justice.
If you are interested, just send the dates for the week you can work to: firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, ‘.com’, not ‘.de’).
Ok, here are the outlines of the other available exchanges:
And, as above, if you’re interested in one or more of these specific possibilities, please email us at email@example.com and give us a short outline of why you feel you would be well-suited. 💜
Für das Ponderosa e.V. Projektteam suchen wir zum frühestmöglichen Zeitpunkt eine/n Assistenz der Geschäft- und Vereinsührung*in in Teilzeit.
Die Tätigkeit und Stelle ist in Stolzenhagen und Stolpe verortet, kann aber zu 50% auch von Berlin aus durchgeführt werden.
Ihre Aufgaben umfassen:
Die Anstellung erfolgt vorbehaltlich der Mittelbewilligung durch die öffentlichen Zuwendungsgeber und in Abhängigkeit zu den zur Verfügung stehenden Haushaltsmitteln.
Sie ist auf den Zeitraum Frühjahr 2019 bis September 2021 befristet.
Bitte senden Sie uns Ihre aussagekräftige Bewerbung ausschließlich per Mail bis spätestens 28.02.2019 an: firstname.lastname@example.org. Für Fragen zur ausgeschriebenen Stelle können Sie sich an Uli Kaiser unter oben genannter Mailadresse wenden. Die Bewerbungsgespräche sollen in der zweiten Märzhälfte geführt werden.
At the start of 2018, we began our Direct Solidarity contribution system. This was a little experiment — a way to try to create support, acknowledge inequality, and allow access. We have been running this system in a deliberately low-key, preliminary way — partly because we did not know what might happen, and whether or not this would be a system that people would actually contribute to or ask for assistance from.
The results of how the system worked in 2018 are:
As a result of this modest experiment, we have made a couple of decisions for the coming year:
This is a small but real method through which we are attempting to increase sustainability and accessibility at Ponderosa, and we’re happy to see it continue, and eager to see where it might go in the coming year. We’ll have more details about it all soon. And for now, if you’d like to attend an event here, you will have the possibility to contribute to, or request assistance from, the direct solidarity system. We hope to see you out here soon!
One of the participants in this year’s P.O.R.C.H. program was Darya Arefyeva. Darya (or Dasha) was taking photographs as she went, as a personal practice alongside her participation in the program. This created a unique personal record and thread of documentation of the time during P.O.R.C.H. this summer, which Dasha has been kind enough to let us share here.
These images of summer mainly show activities during P.O.R.C.H., but also the overlap that the program had with Color Block, Magical Release Ensemble, and other events that were running in parallel, during the high summer at Stolzenhagen. Take a look here below.
And, of course, if you’re curious to know more about P.O.R.C.H., or you’re considering coming here for the P.O.R.C.H. modules in 2019, make sure to get all the details of P.O.R.C.H. 2019, right here. ❤️
Ponderosa on the Road is back again! Yes, our little occasional series of events will be coming to the FRESH Festival, San Francisco, on January 20., 2019.
Ponderosa on the Road is an occasional event series in which we try to figure out ways for the spirit and essence of Ponderosa to be presented in other places around the world. And FRESH Festival is the premiere event celebrating and showcasing new work, research and ideas in performance, music, and dance in San Francisco and the bay area of California. It is presented by ALTERNATIVA, directed by Kathleen Hermesdorf.
And Ponderosa on the Road — SF 2019 will bring together international artists from the expanded, interconnected communities of Ponderosa and ALTERNATIVA worldwide, at the FRESH Festival 2019, in San Francisco — or, more specifically, at the Finnish Hall, 1970 Chestnut Street, in Berkeley — on January 20., 2019.
Read on for all the details...
Ponderosa on the Road — SF 2019 will be a unique event, at which participants will aim to share Ponderosa’s creative, inclusive and communal spirit with you. The participants are a group of people from all over the world who have been to Ponderosa (Ponderosa? What is that?), and they will be gathered together to host you for an evening of multiple experiences -- to carry the feelings, functions, fields, and forests of Stolzenhagen to FRESH at Finnish Hall in Berkeley.
The evening will start with a cathartic aural research experience led by Coral Short, followed by a potluck shared dinner featuring sublime culinary-conceptual offerings from Jesse Hewit. Evolving from this, there will be actions and interventions in the space, which may (or may not) include the following practices, contributions, and balms:
The line-up of all the participants in the event is not yet completely clear, but will include at least most of the following: Larry Arrington, Chani Bockwinkel, Adi Brief, Alex Crow, Caitlin Fisher, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Jesse Hewit, David Jensen, Kata Kovács, Kentaro Kumanomido, Ursula Marlee Marcussen, Tom O’Doherty, Gareth Okan, Thomas Anthony Owen, Coral Short, Jessy Tuddenham, Cathy Walsh, Hannah Wasielewski, and Miriam Wolodarski.
There is a Sugarmountain event here, and there will be more info soon...
Ponderosa and ALTERNATIVA are sister entities, who have been collaborating, creatively and programmatically, since 2000. FRESH was launched in 2010, the same year as P.O.R.C.H. — and it was through P.O.R.C.H. that FAKE Company came to be born, which will perform with ALTERNATIVA in FRESH. It’s all connected.
Of course, Ponderosa has deep roots in San Francisco. During the early years of Ponderosa, much of the activity here involved Stephanie Maher, a long-time denizen of San Francisco, inviting friends to travel from San Francisco to Berlin, and on to Stolzenhagen, to present their work. In the early 2000s, the then-new Ponderosa was, in some ways, a Berlin-oriented countryside equivalent to 848 Community Space in San Francisco, and with many of the same participants — Stephanie, Keith Hennessy, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Jess Curtis, and many more.
So we’ll be very happy to finally go back and reconnect these two threads through this event and its surroundings. We’re looking forward to it all — we’ll see you there! 💥
The Autumn Artist Exchange at Ponderosa began earlier this month, on October 8., and it has now run through three fully-packed weeks of collaboration, research, investigation, artistic exploration, and much more. In total, there have been around thirty people here, from all over the world, sharing time, space, ideas, hopes, and inspirations. The exchange is just now reaching its end — and we wanted to try to give a sense of how it has all been.
Stolzenhagen October colours at the Autumn Artist Exchange
It’s difficult, of course, to try to give outlines of the work that’s occurring here. But let’s try. We’ve split this up into two parts: firstly, here are some impressions of the things that have been happening; then, after that, some short interviews with some of the participants, giving a small taste of some of the curiosities that have led people to be here.
(And, if all of this ends up whetting your curiosity, don’t forget that the will be another exchange event — the Winter Artist Exchange — in February 2019. Take a look, and maybe we’ll see you out here for some cosy, focused time in the deepest part of the hibernation season.)
The participants in the exchange have been a self-organised group — both in practical terms, such as in cooking and planning studio use, and also in the artistic uses of the available spaces. This has led to some fascinating uses and re-imaginings of the potential of these spaces. For example, Tim Waltinger, Tigre Bailando, and Kae Minami presented paintings, drawings, and calligraphy — mostly works-in-progress — in a pop-up exhibition in the kitchen...
...and there were also several showings and performances, including Tom Oliver Jacobson’s short piece involving a short story about love, and ice-cream...
Tom Oliver’s kitchen performance
...and Camilla Birk De Oliveira’s and Nora Barna’s performance in the studio...
Studio performance by Camilla Birk de Oliveira and Nora Barna
...Isabelle Vuong gave a lecture about Futurology...
...the altar in the kitchen slowly accumulated items...
...we had lovely weather, so the garden was used as an outdoor painting and drawing studio...
...and there were plenty of talks, conversations, and discussions, of all kinds.
People have arrived at the Autumn Artist Exchange from all over the world, and they have myriad artistic and creative interests. Here are five short introductions to different participants and their work — and there are so many more that we could have talked to!
What are you working on at the Autumn Artist Exchange?
I am a PhD researcher at the Universität der Künste in Berlin, in a group called ‘Knowledge in the Arts’ (‘Das Wissen der Künste’). Initially I came to the Autumn Artist Exchange to work on a lecture about telepathy in reading and writing — or, how reading and writing are ‘practices of telepathy.’ But then, as the time here developed — and through having a lot of conversations about very different topics — I ended up working more on a methodology around how to relate to knowledge in the arts through having these conversations.
The writer that my research is most informed by is Hélène Cixous, a French theorist and critic. In her work, she talks about communication as being always telepathic — meaning that it always occurs from a distance — but that it is also always pathic — meaning that it always happens to us; so, we cannot intentionally communicate with books, texts, or characters from different times. One of the texts that Cicoux wrote is a text that combines really different characters and authors, from different other texts, and through this she kind of creates a heterogeneous, multidimensional cosm of different texts, such that you never really know where you are — it’s a linear text but it really creates a multidimensional space — and this was my starting-point.
And while I have been here, One thing that I did was that I asked Deborah [Deborah Black — see below] to read this text as well. I think she is very connected to several spiritual practices, and she was sharing her impression about, for example, tarot as a telepathic practice. I feel that I’ve learned a lot from her perspective — I’ve learned how to move away from just the position of sitting at a desk and writing and trying to reflect on something, and towards connecting this with practices of bodywork and accessing a deeper relation amongst different bodies.
So, through this, I’ve started to think about ‘telepathy’ as a mode of relation to each other — how bodies are actually communicating in a non-verbal way, wherever we are. And during this residency I think there were a lot of bodies here that were really quite sensitive to that.
What are you working on at the Autumn Artist Exchange?
I came to the Autumn Artist Exchange to work on a small series of paintings, and I have also been creating a mask, and a new performance character using the mask.
The paintings are developing from a thread of work that I’ve been doing, but taking the chance to explore working on canvas for the first time in — I don’t know, maybe eight years or so? And through that, I am playing with texture and process, and continuing to explore themes about cathartic personal experience, interrelational dynamics, and the more esoteric mystical aspects of experience. The paintings depict characters that transcend species and gender and age and things like that — trans-dimensional beings.
And the mask character is still… birthing itself. So I don’t entirely know what it will be. But it is exploring ideas of transpersonal identity and the mystical deity existing within the human form, existing beyond binary identity.
Both of these sets of projects are ostensibly for exhibitions in some upcoming projects I’m doing for some festivals in Australia and Thailand, so I’ll be showing the paintings at a gallery at a music festival in Australia, where I’ll also be live-painting and performing the character in an interactive format. And I’ll also, I’m sure, be taking the character onto the streets of various cities that I go to — I’ll probably do a session in Berlin, and in Bercelona, and in other different places — exploring the boundary of art and street life.
What are you working on at the Autumn Artist Exchange?
I came to the Autumn Artist Exchange because I wanted some focused time to get a lot of reading done — I’ve started around seven different books that I’ve wanted to finish since I’ve arrived here! However, I’ve also been researching through teaching, so I’ve been leading some sessions with people here, looking at how patriarchal structures have infiltrated my own teaching — trying to unpack that a little bit. And then, alongside that, I’ve been working out how my teaching, and the work I do, can start to inform social change outside of art-making. And also, I have been bringing in some healing work, and putting it alongside embodiment — dealing with how these two things can sort of lay side by side. That’s what I’m working on.
Then, separately from that, I’ve also been working on how to write from the body, and working in the discipline of poetry, because I think that poetry is a language for imagining the future, and so — seeing as I’m working with ideas about social change — I’m thinking about how we can write from the body and into the future. I’m working in that intersection right now.
Camilla Birk De Oliveira
What are you working on at the Autumn Artist Exchange?
I’m researching, through dance and performance, about transition moments between death and life. So, birth and rebirth, and the decaying and emerging moments of bodies, the cycles of natural environments the cycles of our own bodies — and thinking also about the political implications of these thoughts. It can seem that something needs to die in our society so that something new can appear, and I feel that we are in a transition moment where I often feel lost, and it is through the body — through practicing movement, dance, performance — that I am able to find some ground.
So, that is mostly why this research has brought me to Ponderosa. It’s a place where we can discuss these times of transitioning. Moving from an overripe capitalist moment to what could come next. I do this through dance, and through the body. To think about what is performative in this moment — this is what I’m working on.
My ideas have changed in the time that I have been here, partly because of the place, and partly through knowing what’s going on in my country. I am from Brazil, and it has been quite hard to face what people are deciding there in elections right now. I am here at the Autumn Artist Exchange for these three weeks, which are the same three weeks as the time between the first and the second round in the current election. I have been struggling with myself about being here. Moving between being really hopeful at seeing human beings here trying to build up a new perspective on life, and then also receiving outside information from home, about people still wanting to kill things that are different, and not exist through difference. This has connected a lot with my work — with the first impulse to research here about cycles of life. But I am also faced with the reality of being in this land, in Germany, where these ideas, this Nazism already happened, and is part of history, and yet also seeing that emerge in my country right now, again.
What are you working on at the Autumn Artist Exchange?
I came to the Autumn Artist Exchange to work on three different things — which was maybe too much! The first was songwriting, but with a focus of trying to write from the body, and exploring what that means, rather than from analytical thought like lyric writing. The second was re-finding my dance practice, after a long period of not dancing. And the third was to start collecting audio around the topic of counterculture as a concept.
But what has actually happened since I have arrived is that I have been doing daily embodiment practices, which actually has made the time here much more about a sort of healing — more healing than I expected to happen here — and the conversations that I have been having have been much more broad than I expected. So what has actually happened is a clarification around my interests for the future — and that ultimately feels like it has been more significant than anything I’ve produced or practiced here.
What are you working on at the Autumn Artist Exchange?
I came here because I had heard about it through two friends of mine. I finally decided to come quite last-minute — I knew I would be in Europe for two months, and saw that there was this exchange happening. I work with sculpture and installation art, and I thought that this place would be a really great supportive artistic environment to be in while I was figuring out this idea that I have been working on here, related to a collective of which I’m a member.
This collective, the Council of Svoo, has been running for three years — so still fairly young — and it began at the sculpture department of RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. The members are mostly artists working in installation and sculpture. A lot of what they do is practical mutual support for artists — organising life-drawing classes together, doing one-off skills-based workshops, helping to present exhibitions (at least one a year); this kind of thing. So, very much a practical supportive group dealing with nuts-and-bolts things for a community of artists in similar disciplines.
So, the idea that I had was to try to create a ‘currency’ — or to put a value on — creative labour, that could be used within this collective, and maybe with others, as a way to exchange labour, to have labour be acknowledged. Ideally, to give people an easy way to ask for help.
Since I got here, I’ve been reading about gift economies, different approaches to artistic currencies, social currencies, and talking to all the wonderful people here about it all. I’ve also been using studio time to map out intentions for this idea. I’ve figured out, through these conversations and this work, that this idea is maybe trying to do too much at once. So I’ve tried to burrow down to the core intention, which is to allow people to ask for help, and to focus just on that.
All of these dedicated and inspiring individuals are here at Ponderosa in order to be able to go deep into their work, to spend time away from the bustle of everyday life, and to try to allow the focus that is needed for creative processes to bear fruit. We wish them all good luck in this — it’s not easy.
And hopefully you, dear reader, might also like to come out here some time soon, perhaps for another future residency, or one of the other events we’ll have in the coming months. Take a look at the full program page for an idea of what’s growing in our garden, and maybe we’ll be able to welcome you out here before too long. ❤️
And we’re done! The two weeks of the Ponderosa Tanzland Festival 2018 are over — and it has been amazing. We want to thank everybody who came along, who participated, who jumped in, who helped to make it all happen — and, of course, we want to take a look back at how it all went.
It’s difficult to pick highlights — there has really been so much going on — but let’s try. This is a looooong post. Ready? Ok, let’s go.
So, the first week — the Movements · Sessions · Rituals week — began with an opening circle on 12. August. The whole place here was totally packed, and once we had had the chance to introduce ourselves to each other and talk a bit about the place, the festival was underway.
Opening circle, 12. August
In the first week, during the day, we were kept busy-busy-busy with two parallel workshops which were happening in the two main studios: week 1 of Dynamics of Fluids and Sensorial Memories, with Benoît Lachambre, and The Intimacy of Being Human, with Robert Steijn and Ricardo Rubio.
Workshop in the big studio — originally posted by @marumwelt
And then in the evenings, we had rituals, showings, performances, and actions galore!
These included, on the evening of August 14., night-time showings by the participants in the current P.O.R.C.H. Performance and Choreographic Synthesis Module. These showings were presented in various spaces in the Ponderosa gardens and studios, mostly in semi-darkness, indoors and outdoors, as the audience was led in a captivating and uncanny procession from space to space, encountering solo dance, acoustic industrial noise experiments, durational repeating scores, text-based work incorporating a dead tree as a performative readymade, immersive sound experiences, and much more.
Views of P.O.R.C.H. performances and showings, 14. August
The following evening, Wednesday, 15. August, there was a contact improvisation jam with a difference — it was an object jam, facilitated by Peter Pleyer and Michiel Keuper. The space of the main studio was used to reimagine the possibilities of contact improvisation by integrating movement with objects — items which were the props and traces of past performances and choreographic scores.
Object jam, 15. August — photos by Michiel Keuper
The following night, Maria F. Scaroni and Marc Lohr introduced their renowned, legendary, honestly-completely-mind-blowing practice, psychic jogging. This collectively-incantatory, rhythmically-ecstatic, rotationally-durational thing is both utterly simple — we all run together while the drums play — and also a complete revelation. As the process unfolds, the rhythms become relentless, the space becomes both focused and free, and the collective action turns hypnotic and psychedelic.
Psychic jogging, 16. August
It was during this week that the news came through that Aretha Franklin had died, at 76, in Detroit. An impromptu memorial was created in the garden in her honour.
Impromptu Aretha Franklin memorial, 17. August
The following day — in-between workshop times, meals, performances, and more — there was storytelling on the porch with Jessy Layne Tuddenham, as the sun washed over the garden in the late afternoon.
Storytelling with Jessy Layne Tuddenham, 17. August
And the same evening, in the kitchen, there was an anarchist-dinner-and-dance-party — a collective combination of cooking, dancing, partying, and eating, all existing in parallel.
Anarchist dinner and party
And that, in turn, was followed, later that same night, by the showing of Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival — a film by Fabrizio Terranova — in the big studio. The showing of the film was organised and presented by the XenoEntities Network.
Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival — showing in Ponderosa Kuhstahl studio, 17. August
Trailer for Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival by Fabrizio Terranova
On the day after — Saturday, August 18. — Tove Sahlin and Maria Johansson Josephsson performed their work, It Is As It Is, in the speicher studio. The work integrates performance and singing, and so before the performance, during the day, Maria led kitchen-choir singing sessions.
Kitchen choir singing with Maria Johansson Josephsson
It Is As It Is — Tove Sahlin and Maria Johansson Josephsson — Ponderosa, 18. August
Video trailer for It Is As It Is — Tove Sahlin and Maria Johansson Josephsson
Later that night, the Berlin Lecken party peeps took over, and we were treated to Paartanz and DJ Marum playing thudding beats right through the night, until the sun started to peek over the horizon.
Paartanz live at Ponderosa, 18. August
The following day, Sunday, August 19., was the last day of the first week of the festival, and there were two main events.
The first was an oil action, facilitated by Keith Hennessy, of which no photos were taken. So if you want to find out what the hell it was all about, ask around, and hopefully someone will tell you.
The second event was a performance by Jeremy Wade, which began indoors and then moved out into the garden, for a final participatory crescendo in which the audience ran in circles of different speeds as the music swirled around them.
Jeremy Wade performance, 19. August, Ponderosa
And then we were on to week two! The workshops week, to be exact. It began with another big introductory circle where everyone got to be able to say hello.
Opening circle, 19. August
The workshops that were running throughout the second week of the festival were week 2 of Dynamics of Fluids and Sensorial Memories, with Benoît Lachambre, and Technosomatics with Frédéric Gies.
Through Technosomatics, we got to be able to feel the true physical and bodily effects of four-to-the-floor pounding beats — how techno can help us feel our glands, our bones, our organs, our muscles. All accompanied by plenty of relentless dancing, of course...
Frederic Gies — Technosomatics
On the evening of Tuesday, 21. August, there was a participatory dinner meditation ritual-performance in the front courtyard, organised by participants in the P.O.R.C.H. Performance and Choreographic Synthesis Module. Dinner was a contemplative experiment, as the late-evening sun bathed us all.
Later that same evening, The Geyger Girls (Wanda Vrasti and Heather Purcell) performed a work based around explaining survival strategies for a rapidly-gentrifying Berlin. It integrated projections of live drawing, Tae Bo fitness dancing, face massages, talks about the history of Berlin as a site of radical social resistance to capitalist exploitation, and hardcore techno.
The Geyger Girls — Ponderosa, 21. August
While all these conceptual and political activities were going on, there were still some more practical approaches to aesthetics occurring in parallel — perhaps foremost among them, the digging of our new pond in the garden!
Marc Lohr and Doreen Markert led the way in designing, excavating, arranging, filling, and decorating a brand-new pond, which will not only look fantastic in the garden, but will also make it easier to irrigate plants in future — so, all going well, this spot will not just be a place to gaze across, but it will also nourish the salad that you munch as you gaze.
The new pond, slowly taking shape over the course of the festival
And, of course, the other amazing garden-related activity was being able to collect abundant piles of fruit — apples, peaches, berries, plums, grapes, and more. The summer has been hot and dry, which is perfect for the trees to push out edenesque quantities of fruit, and we have been making and eating giant fruit crumbles on plenty of recent evenings.
On the evening of August 23., the participants in the P.O.R.C.H. Performance and Choreographic Synthesis Module were presenting work that they have been developing and researching during their time here — including Burong’s dinnertime human-scarf performance Warmth, or My Scarf, Sam Parfitt’s durational score, and Mel Nehrkorn’s installation-performance in the big studio.
P.O.R.C.H. showings, 23. August — Warmth, or My Scarf by Burong
P.O.R.C.H. showings, 23. August — installation-performance by Mel Nehrkorn
One of the more enigmatic occurrences of this year’s festival was Yoshiko Chuma’s Secret Mystery Midnight Workshop, which took place, somewhat counterintuitively, at all sorts of times during the day, not just at midnight, and also occurred both indoors and out. As to what happened in the workshop, Yoshiko has sworn us to secrecy.
Yoshiko Chuma — Secret Mystery Midnight Workshop
During the day on August 24., there was a showing of a film presenting work from the Augustine Collective, an artistic cooperative one member of whom is Ayelet Yekutiel, who will be teaching at Ponderosa next month.
Augustine collective film showing
Later on in the evening of August 24., there was a showing of the film Iuventa, organised by our neighbour, Kristof Deneke, in the Cosmic Pizza Shack — just at the other end of the garden from us at Ponderosa. (The showing was accompanied by delicious hand-made pizzas, served outdoors under the moonlight — amazing.)
The film tells the story of a group of young Germans who organised to buy a boat to participate in the process of rescuing people at risk of drowning in the Mediterranean, during the peak of the European refugee and migrant crisis and its aftermath. The evening doubled as a solidarity event for Jugend Rettet, the organisation whose story is told in the film. The film was followed by a question-and-answer session and discussion, which ran until long past midnight.
Kristof has been actively involved in refugee solidarity work over the last few years, and this event was a fascinating and sobering view at the reality of how the outer borders of the European Union are policed, and the differences in privilege and freedom that can result from being born on one side of a line on the surface of the earth or the other.
The showing of Iuventa in the garden of the Cosmic Pizza Shack, 24. August
Cinematic trailer for Iuventa
One of the final events of the festival was Alan Prohm’s Everyone is part of the pattern, a durational social sculpture and collective forest tubular loom construction. It emerged over the course of a day’s work, in a clearing by the edge of the trees, and it resulted in a surreal construction that could be clambered on as much as looked at.
Constructing Everyone is Part of the Pattern
For the final evening of the festival, there was a barbeque dinner in the garden (with accompanying outdoor haircuts, dances, coloured wigs, loom-climbing, and more), followed by two events in the big studio — a performance by Marc Lohr and Mor Demer, and a concert by Beute that showered us in electrosynthpop swagger. And this, in turn, was followed by a sauna, and garden technosomatic dancing until the wee hours.
Garden dining — and hairstyling — on the last evening
Beute in the big studio, 25. August
Beute — ‘Mr. Americano’
Loom-climbing, and more, on the last night
The following morning, there was a slow and delicious long breakfast-brunch to soothe sore heads and fill rumbling bellies, before final goodbyes and trips to the Rufbus to get the train home.
But that’s not all! Nope. There was also another, parallel artistic undertaking occurring this August, throughout the festival — and it is still ongoing, right now. It was Stephanie Maher’s museum score.
Steph has previously been the longtime artistic director at Ponderosa since the very beginning of its existence; she is the current main mover in Tipping Utopia; she has lived at Ponderosa for most of the last twenty years. Steph decided that, for three weeks this August (or, to be more exact, for the duration of the Ponderosa Tanzland Festival 2018 and the P.O.R.C.H. Performance and Choreographic Synthesis Module 2018), she would declare her personal bedroom at Ponderosa to be a museum, open to visitors. The bedroom is an archive of all the private moments that have occurred in that space, and visitors are encouraged to come in and look, rummage, and add to the archive. And, in order to complete the reversal, Steph has been living and sleeping in the open, in the public space of the main Kuhstahl dance studio at Ponderosa, as the festival unfolds around her.
In this video below, shot at the beginning of the score, Steph talks about inverting her life as an extended performative score — making the private public, and making the public private — as she moves her bedding, in a wheelbarrow, from the bedroom/museum to the studio/bedroom.
Stephanie Maher’s museum score — introduction
Stephanie Maher’s museum score — views of the museum
See more museum images here
Stephanie Maher’s museum score — inverting public and private
View of Steph’s public living space originally posted by Tove Sahlin
And, finally, of course — no Ponderosa Tanzland Festival would be complete without the spectacular meals that our kitchen has been making all through the summer. Our cooks and kitchen helpers are incredible miracle-workers, and we have been able to relish some truly amazing meals, made with fresh, healthy, organic produce — including, where possible, ingredients taken directly from the garden and greenhouse. The salads, in particular, are daily ephemeral artworks that are a delight for the eyes as much as the tastebuds.
Food! Delicious food!
And that was this year’s festival! Whew! It’s been an incredible time, and we’re all pretty blown away by how it all went. If you have any thoughts you’d like to share with us about your time here, please send them our way! And if you have any great photos, videos, or the like, we’d love to have them. It’s been amazing. We love you all.
But this is not the end of what we have going on out here this year. After a few days of well-earned rest, we’ll be starting with the workshop program that we have for September, the details of which are all available over on our full program page. And although P.O.R.C.H. 2018 is also wrapping up soon, P.O.R.C.H. 2019 is on the way! So regardless how you wind up out here, we’ll hopefully see you out here soon — we’re looking forward to it. ❤️
Next month, the Performance and Choreographic Synthesis module of P.O.R.C.H. 2018 will be starting. However, we’re also already getting the basics organised for next year.
Yep, P.O.R.C.H. 2019 is on the way, and the skeleton outline of it all goes a little bit like this:
Applications are open for P.O.R.C.H. 2019 from today, and — like it says on the pages for each module — you are also welcome to email us with a provisional enquiry before a full application. Yep, it’s ok to ask us things, or to get a feel for whether or not P.O.R.C.H. is right for you. Get in touch! Get in early! This thing will fill up, so let us know if you’re curious to clamber aboard.
What more do you want?! A video? Oh, ok then.
Every year, the village of Stolzenhagen celebrates its summer Dorffest, or village festival, with plenty of beer, sausage, schlager, sunshine, and late-night revelry.
And it has also now become something of a tradition that we here at Ponderosa will present a little performative action at the Dorffest, to show our neighbours what sort of things we’re up to. This year was no exception, and so the P.O.R.C.H. group stepped up to the challenge and presented three short choreographies. Here are some impressions of how it all went down. Part of what was presented was accompanied by En Vogue’s Free Your Mind — so maybe hit play on that as your scroll down. 🧠❤️🎶
(Oh, you’re interested in this whole P.O.R.C.H. thing? Well, you can read more about P.O.R.C.H. right here, and there are a couple of spots still left for the last module of 2018, happening in August, and you could also take a look at what’s on the horizon for 2019, right here!)
Ok don’t miss out on this one. The July Workshop Combinations at Ponderosa will let you take two of the workshops that are occurring from July 23.–29., with a 25% reduction in workshop fee — YES! 25percentchens off! 💜②⑸💥
So, pick a combo out of these, and join us in the Brandenburg summer sunshine!
What’s that? You want to get more info about them all? Ok then.
Empathix: Bending Binaries, Bodies and Building Bridges – Sarra Bouars and Kristianne Salcines (27.–29. July). By queer POCs for queer POCs and allies; This workshop is designed to create an atmosphere for serious physical research in togetherness. We will be doing everything together for each other. All the info is here!
Mixed Practice and Kundalini Integration — Stephanie Maher (23.–27. July). We will deconstruct patterns and useful ways of finding coordination that no longer serve us. We will dive into an improvisational flow of integrative practices which draw from Kundalini Yoga, fake Klein Technique, Qigong, Contact Improvisation and release technique. All the details are here.
Continuum - Riding the Waves Within — Batyah Schachter (23.–27. July). The endless movement of water — flowing, rippling, curving, undulating in every cell of our bodies — is in a continuum with the body of water in the sea, the earth, the air, and the sky of our planet. Joining the movement of life as it is present in our body, we join the choreography that shapes and forms the nature we are. All details here!
DNA - Dance Near Ancestor — Tove Sahlin (23.–27. July). In this project, we will make duets with our ancestors. We ask that you come to this improvisation–composition–storytelling–imagining–fact/fiction/fake–documentary-sience–research–performance-making workshop with a case. A story. More details here.
The July combinations are a limited offer, with just a few places available.
So, if you’re curious about the possibility of exploring your ancestral connections, finding your kundalini flow, feeling the inner flow of your fluids, or refracting your questions of gender and body, the time to get it to happen is now — here’s the link where the magic happens. ❤️
The Ponderosa Blog is an ongoing experiment in putting one foot in front of the other, and one word after another, to transfer ideas in ones and zeroes to minds around the world and beyond. A rumble from a ruined speaker to maybe bring the gov’t. down, one sorry heart at a time. xo