Back in 2012, Katelyn Stiles shot a short film about the P.O.R.C.H. Improvisation and Training Module, which gives an insight into the kind of work that was happening during the module then — and the surprising threads of similarity that it shares with what will be happening in this years’ P.O.R.C.H. Improvisation and Training Module. Take a look at a couple of stills here, and the full video is embedded below.
Many of the participants in the 2012 module have ended up being regular return visitors to Ponderosa, and some of them have gone on to teach here, to explore their own artistic goals in greater scope and with broader recognition, to use the experience of P.O.R.C.H. to allow themselves to be able to move to Berlin and dive into the artistic possibilities that the city allows, and much more.
There are a couple of spots still available for the upcoming Improvisation and Training Module of P.O.R.C.H., which runs from 3. June to 1. July. If you find that Katelyn’s video whets your curiosity, it’s not too late to join in — all the details are on the page, and you can apply by sending a CV and a letter of interest up until the beginning of the module. Now is the moment to let things be transformed... ❤️
We mentioned before about the series of interviews that Diego Agulló conducted in 2016 with various people connected to dance, choreography, movement, and performance, in Berlin and nearby.
As part of that series, Diego also talked to Stephanie Maher, in the valley at Ponderosa, about all kinds of questions related to community, art, exploration, decision-making, personal beliefs, and more.
Stephanie is one of the facilitators — alongside Peter Pleyer and Maria F. Scaroni — of the second module of P.O.R.C.H., in August — the P.O.R.C.H. Performance and Choreographic Synthesis Module. And, she will also be one of the teachers in the first P.O.R.C.H. module, in June — the P.O.R.C.H. Improvisation and Training Module, facilitated by Kathleen Hermesdorf.
There are a couple of remaining places available for both modules (and for the full-season immersion of the P.O.R.C.H. Summer Package), so if you’re curious about some of the sorts of ideas that Steph is talking about here — and much more besides — then send along a CV and a letter of interest, and jump on in.
The full interview is right here, and it’s totally fascinating. 🌺
One of the most memorable performances that ever happened at Ponderosa — and one of the most serendipitously-timed — was the performance, with improvised elements, Songs of Innocence and Experience, which was presented outdoors in 2011 by the group of participants in Kathleen Hermesdorf’s 2011 workshop.
Over the course of the twenty minutes that the piece ran, the weather changed — dramatically. And so, what began as an outdoor collective performance in the summer sunshine finished with a soaked-to-the-bone group — still committed to carrying through their work — as the rain poured, the wind whipped, the thunder bellowed, and, occasionally, the lightning cracked around their heads.
The documentation of the full piece is embedded here below. It is not just fascinating viewing, but it also gives an idea of the kinds of ideas that Kathleen and the group were working with — and if you’re interested in similar improvisatory craziness, and explorations of articulation and agency, form and function, materiality and imagination, then take a look at the details of Kathleen’s upcoming workshop, this summer, Corpo-reality, which will be happening over two weeks from June 4. to 8., and 11. to 15., this summer. You might not end up performing in the middle of a thunderstorm, but who knows? Crazier things have happened here...
Songs of Innocence and Experience, Kathleen Hermesdorf and group, 2011
Empathix: Bending Binaries, Bodies, and Building Bridges is a workshop, facilitated by queer movers of colour, which will dig into serious physical research in togetherness, play, love, visibility, coexistence, trust, empathy, and more.
Let’s have all the details, at a glance:
Empathix: Bending Binaries, Bodies and Building Bridges — with Sarra Bouars and Kristianne Salcines
Facilitators Sarra Bouars and Kristianne Salcines will structure Empathix around a series of movement practices and related discussions. As they describe it:
“We will be doing everything together for each other. There will be facilitated discussions around participants’ experiences to build trust and intimacy, which we hope will allow us to work towards a community. Everyday, we will begin with breathing together, practicing qigong, taiji, and meditation practice, then leading to physical exercises and practices that focuses on play, love, visibility, coexistence, trust, empathy and serious sweaty beautifully-ugly inducing moving. Come join us to sweat and heal together.”
Some of the driving questions that have motivated Sarra and Kristianne’s work with Empathix include:
Read more about it all in the full description of Empathix, on our full program page.
The work that has led to the presentation of Empathix emerged in part out of the experiences of Queeries into Collective Feminisms, the residency that occurred at Ponderosa (with related showings in Ausland Berlin) in 2016.
And maybe, just maybe, you’ll get to be able to learn how to sashay down a Berlin street in true empathix style.
Ok, first things first — we have a new logo! Check it out!
It was designed by Gabi Altevers, the long-time designer of Ponderosa flyers, posters, and other visual representations, and it has lots of pink bubbles — a variable amount, depending on what mood we’re in — and we like to think of them as representing all of the various interlocking entities, and parts, and groups, and people, and things, that make it possible for Ponderosa to exist.
And the first use of the new logo is on the brand-new, freshly-printed flyer for the upcoming 2018 season:
What’s that? You wanna see the rear side as well? Ok then:
And to launch the new logo, and the new flyer, and the new tote bags with the new logo, and the pink cocktails, and all the other new things, we had our launch party, at Vétomat, last night. All our heads are still sore. But, ever mindful of our documentarian duties, here are some photo and video reports from the front lines!
And so! Now that everything is all launched — and is freshly flying, through perfumed clouds, on wings of gossamer purity — perhaps now might be the perfect moment for you to peruse our full program, and have a think about paying us a visit sometime in the upcoming months. Come out and get pink and bubbly.
It’s April now, and the summery climes of August might seem like they’re a million miles away, but they’re coming our way, soon — and with them, the Ponderosa Tanzland Festival!
And, as part of the kaleidoscopic smorgasbord of performative prisms presented by the festival, there will be workshops. To be more exact, there will be three interlocking workshops, facilitated by Benoît Lachambre, Frederic Gies, and Robert Steijn and Ricardo Rubio — all vastly experienced teachers, all offering a fascinatingly diverse array of particpatory possibilities.
Let’s get to the all-important details right away:
All three of these workshops will be delving far into fascinating encounters with bodily awareness, performative explorations, and somatic encounters — and we wanted to give a small glimpse into some of the recent work and thoughts of these teachers and practitioners. Let’s jump in...
Robert Steijn and Ricardo Rubio have developed a far-reaching, comprehensive collaboration which often explores elements of trust and intimacy. As they describe it:
“Ricardo Rubio and Robert Steijn found each other in a poetic universe in which silence coexists with the rhythm of life, seriousness finds its alter ego in humor, and nature-culture is questioned from an intimate perspective. They ask themselves if they can redefine male intimacy, detached from the imprint of our cultural upbringings, and if they can redefine tenderness as another way of thinking, behaving, and perceiving reality.”
One of the recent outcomes of this work is their piece Prelude on Love (A research into male intimacy and tenderness). The trailer below gives a sense of the work. It overlaps with the themes of their workshop, which they describe, in part, by saying: “we try to practise tenderness in everything we do, working from the embracing quality of the heart — and we will investigate how to provoke the magic to happen in what we do.”
Benoît Lachambre is returning to Ponderosa in 2018, after last year’s epic month-long workshop. This year, he will be continuing his work exploring the materialisation of presence and relational memory.
Benoît’s work often involves a heightened awareness of the dynamics of fluids, aiming to reconnect with the innermost sensations of the body.
Much of the recent documentation of these approaches is online in French only — such as this interview, below, that Benoît undertook with Corpuscle Danse.
The work of Frederic Gies has often considered the parallels between the ancient, corporeal roots of all dance and movement, and the automated pulse of contemporary techno and club culture. His work from 2016, Dance is Ancient, is one of the works that has investigated this paradoxical overlap. There are longer excerpts from the work available on Frederic’s Vimeo page, and the trailer is seventeen seconds of joyous juxtaposition.
All three of these workshops promise to be transformative encounters, and we’re very much hoping that we’ll be able to see you out here for one — or all — of these events. You can sign up to participate in any and all of them right here. And if you have any questions or comments that you’d like to let us know about, please get in touch. Hopefully we’ll see you out here in the summer!
In 2016, Diego Agulló conducted a series of interviews with dance-related artists and practitioners in Berlin, for a project called Measuring the Temperature of Dance in Berlin. One of these interviews was with Peter Pleyer, and it happened in the garden at Ponderosa, on a glorious summer day.
Peter and Diego discussed what it means to be working with dance in Berlin, how community and artistic commitment overlap, what to do with dreams and visions, and much more.
Peter’s upcoming workshop at Ponderosa, Magical Release Ensemble (25.–29. June), will be an investigation of some of the starting-points outlined in this talk. The early-bird deadline for booking a place is 18. May, and Peter describes it, in part, as being grounded in what is left half-hidden in considering dance history.
As he explains, the workshop bases itself on “the foundation laid out by fierce and magical women and queer men in dance-history, for us to grow into unknown shapes and stories — individuals that are not afraid of their differences, and who are willing to risk to share themselves physically in the dance.”
Take a look at the full details, and check out the interview below.
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