The theme and holder for events at Ponderosa in 2019 and beyond is Tipping Utopia. And in August, there will be a series of special events happening here, as part of the Tipping Utopia series. We are happy to welcome last-minute visitors to any and all of these events — so come on out to one of these concerts, jams, performances, installations and more. The full details are here below, and we’re looking forward to seeing you out here in Stolzenhagen...
The two weeks of the Ponderosa Tanzland Festival 2019 and the accompanying P.O.R.C.H. Tenth Anniversary Celebration have just finished up -- and it has been amazing. We want to thank everybody who attended, who took part, who helped to make it all happen. Time to take a look at how it all shook out... there is plenty here, so get ready to scroll-scroll-scroll and soak it all up.
(Almost) all of these photos have been taken by Ludger Storcks, who has been determinedly documenting the happenings of the festival in real-time. Others are credited in individual captions. For more from Ludger and everyone else here, make sure to follow along with us on your favourite monopolistic-data-platform of choice. And we will have more for you soon with the rest of our summer program -- so hopefully we can welcome you out here soon...
Proceedings began with a warm-up event on the night before the beginning of the festival (which also happened to be the fourth of July). This was a unique in-the-round concert by KvT and Dragons/Doyle.
Dragons/Doyle | Photo: Ludger Storcks
KvT | Photo: Ludger Storcks
KvT | Video by Chani Bockwinkel and KvT
This was then followed by an opening night with performances from Kathleen Hermesdorf, Stephanie Maher, Witchtits, and a combined introduction-circle-performance-encounter featuring P.O.R.C.H. participants from every single year of the past decade, all onstage together.
Opening night performances | Photos: Ludger Storcks
The next afternoon, there was a discussion in the Speicher kitchen about the history and future plans of both Ponderosa and Kulturpark Stolpe, our newly-emerging offshoot based in the village of Stolpe, down the road from us.
And in the evening, we finally got around to having an opening circle, once everyone had arrived...
The first week featured workshops led by FAKE Company...
FAKE Company workshop | Photos: Ludger Storcks
...along with the continuation of some long-standing traditions, such as the Wednesday-evening contact improvisation jam.
Contact improvisation jam
Each morning also included the unique experience of disco-qigong, facilitated by Kathleen Hermesdorf.
Disco-qigong with Kathleen Hermesdorf
During the weekend of the first week, P.O.R.C.H. alumni were also presenting workshops and offerings, in a tightly-packed program of fascinating complexity. It took a bit of work to get it all figured out...
Figuring it all out
A list by the noticeboard of all P.O.R.C.H. participants, from 2010 to the present
The weekend also featured a series called Re-Runs, which were re-performances and re-enactments of works from the first decade of P.O.R.C.H., presented either by original performers, returning again, or else by other P.O.R.C.H. participants, remembering and re-imagining what had been before.
The weekend also saw the Stolzenhagen premiere of The Frame. This was a work by Tove Sahlin/Shake it Collaborations, Josefin Runsteen, and Leo Svensson Sander, with a special guest appearance by Stephanie Maher and Ulrich Kaiser Jones...
The Frame | Photo: Ludger Storcks
All of the activities that have been occurring as part of the Ponderosa Tanzland Festival 2019 are also happening in the larger frame of Tipping Utopia. This is a long-term project, led by Stephanie Maher, which began at the start of 2019 and will continue for the next three years at Ponderosa.
This outer context has resulted in some artistic overlaps between the festival and Tipping Utopia. The Frame, for example, featured recontextualised excerpts from You Are A Luxury Item, a prose-poem by Stephanie Maher that is part of the archive of Tipping Utopia.
The Tipping Utopia website has also featured contributions, over the course of the festival, from Ludger Storcks (with Ponderosa objects)and Stephanie Maher (with Big Studio objects, July 1). And there will be more soon.
Tipping Utopia is much more than just an online project, however. For the time of the festival, the big studio has featured an altar comprising objects from the history of Ponderosa, of Stolzenhagen, of earlier artistic collectives in Berlin and San Francisco, and other found objects integrated into the whole.
Tipping Utopia altar, big studio | Photos: Ludger Storcks, Adi Brief
Also, it would not have truly been a festival without a rainstorm.
One of the high points of the second week of the festival was Anthropomorphic, the FAKE Company performance on the evening of 11. July, in the big studio -- the first performance by the ensemble since their Reckonings and Antidotes performances in Dock 11 in Berlin last year.
Anthropomorphic by FAKE Company | Photos: Ludger Storcks
Meanwhile, there were still plenty of other things happening as the week progressed...
Some impressions of the week... | Photos: Tessa Broadby, Lily Kane, Aurora Prelevic, and others
...and everything was leading up to the Performance Marathon, where there was something close to six hours of performances, presentations, installations, interventions, dances, songs, spatial arrangements, constructed situations, human solar systems, magical transformations, and more. All followed by a kitchen dance party.
Performance Marathon 2019 | Photos: Ludger Storcks and others
And there was a delicious brunch the following morning, to restore and reinvigorate some weary and woozy minds and bodies.
Leo surveys his empire
The noticeboard by the end of the week -- yes, things got busy
The following days included a demonstration-participatory-jam-event, with Karen Nelson, called Contact Improvisation Interrogates its History and Currency, in which participants were invited to enter an imagined portal into the history of contact improvisation.
Karen Nelson | Photos: Ludger Storcks
This week also included The Spiral of Fortune (7 of Birds), a week-long "intensive laboratory and politicised mystery school" facilitated by Keith Hennessy and Michael J. Morris. Keith and Michael finished their week by presenting a performance investigating the history of witchcraft in Norway, among other things.
Keith Hennessy and Michael J. Morris | Photos: Ludger Storcks
And finally, the second week of the festival closed up with a fire ritual in the garden, to bring everything to a close.
Garden fire ritual | Photo: Ludger Storcks
Plenty of the participants in the festival have been posting online as things have been happening, and here below are a selection of some of the posts that have come our way. If you have any more that you would like to see added here, please let us know.
And, of course, that is not all -- our full summer program is still ongoing, with the P.O.R.C.H. Gardenbody Module, Night and Day, Color Block, the Radical Abundance Ruckus, and much much more coming our way over the next month or so and beyond. So hopefully we might see you out here in Stolzenhagen some time soon, regardless how it might happen. Looking forward to it.
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