“Bondage Duell” at Sophiensæle

As part of the Every Body Festival in Berlin’s Sophiensæle, I am happy to première Bondage Duellwith Silke Schönfleisch.

A 178cm tall ballerina and a 114cm small female government official on a tricycle appear on the scene. An uneven fight. The weapons: rope, muscular bodies and a thirst for adrenaline. Using classical dance means and Japanese bondage techniques, Bondage Duell examines physical and social patterns of bonding, empowerment and constraint. A place where cruelty and freedom, fun and curiosity lie closely together.

Dance: Silke Schönfleisch
Choreography & Dance: Dasniya Sommer

Dates: Thursday 18th, Friday 19th May at 21:00; Sunday 21st May at 19:00
Location: Sophiensæale Kantine
Tickets: 13€ / 8€ (Online tickets)
Kombi-tickets: 18€ / 12€
More info: Sophiensæle

A production by haus sommer in coproduction with Grenzenlos Kultur Theaterfestival and SOPHIENSÆLE. Photo © Holger Rudolph

Dasniya Sommer, Silke Schönfleisch, “Bondage Duell”. At Sophiensæle Berlin
Dasniya Sommer, Silke Schönfleisch, “Bondage Duell”. At Sophiensæle Berlin

Bondage Show

Grenzenlos Kultur festival mainz bondage show dasniya Sommer
Foto © Holger Rudolph

Grenzenlos Kulturfestival Mainz.

Not all performances start easy but still they can be fun! Arriving on Friday and rehearsing into to the night at the Glasshouse of the Staatstheater. What if the dancing bike unexpectedly doesn’t run across the dance floor?
What is wonderful condition for dancers, turned out to be a nightmare for our Silke. Sticking to the ground, rubber wheels on rubber floor, nobody there to help, except Burkhard on the phone with some precious Mac Gyver solution. Like always helping in the last moment. We found a compromise to reduce our frustration.

Our show was to be all about lightness and speedy movement, contrasted with calm bondage. Thats what Silke and I have been exploring for some month. Accompanied by Johannas sound and Florians live guitar.
Including scenes we ritually go through in rehearsals. It had all in it, tying my boy and Silke, and dancing ballet.

The café scene, cause there is much fascinating stuff Silke has to tell, especially when it comes to her experience and life as small states persecutor. But it is not only her size that make things different and challenge me to find bondage alternatives. There are other bodily conditions which on one hand are restrictions, but on the other hand give us unique choreographic possibilities. Like her powerful lower arms, or air bondage with only one suspension chord :)

It was the first time showing this material to the public. Still a bit fragile, but people appreciated the mediative process (some got nervous, but ok ;)
Overall I think it was a good step for us, and against all odds I much look forward to continue!

“Bondage Show”


Unseren nächsten Auftritt Bondage Show machen wir beim Festival Grenzenlos Kultur in Mainz.

Performance Impulse: Silke Backofen – Schönfleisch, Dasniya Sommer und Florian Loycke
24. September 2016, 14 Uhr
Staatstheater Mainz, Glashaus

Im Rahmen des Symposion Who Cares?
Kuratiert von Astrid Kaminski und Jeremy Wade

Der zukünftige Körper: ein hochfunktionales, interaktives System. Perfekt? Auf jeden Fall verwundbar. Denn je besser wir funktionieren (wollen), desto größer werden auch die gegenseitigen Abhängigkeiten.
Wie gestalten wir dieses Verhältnis? Menschen mit Behinderungen sowie generell Menschen mit hohem Hilfsbedarf stehen oft in einem komplizierten Abhängigkeitsverhältnis – zu Hilfsmitteln, Sozialleistungen, Assistenzen, Therapien, Vormündern. Mehr Info

Teaching Profi – Ballet in March

The next two upcoming Mondays I will substitute Profi – Ballet training at Center of Dance /Kulturbrauerei for Yuko Sato.

On March 14 & 21, 2016
Begin: 12 h – 12.30 h
Costs: 7 €

Schönhauser Allee 36,
Entrance: Knaackstrasse 97/ Sredzkistrasse 1, court yard of Kulturbrauerei
U-Bahn: U2 Eberswalderstraße

The class is inspired by American ballet technique and David Howards approach. Its economic principals to map the body for the ballet repertory. It is also based on my practice as classical dancer and yoga teacher.
We emphasise on breathing in motion, on complex yet organic coordination, and on movement sequences, which allow for musical precision, groove and joy.
The sensory and skeletal perception of movement play an important role, so that dancers connect to kinetic sensation rather than external shaping.
The class is accessible to both ballet but also more contemporary trained dancers.

Over 25 years Dasniya has collected different styles and dance concepts. Her first trainings she received in Berlin and New York, at Ballett-Akademie Vogl, with the State Ballet Berlin and at Dance New Amsterdam. With Zwi Gotheiner, Janett Panetta, Jo Siska, Susan Klein, etc.
Since 2008 Dasniya choreographs and has since collaborated and tought in various projects.
A.o. with Helena Waldmann, Romeo Castellucci, Schubot/Gradinger, Damaged Goods, Das Helmi, Deutsche Oper Berlin and currently for Veit Sprenger (Showcase beat le Mot).

In Buddhism the dancer is a cup, containing the individual vibe and the milions of steps a body can do.

POLINA Semionova!

OMG, when it comes to ballet I am such a groupie! In the last two weeks went to see the Staatsballett Berlin twice. To see Polina Semionova dance Swan Lake and Giselle.  She is utterly stunning. Every step is carefully, thoughtfully placed, and her person seems to vanish into the character she dances. Her presence and oneness with the role, especially as ephemeral being or ‘Elementargeist’.
Sometimes I would like her to perform a little more edgy, as black swan or in Giselle’s mad scene. But maybe that comes with more time, and well, thats also a lack in ballet education!
The Swan Lake evening was a double highlight, it was also Beatrice Knop’s farewell, after being a ballerina with the company for a quarter century  — what an immense effort!
It was touching, she took of her point shoes during the applause, and left them at the edge of the stage, mountains of flowers for the queen mother, her role that night.

Usually I wouldn’t bother too much, but this brought up memories. After the show I had her biography autographed by her, and when it was my turn I congratulated saying:
‘Hi, do you remember, a long time ago I was a little apprentice in the Staatsballett and we shared a dressing room.’
‘She looked up saying ‘Yea, I very well remember your face, good luck!’. ‘For you too!’ It was nice moment and reconciling with the old times ;)

PAF – Performance with Virginia

Quick posting between cities.. I had a week off from filming the ‘Affenkönig’ in the Provence and took the train north to PAF (Performance Art Forum) in St. Erme, North France. A beautiful train ride through the country :)

I heard many good things about this place and for a while wanted to spend time in a sort of hippy artistic place, focussing on performance research and easy community living. PAF is more than that!
Almost by chance I met Virginia Barratt, a so dear friend of mine, and writer from Australia.
We hadn’t seen for a while, and when I arrived she sat in the garden of the old women’s monastery, as if waiting for me ;)
Spontaneously we wanted to do something something.. Throwing together ideas around ballet, rope and text,
(she currently writes her PhD on ‘PANIC’ – wow & wuff). On my last day we showed what we had in an old chapel.

Festival: Zirkus des Fortschritts – das Helmi

Nach Berlin und Bremen geht der Zirkus des Fortschritts in die dritte Runde. Vom 26.8. – 6.9. zieht die Helmi-Truppe durch die Berner Innenstadt und freut sich auf das bunte Treiben im dortigen Schlachthaus.

Hier einige Momente aus Bremen: Pilzballett, creating the yellow bastard, Boxkampf, Froschkönig, SolameMusicShow, Dauerregen, Sin City & Bondage auf dem Goetheplatz ;)

Die Große Mysterien Show – Frostfamilie

Letztes Wochenende..ein Rausch, ein tolles Fest, zehn mal spielen mit der Frostfamilie auf dem Schaubudenfestival in Dresden. Spannende und glückliche Performancebegegnungen mit Marie aka Rotkäppchenmän, Felix aka Schlechtmän, Otto aka Sphinxmän, Cora Frost aka Gutmän und ich war Ballerinamän ;) Zuletzt, um Mitternacht schwammen wir die Überraschungsperformance im Stadtbad.