Love. We want to know what it is. We know: it connects. Connects to relationships. But what exactly – what elements of relationships form an intersection? Is there a universal language of the body of the heart? Laura Witzleben and Simon Köslich address this question with Zweisamkeiten – a choreographic real performance that Berliners can experience from 25 to 27 November 2022 in the former air-raid shelter Culterim in Charlottenburg. Real performance because the directors have found three real dance and love couples who literally dance with each other through life.
Image above: Courtesy Culterim
Jean and Brigitte, Tatjana and Milena as well as Yasmin and Sean are all lovers and professional dancers at the same time. In intensive interviews and during rehearsals, Simon Köslich and Laura Witzleben spoke with the protagonists about themes such as trust, visions, closeness, finitude and death. The notes and texts, the history of the couples, their past and present and the accompanying different but also similar worlds of thought and feeling are the starting point for three individual and coherent choreographic spaces that open up togetherness for the audience.
“How people engage with and rely on each other is a human constant that regularly fascinates us in our artistic work. We are accompanied by an enthusiasm for biographies and for people’s relationships. Zweisamkeiten deals with the effect of diverse dance aesthetics as a choreographic narrative through an ensemble with a heterogeneous age structure, different training and approach. Love is such a great theme that has always existed and probably always will – it occupies every human being, whether in happiness or in sadness. It is anchored in us and connects us all – we love and want to be loved. We just show it in different ways, sometimes in the same way. And our bodies speak their own language”, says Laura Witzleben.
The soundscape, developed by Davidson Jaconello and transmitted via headphones, is filled with quotations from the previous interviews and enters into an exciting dialogue with the physicality of the dancers and the location of the bunker. The visitors are thus allowed to immerse themselves in the biographies of the couples with several senses and perhaps discover intersections with their own relationships.
“Perhaps the audience will recognise themselves in the differences as well as in the parallels between the protagonists and can take home a bouquet of impressions as a kind of mirror and thus also a feeling of understanding for themselves and for others. Ultimately, it is about recognising that we all move in wave-like processes. It’s about the origin and what connects us – love,” says Simon Köslich.
Jean Chaize and Brigitte Cuvelier
“We were both engaged in the same ballet company at the beginning of the 1982-83 season. Both new in a foreign city, both with the same mother tongue, both sitting on the banks of the Rhine looking at BASF … The story of our relationship is difficult to separate from our professional lives. That’s why we can’t talk about ourselves as a couple without putting work in the foreground. We don’t have any children together. We have never married, never had a television. We don’t overly enjoy family life and are not in any social network. For the first 22 years we had separate households, for the last 18 years we have been happy to live together every day.
Tatjana Mahlke and Milena Nowak
“We have been a couple for almost 3 years, moved in together after a relatively short time and spend a lot of time together – whether professionally or privately. We met quite unromantically in the office of a dance studio where we were working at the time. Tatjana always had to start grinning when Milena came into the room. It struck us that we not only liked each other as friends, but wanted to get to know each other even more intimately on this “giggle-grin” basis. This was exciting and thrilling for both of us, especially because it is the first same-sex relationship for both of us. To this day, the public space is always about comparisons – what visibility is there, where we can travel, who perceives us and how, why do we see the need to name our same-sex love as such here? All these are recurring questions that accompany us privately but also professionally.”
Yasmin Schönmann and Sean Nederlof
Yasmin and Sean are two contemporary dancers from Munich and San Francisco who met in New York in 2015. “Sean is my best friend and someone I can rely on 100% to pick me up mentally wherever I am. If I’m in a fun mood, he can balance it out, or if I’m in a more thoughtful mood, too. It’s really a strong bond we have, not only as a couple who love each other, but also in other areas where we support each other. We are also best friends and work in the same field. Sometimes it’s a challenge, but very often it helps. “OK, Yasmine was someone who always amazed me. She always impressed me. I was already fascinated by her story. In a way, I was like – well, the world is a pretty tough place and – you know, sometimes you can’t stick to your beliefs and your morals. And you were really strong and confident about those things. And you. You really got me. You brought me out of my shell.”
Fri, 25.11.22 8:00 pm
Sat, 26.11.22 8:00 pm
Sun. 27.11.22 4:00 pm / 8:00 pm
Duration of the Performance: 60 Minutes
Friday, 25 November until Sunday, 27 November 2022
15€ / reduced 10 € (plus advance booking fee)