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Sep. 2, 2013
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Berlin’s international dance festival Tanz im August opens (Aug. 16 – 31, 2013)
The 2013 edition of Berlin’s international dance festival Tanz im August marks the event’s 25th holding from August 16 to 31. In addition to the usual venues of HAU, Sophiensaele, Volksbühne and Haus der Berliner Festspiele, this year new venues at the Theater an der Parkaue, St. Agnes Cathedral and the Hamburger Bahnhof museum of contemporary art were also used.
This is the 25th year since Tanz im August was founded as a festival to invite international dance companies to Berlin. The program this year was one that both looked back over this quarter of a century and also sought new perspectives. The world’s dance scene has shifted from the former West-centric orientation to a more global one and the themes and aesthetics have become more diverse. This year’s festival director, Bettina Masuch approached this year’s program with a desire to explore the dynamic changes happening in today’s dance scene.
The festival opens with works by one of the representative artists of the post-modern dance in New York in the 1980s, Trisha Brown, with a collection titled Early Works, and Steve Paxton’s 1982 work Bound. These are two works that had an influence on the styles of almost all dancers of the next generation. This opening was followed by a program of works by an international lineup of young choreographers not only from Europe and North and South America but also the countries of southern Africa, Israel, the Philippines and India. Attention also focused on Choy Ka Fai lecture performance Notion: Dance Fiction and artist Tino Sehgal’s early work ohne Titel (2000).
Also on the program are works by artists introduced in Japan such as Trajal Harrell and Bruno Beltrão. Harrell presented the latest work of the Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church series he has presented since 2008, a work titled Judson Church is Ringing in Harlem (Made-to-Measure), while Beltrão’s work titled CRACKz (Dança morta) is based on a “repertoire of gestures created by mankind” gathered via the internet by his dancers.
During the festival an exhibition of six video works, “STRUT YOUR STUFF” at HAU1 presented artistic approaches to the Afro-Atlantic or “black” tradition in dance, and every night at the Gendarmenmarkt square a video installation showing a film series by David Michalek title Slow dancing was on view. On the last day of the festival there were more than 40 performances at the 14 studios and surrounding areas of Ufer Studios, which has been collaborating in the festival since last year.

Festival Outline
Tanz im August is Germany’s largest contemporary dance festival and is held every year in August. The festival was launched in 1988 by the initial artistic director, Nele Hertling, after which it came to be jointly planned and run by Hebbel am Ufer/HAU and TanzWerkstatt Berlin, and organization founded in 1988 with the aim of providing a new international approach to support of contemporary dance. Since 2013, the festival has adopted a new system by which a single festival director curates the program for that year’s festival.
+Tanz im August