Germany


Breisach, Germany

Breisach, Germany

Each year since 2005, Battery Dance Company has conducted a melange of arts education programs and performances in Germany. What began as a very focused, on-off project in Baden-Wurttemberg, developed into a multi-tiered program that spread to five German Federal States.


Dates

  • June 23-25th, 2013

    Sponsors

  • FÖRDERVEREIN EHEMALIGES JÜDISCHES GEMEINDEHAUS BREISACH e.V.
  • U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt
  • U. S. Embassy Berlin
  • Carl-Schurz-Haus Freiburg
  • Kapuziner Garten Hotel
  • Individual Patrons

    Project Activities

  • 5 performances in different rooms at the Blue House
  • Danced unveiling of a new public sculpture
  • 1 Final Performance at Breisgauhalle

    Venues

  • Blue House
  • Breisgauhalle

  • Successful programs often breed opportunities for follow-on activities, especially when personal relationships have been built with local sponsors and community leaders.

    When on-site rehearsal time is anticipated to be very limited, extensive background communication and research is helpful in order to foresee any problems well in advance and resolve them beforehand.

    Plan itineraries well in advance and think imaginatively about ways to shoe-horn programs onto other tours. The expense of conducting the Breisach program would have been too high, had it not been grafted on to a previously scheduled Asia Tour, using the Frankfurt Airport as a hub.

    On June 23rd, Battery Dance Company returned to Breisach, the city where it had staged the acclaimed “Dances for the Blue House” in 2006, to participate in the 10th Anniversary commemorating the opening of the Blue House as a living memorial to the Jews of Breisach. Seven members of the Company participated – 5 performers, artistic director and technical director.

    Three events took place in close succession before an audience estimated at 200. First, a series of site-specific performances were presented within 5 rooms of the Blue House:

    • a community room on the ground floor where a BDC dancer performed along with musician Thomas Wenk (resident of Breisach, professor of music at the Freiburg Conservatory)

    • A prayer room in which dossiers of Jewish families are stored in a wooden ‘ark’

    • A study room where the recently deceased Cantor, Ralph Eisenmann, had prepared his sermons

    • The former bedroom of Eisenmann and his wife, where a rock came through the window, a precursor to the events that were to follow in the Nazi movement

    • A small kitchen where the audience watched the dancer and reader from the open doorway.

    The audience was asked to form a ‘silent procession’ and filed through the rooms, following a pathway that was marked on the floor with colored tape. There were readers in each room who recited passages from texts included as an addendum to this report. After the audience had filed out of the house and seated itself on chairs and benches that had been placed on the closed-off street and in the shade of a large tree, the dancers dashed out of the house. They had changed from their cream-colored silk costumes into brightly colored “rain suits” and ran around the side yard of the Blue House, climbed a scaffolding, and ceremoniously unwrapped the plastic sheeting covering a newly installed sculpture created by German artist Heike Endemann. While the audience took respite in the garden of the Blue House, with cakes and coffee, the Battery Dance Company team was transported to the Breisgau Halle where the Company’s tech director had been working all day with local crew on preparing the stage, lighting and sound for a full-fledged performance. At 7 pm, the performance took place, featuring a new work, “Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost” by Polish choreographer Jacek Luminski and two segments from “AUTOBIOGRAPHICA”. Introductory remarks were given by the Public Affairs Officer of the Consulate General Frankfurt and by Battery Dance Company Artistic Director. The audience included a huge span of generations with local children of under 10 years old all the way up to people in the 80’s. Jewish Holocaust survivors and families of survivors from Breisach came from as far away as the U.S., Switzerland, U.K., Israel and France. For them, the events had a special resonance. However, the local audience from Breisach and Freiburg, including 4 young adults who had participated in the original Dances for the Blue House and Dancing to Connect programs, as well as teachers from Freiburg schools who had coordinated the earlier programs, also attended and accorded powerful appreciation for all of the events.

    Summer Tour 2013

    Breisach, Germany
    Vientiane, Laos
    Valetta, Malta
    Bangkok, Thailand

    Witten, Germany

    Witten, Germany

    Battery Dance Company led their third inter- generational performance here in 2012.

    This was a development of previous Inter-generational projects that happened in 2010 and 2011.


    Dates

  • December 1-9, 2012

    Program Activities

  • Workshops

  • 3 Performances

    Venue

  • Werkstadt (Workshops)

  • Memory House (Performances)

  • Witten, Germany

    Germany

    Battery Dance Company held an inter-generational program here in 2011.

    This project was a follow up to the inter-generational program created by Battery Dance in Germany, 2010.

    The company worked with 20 participants between the ages of 14-80 years old. They explored the themes of time and aging to produce a 40 minutes performance that was showcased at the end of the week.


    Dates

  • November 2011

    Partners

  • Werkstadt

    Venues

  • Werkstand

    Program Specifics

  • 6 days of all day workshops
  • Participants varying in ages 14-80 years old.
  • 20 participants in total
  • 40 minute theater/ dance performance 'Timeless' produced over the 6 days.
  • 1 performance by BDC dancer Carmen called 'Hourglass'.

  • Bochum, Germany

    Bochum, Germany

    Dates

    • February 14 - 19, 2011

    Sponsors

    Project Activities

    • Workshops at Pestalozzi Schule in Bochum, 60 students
    • Final Performance in the Pestalozzi Schule Auditorium, 60 students

    Venues

    • Pestalozzi Schule

    Battery Dance Company performed here as a part of its Dancing to Connect program in February 2011. This was a groundbreaking, multinational project uniting Israeli and Palestinian teens through dance for the first time in Bochum, Germany. Four BDC teaching artists conducted an intensive week of workshops with mixed groups of students from Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Bochum, brought together under the auspices of Encounters, Peter Maffay Foundation & the NRW Government. A trilateral youth exchange, this iteration of Dancing to Connect aimed to train the young people as mediators in the Middle East conflict and as exemplars of tolerance and dialogue. DtC introduced the universal languages of dance and music to build communicative bridges among students whose backgrounds are starkly polarized. This program was continued in June when the same German and Palestinian youth were invited to Israel to continue the historic collaboration. See Kfar Menachem, Israel for more information.

    Dancing to Connect Germany, Israel, and Palestine 2011

    Bochum, Germany
    Kfar Menachem, Israel

    North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

    Aachen, Bochum-Wattenscheid, Essen-Kray, Witten, Germany

    Battery Dance Company worked and performed here as a part of Dancing to Connect in Germany 2010.


    Dates

  • July 5 - 13, 2010

    Sponsors

    Project Activities

    • 6 Days of workshops at each school and town
    • Performance at Saalbau, Witten

    Partnerships

    Venues

    • Hauptschule Schetters Busch School
    • Blote Vogel-School
  • Please see Germany 2010 Overview for Lessons Learned in Aachen, Bochum-Wattenscheid, Essen-Kray, and Witten.

    Please see Germany 2010 Overview for the narrative in Aachen, Bochum-Wattenscheid, Essen-Kray, and Witten.

    Germany_2010

    Brandenburg, Germany
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Otto-Hahn-Schule
    Wiesbaden, Germany
    Hessen, Germany
    Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
    Germany 2010 Overview
    North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

    Hessen, Germany

    Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Germany

    Battery Dance Company worked and performed here as a part of Dancing to Connect in Germany 2010.


    Dates

  • June 6 - 14, 2010

    Sponsors

    Project Activities

    • 6 days of workshops at each school
    • Final Performance at the Frankfurt Skyliners’ Titushalle Gym
    • Barbeque at the residence of U.S. Consol General

    Partnerships

    Venues

    • Frankfurt Skyliners’ Titushalle Gym
    • Wiesbaden Schools:
    • Wolfram-von-Eschenbach-Schule
    • Wilhelm-Heinrich-von-Riehl-Schule
    • Frankfurt Schools:
    • Otto-Hahn-Schule
    • Theodor-Heuss-Schule
    • Ernst-Reuter-Schule
  • Please see Germany 2010 Overview for Lessons Learned in Frankfurt and Wiesbaden.

    Please see Germany 2010 Overview for Narrative of Frankfurt and Wiesbaden.

    Germany_2010

    Brandenburg, Germany
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Otto-Hahn-Schule
    Wiesbaden, Germany
    Hessen, Germany
    Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
    Germany 2010 Overview
    North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

    Videos

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    Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany

    Halle, Wittenberg, Germany

    Battery Dance Company worked and performed here as a part of Dancing to Connect in Germany 2010.


    Dates

    June 15 - 23, 2010

    Sponsors

    Project Activities

    • Daily rehearsals and workshops in each school
    • Final Performance at the Steintor-Varieté in Halle

    Partnerships

    Venues

    • Wittenberg School
    • GTS-Friedrichstadt
    • Halle Schools:
      • Kooperative Gesamtschule Wilhelm von Humboldt
      • Landeszentrum für Hörgeschädigte
      • Sekundarschule Halle Süd

    For more information, please see Germany 2010.

    Please see Germany 2010 Overview for Lessons Learned in Halle and Wittenberg.

    Germany_2010

    Brandenburg, Germany
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Otto-Hahn-Schule
    Wiesbaden, Germany
    Hessen, Germany
    Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
    Germany 2010 Overview
    North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

    Videos

    Mqdefault Play_overlay_button

    Germany 2010 Overview

    Germany

    Battery Dance Company worked and performed in seven different cities and towns in four different regions of Germany.


    Dates

  • June 5- July 14, 2010

    Sponsors

  • Transatlantic Program ERP
  • German Federal Ministry of Education
  • U.S. Embassy Berlin
  • U.S. Consulates General Düsseldorf, Frankfurt & Leipzig
  • Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung-Brandenburg
  • Körber-Stiftung

    Partnerships

    For further information on project activities, see specific regions:

  • Chosing a Timely Theme

    Given German Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s declaration on October 16, 2010, that the Germany’s so-called multi-cultural society had failed, Battery Dance Company’s theme of Inclusion/Exclusion was a powerful demonstration of the opposite. Over a period of 38 days, in nearly 25 schools among 4 German States, Battery Dance Company teaching artists gave students the opportunity to reflect on this potent theme as it impacts them and their communities. These students were from various disenfranchised sectors such as Turkish, African and Central Asian immigrants, the learning and physically disabled, residents of the former East German States, unemployed youth and others.

    Training German Teaching Artists

    A new and important aspect of the multi-year project was introduced in Dancing to Connect 2010: the sustainability of the project through the training of German teaching artists. German dance teachers from the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst as well as other freelancers from Berlin, Brandenburg and NRW States, joined their American counterparts as members of the DtC pedagogical teams. In this way, they gained practical training in the DtC approach and were introduced to local teachers and school administrators – opening doors for future employment.

    Battery Dance Company’s Dancing to Connect program in Germany entered its 5th season in June, 2010, with workshops stretching across 10 cities in 4 Federal States. The over-arching theme of the 2010 program was Inclusion/Exclusion. This theme was first posited by Inka Thunecke, Director of the Heinrich-Böll- Stiftung-Brandenburg, at the end of the 2009 iteration of Dancing to Connect that had been centered on the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall and on which H-B-S-B and BDC had first collaborated. Inka was inspired by the impact of the teaching artists of Battery Dance Company and its partners from Drastic Action who she had seen working with children of Turkish immigrants in Berlin and learning disabled jobless youth in the depressed town of Eberswalde. She had witnessed how the DtC project injected a spirit of optimism, empowerment and self-realization for these ‘have-nots’ of German society.

    10 American teaching artists from Battery Dance Company and Drastic Action collaborated on the Dancing to Connect workshops in 2010, with program management handled by BDC Artistic Director and technical support for each of the five culminating performances by BDC’s production designer.

    In the original plan, German free-lance dancers and dance teachers would have been trained in the Dancing to Connect methodology in each city where workshops were held. In this way, the gains of DtC could be multiplied even after the American artists had departed. Unfortunately, funding was not sufficient to realize this plan in full; however, in five of the cities -- Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Potsdam, Wittenberg and Witten – training was held with local teaching partners. In the first two cities, trainees were selected from the pool of graduate students in the Masters Degree program in Contemporary Dance Pedagogy at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst. Throughout the tour, an Australian dancer accompanied the team, gaining training through a fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts.

    The multi-layered, international cast of characters that had come together to forward Dancing to Connect in Germany might appear to be the result of a carefully constructed business plan. However, the truth is very different: In 2005, we envisioned the project in Germany to be a one-off event.

    Looking back at the formative stages that had laid the groundwork for this unexpected evolution in Germany, a conversation in Washington with a long-time staffer at the Department of State’s Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau had provided guidance that was pivotal. She suggested that we apply for Speakers Grants from the US Embassy in Berlin in order to lay the groundwork for what was, at the time, a small and contained program. The meetings and talks with different stakeholders in Freiburg and Berlin, representatives of educational, funding and community institutions, yielded unexpected results. It was suggested that we exploit the opportunity of having our dance companies in Germany to work with youth in schools. Here was one of the keys to our success: the fact that the formative notion of a youth outreach program was offered by the host country. In the next 6 years, unimagined developments occurred: the project continued in Freiburg for the next three years but also expanded to 23 other cities; funding continued every year from the US Embassy in Berlin and Consulates in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Leipzig; but in 2009 and 2010, U.S. support was overtaken by support from the German Government and German foundations, guaranteeing the growth and sustainability of the program.

    Germany_2010

    Brandenburg, Germany
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Otto-Hahn-Schule
    Wiesbaden, Germany
    Hessen, Germany
    Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
    Germany 2010 Overview
    North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

    Videos

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    Frankfurt, Germany

    Frankfurt, Germany

    The Theme of Inclusion/Exclusion was first posited by Inka Thunecke, Director of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung-Brandenburg, over lunch in a French cafe in the jewel-box city of Potsdam.  This was in October, 2009, at the end of the earlier iteration of [Dancing to Connect][2] that was centered on the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.  Inka had seen Battery Dance Company’s and Drastic Action teaching artists working with children of Turkish immigrants in Berlin and learning disabled jobless youth in the depressed town of Eberswalde, and had witnessed how the dancing project had injected a spirit of optimism, empowerment and self-realization for these ‘have-nots’ of German society. 

    Given German Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s declaration on October 16, 2010, that the Germany’s so-called multi-cultural society had failed, Battery Dance Company’s theme of Inclusion/Exclusion was a powerful demonstration of the opposite.  Over a period of 38 days, in nearly 25 schools among 4 German States, Battery Dance Company teaching artists gave students the opportunity to reflect on this potent theme as it impacts them and their communities.  These students were from various disenfranchised sectors such as Turkish, African and Central Asian immigrants, the learning and physically disabled, residents of the former East German States, unemployed youth and others._
     

    For more information, please see Germany 2010 Overview.

    To see performance footage of one of the schools, Otto-Hahn-Schule, that DtC worked with during their time in Frankfurt, Click here

    Germany_2010

    Brandenburg, Germany
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Otto-Hahn-Schule
    Wiesbaden, Germany
    Hessen, Germany
    Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
    Germany 2010 Overview
    North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

    Otto-Hahn-Schule

    Frankfurt, Germany

    Otto-Hahn-Schule was one of the Frankfurt Schools where the group taught and performed. We were very happy to return after having staged a performance and master class there in 2007.

    Mayuna & Sean, Teaching artists of Battery Dance Company taught 15 girls and 10 boys (ages 12 – 18) how to create their own choreography on the theme "Inclusion/Exclusion".

    PERFORMANCE at Otto-Hahn-Schule

    In these videos, Jonathan Hollander, Artistic and Executive Director of Battery Dance Company and Dancing to Connect and Gabriele Telgenbuescher, Deputy Principal Otto-Hahn-Schule in Frankfurt, speak about the importance for the school and for the students of such ground-breaking cultural initiative.
     


    Germany_2010

    Brandenburg, Germany
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Otto-Hahn-Schule
    Wiesbaden, Germany
    Hessen, Germany
    Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
    Germany 2010 Overview
    North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

    Videos

    Mqdefault Play_overlay_button

    Wiesbaden, Germany

    Wiesbaden, Germany

    Make yourself uncomfortable - stretch to the limit - it just might produce the results you need:

    In 2009, we applied for the second time to the German Federal Government via the Ministry in Bonn that looks after the Trans-Atlantic Program, for funding of Dancing to Connect. Having hit the jackpot the previous year, we had no idea whether (despite DtC's  success) we could succeed a second time.  Beyond that, we had expanded our reach from 1 State in 2006 and 07 to 3 States in 08 and 09 and now -- lunacy -- intended to work in 4 States in '10. Even though our plans were grandiose, we were attached to each and every element and wouldn't hear of jettisoning a part of it.

    So, there was only one thing to do in case the Bundesmin. failed to materialize: Plan B!

    Through a contact of a contact, I found the name and e-mail address of a key person in the Education Ministry.  Though I was told that Germany is highly decentralized, and States make up their own mind vis a vis educational programs, I had nothing to lose.

    I made my way to Germany 6 months prior to the start of the project -- luckily, the US Embassy in Berlin agreed to bring me over on a Speaker Program.  

    I was on my own, spending two or three days in each State, meeting with potential partners from morning 'til late at night, and then jumping on a train to the next city.  I phoned the Education Ministry and spoke to Madame X (I shall refrain from using her real name to protect her identity but for any good detectives, don't bother -- she has just retired!)  who agreed to meet me that evening!   One problem:  Madame X was in Bonn and I was at the other end of the State of NRW, in the small town of Witten, in a very important meeting that ended at 5 pm.  "If you can make it", she challenged, "I'll pick you up at the train station and you can join me at the opening of an exhibition followed by a formal dinner."  

    A formal dinner in Bonn was not my idea of a fun evening, considering that my hotel was in Düsseldorf, an hour by train from Bonn, and I had a plane reservation to fly to Berlin the next morning at 6:30 a.m.  

    Here's where the stretch came in....

    Fortunately, German's love their cars and love to drive fast.  So I hitched a ride to Cologne with Frank, a PR executive who loved the concept of DtC and was part of the group meeting in Witten.  

    I had to close my eyes as he sped at top speed on the Autobahn in his deluxe vehicle.  

    I sprang out of the car as we reached the train station and boarded the next train for Bonn, arriving exactly on time to be picked up by Mme X.  

    By this time, having been in meetings all day in 4 different cities, I was exhausted. Fortunately for me, Mme. X was in the same state, and after we saw the packed crowd at the exhibition, we both agreed that a quiet supper was the best choice!  

    We found a table at the adjacent restaurant and dug into some wine and an unexceptional meal.  The exceptional part was our conversation:  We hit it off in a big way and were carrying on like old friends.  

    On the way back to the station, I heard the words I had only dreamed of:  "How much do you need?"

    Fast forward:  we got the grant from the Bundesministerium, minus about 25% that had been an across-the-boards cut mandated by the government in keeping with the recession.  I contacted Mme. X who promptly filled in the gap and we were off and running with DtC 2010 in all 4 States.   

    The take-away lesson here is obvious:  Never turn down an invitation from a potential funder even if it means 3 hours of sleep and indigestion!

    For more information, please see Germany 2010 Overview

    Germany_2010

    Brandenburg, Germany
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Otto-Hahn-Schule
    Wiesbaden, Germany
    Hessen, Germany
    Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
    Germany 2010 Overview
    North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

    Potsdam, Germany

    Potsdam, Germany

    Please see Germany 2009 Overview for more details on this Dancing to Connect Tour.


    Germany_2009

    Potsdam, Germany
    Beelitz, Germany
    Duisburg, Germany
    Dessau-Roßlau, Germany
    Eberswalde, Germany
    Halle, Germany
    Berlin, Germany - 2009 Overview
    Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany

    Beelitz, Germany

    Beelitz, Germany

    Please see Germany 2009 Overview for more details on this Dancing to Connect Tour.


    Germany_2009

    Potsdam, Germany
    Beelitz, Germany
    Duisburg, Germany
    Dessau-Roßlau, Germany
    Eberswalde, Germany
    Halle, Germany
    Berlin, Germany - 2009 Overview
    Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany

    Essen, Germany

    Essen, Germany

    Please see Germany 2009 Overview for more details on this Dancing to Connect Tour.


    Duisburg, Germany

    Duisburg, Germany

    Please see Germany 2009 Overview for more details on this Dancing to Connect Tour.


    Germany_2009

    Potsdam, Germany
    Beelitz, Germany
    Duisburg, Germany
    Dessau-Roßlau, Germany
    Eberswalde, Germany
    Halle, Germany
    Berlin, Germany - 2009 Overview
    Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany