Three different stories on borders merging into a dance performance. Diana Schuemann

C.U.L.T.U.R.E C.L.A.S.H is a mixed-media solo dance piece on borders; physical and non-physical frontiers alike, created by humankind. The dance solo deals in four parts with the stated themes and with the separation that arises from them.

It seeks to deal with the struggles that come around with borders. This piece tells individual stories on borders, displaying 3 characters who are differently connected to the subject. They resist, show resiliency but moreover breaking points. Their stories are untold, broken, fragments of individual life stories. Although not sharing the same story or relation to borders and walls, the characters merge in their stories with one another. What seemingly happens only on one “side“ has an effect on the “other side“ as well. C.U.L.T.U.R.E C.L.A.S.H presents fragmented memories of individual life stories, presented in a non-chronological order, evoking the question(s) of if it is rather just one story instead of three individual ones?

Each choreographed character has an underlying story, which shaped the movement research as well as work-in-process. Borders are related to every society, to every country and culture, thereby to every individual. The question is, how do we as individuals relate to borders in the context of a society?

The choreographical work-in progress was guided by research questions related to each story and based on chosen secondary literature . What was and is still challenging to me as the performer, is that I wish to leave a lot of room for interpretation on behalf of the spectator. Therefore, the dance/movement shall be abstract. I set specific movement “patterns” which repeat itself and are sometimes shared by all characters. This choreographical choice was made to evoke new questions for the audiences, such as: Are these really three stories or is it rather just one? The characters merge in their stories with one another displaying that all our actions as humankind, even if only seeminlgy happening „on one side“ are related to one another. If one is disrupted we all are.
Creating the solo was accompanied by the readings: “The Body in Pain. The Making and Unmaking of the World by Elaine Scarry (1985) and “Die Tortur” by Jean Amery.

The stage design consists of a painting by Audrey Messas “America leaking I“ projected on the wall and drawings by artist Avital Yomdin capturing fragments of the displayed scenes.

Thanks to funding via DIS-TANZEN Solo Dachverband Tanz Deutschland the piece has undergone an intensive research and work-in progress.

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