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Speak Boldly - The Julius Eastman Dance Project / GAY GUERRILLA

Speak Boldly - The Julius Eastman Dance Project / GAY GUERRILLA

Speak Boldly - The Julius Eastman Dance Project / GAY GUERRILLA

  

The project is a musical-choreographic exploration of the works of Afro-American composer Julius Eastman, who passed away in 1990. The project takes into special account the broader history of minimal music and contemporary dance. It expands the spectrum of the established canon of minimal art dance pieces inspired by music and adds to it a new, previously little-heard voice.

In the process, it brings together more than 20 artists from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. 

J. Eastman, born 1940 in Ithaca, New York, was one of those multi-talents rarely found in music history. He was a musician, composer, singer and dancer. He began piano lessons as a young child and soon later also started dance training. He had a remarkably deep singing voice. Very soon, his talents began to cause a stir and consequently he worked with acclaimed artists such as Morton Feldman, Pierre Boulez, Meredith Monk and Arthur Russel. His compositions were enthusiastically performed and received in the USA and Europe. However, as an openly gay Afro-American in an art form dominated by whites, he never quite managed to really become part of the minimal music community. In the end, he died lonely and homeless, after a long bout of substance abuse. Most of his compositions were also lost in the process. Thanks to various reconstructions in recent years, his work has been rediscovered and is finally receiving due international recognition. 

This project attempts to render three of Eastman’s pieces – Gay Guerilla, The Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc and Femenine – with international guests into choreography that concentrates on the rhythmic qualities and political objectives of Eastman’s music. The starting point is the hypothetical question: What if Eastman’s music had become part of the musical canon? What inspirations could dance have drawn from his work?

All pieces are performed live by the renowned Zafraan Ensemble.

http://www.christoph-winkler.com/produktionen/eastman/

winkler, Christoph

Christopher Winkler is one of the most versatile choreographers in Germany. His work covers a wide range of formats and deals with topics both of a very personal nature as well as highly political contributions to current social discourse.   
Born in Torgau in the former GDR, he was a multiple Spartakiad winner in the disciplines weightlifting and judo as a teenager. He then studied martial arts and breakdance, before being accepted at the National Ballet School in Berlin. After the fall of the wall, he danced in video productions for MTV and worked as a bodyguard and construction worker. In the early 1990’s, he performed in underground techno clubs. Then he studied choreography for four years at the prestigious School for Drama “Ernst Busch“ and founded Klangkrieg Productions, a platform for experimental music. Under this label, he produce work by numerous acclaimed musicians such as the Venetian Snares or Current Value. At the same time, he also curated the festival AvantPop and organized parties and concerts e.g. for the Fuckparade.   
After graduating from the Ernst Busch in 1998, he consciously chose to continue working as an independent choreographer in Berlin. Right from the start, he received much critical acclaim and numerous invitations to festivals for his innovative dance style and minimalist, rigorously composed, discursive dance dramas.   
In 2007, he founded the agency BERLIN GOGOS with "ehrliche arbeit – freelance office for culture” as a way to commercially market contemporary dance and address the economic situation of contemporary dancers today.   
His works consistently deal with topics that reference issues currently discussed in society at large, but that also directly pertain to and affect the art form of dance.
Source : Christoph Winkler
More information : http://www.christoph-winkler.com/

Speak Boldly - The Julius Eastman Dance Project / GAY GUERRILLA

Artistic direction / Conception : Christoph Winkler

Choreography : Christoph Winkler

Choreography assistance : Zen Jefferson

Set design : Valentina Primavera

Original music : Zafraan Ensemble & Guests

Additionnal music : Clemens Hund-Göschel

Costumes : Raki Fernandez

Technical direction : Claes Schwennen

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : A production by Company Christoph Winkler. Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds, the Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa und the Augstein-Stiftung. Media partner: taz. die tageszeitung

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