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Ernest Berk - The complete expressionist

Dachverband Tanz Deutschland e.V. 2019 - Director : Winkler, Christoph

Choreographer(s) : Winkler, Christoph (Germany)

Present in collection(s): Dachverband Tanz Deutschland e.V.

Video producer : Tanzforum Berlin

en fr

Ernest Berk - The complete expressionist

Dachverband Tanz Deutschland e.V. 2019 - Director : Winkler, Christoph

Choreographer(s) : Winkler, Christoph (Germany)

Present in collection(s): Dachverband Tanz Deutschland e.V.

Video producer : Tanzforum Berlin

en fr

Ernest Berk - The complete expressionist

This project explores the life and legacy of choreographer, electronic music composer, improviser, dance therapist and pegagogue Ernest Berk. Berk's innovative, multifarious career spanned six decades and reflected deep involvement in leftist politics and devoted interest in non-Western aesthetics.

As with so many artists of the time, Berk’s life and work were inextricably linked to and fundamentally shaped by the turbulent political climate: the Nazi suppression of leftist and Jewish intellectuals led to the exile of Berk and his wife Lotte Heymansohn (also a dancer, and Jewish) to Great Britain in the 1930s after Lotte was banned from performing in Germany and after both were blacklisted by the Nazis. Berk opened a studio in Camden, London and began dedicating himself more seriously to the composition of electronic music and musique concrète, at first mainly for his own performances but then also for theatre, television, and film. His synthesis of musique concrète and movement made him one of the most visionary in a wave of pioneering electronic music composers. He also continued to develop an individualised style of dance rooted in ideas of social reform and freedom of expression. It wasn’t until the 1980s that Berk would return to Germany – this time to Berlin, where he began teaching music therapy and improvisation at both the performing arts and music departments at the Arts university, Hochschule der Künste (now Universität der Künste). 

Despite far-reaching influence within music and dance scenes during his lifetime, Berk never truly achieved lasting recognition; his legacy as a composer, performer, and pedagogue has all but slipped out of the public consciousness. Like many persecuted artists who fled Germany for the UK, his career was greatly disrupted by the transition to a drastically different creative scene. Although widely embraced in his new country, he was never truly appreciated for what he accomplished. When he died in Berlin in 1993, he was destitute – his position at the UdK had ended because of internal restructuring.


http://www.christoph-winkler.com/en/productions/berk/

Winkler, Christoph

Christoph 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. 

Recent works are: “Dance! Copy! Right?” (2012) about copyright in  art, especially in dance, “RechtsRadikal” about neo-Nazi women and “The  True Face – Dance Is Not Enough”, an entertaining overview of protest  art forms, both 2013. The solo “Baader – A Choreography of  Radicalisation” was invited to the German Dance Platform in 2012 and  dancer Martin Hansen was named Dance of the Year by the German leading  dance journal “tanz” that same year for his role in the piece. In 2014,  Winkler produced the solo “Hauptrolle” with Ahmed Soura from Burkina  Faso about the role of people of color on German stages, as well as the  dance heritage Tanzfonds Erbe piece “Abendliche Tänze” about the  subjective process of memory. That same year “The True Face” won the  FAUST Prize of the Deutsche Bühnenverein in the category “Best  Choreography”; it was the first time that this prize was awarded to a  piece produced entirely outside the German municipal and state theater  system. 

In spring 2015, he created the very intimate solo “La Fille- Portrait  of a Child” together with Emma Daniel, in which Christoph Winkler  reflected on his relationship with his own daughter, followed by “Golden  Stars on Blue” about the European comunity and its symbolism. In 2016,  he produced a series of shorter pieces  entitled „Studies on  Postcolonialism“ questions white dominance in an art form that prides  itself in its internationalism. That same year, he was once again  present at the FAUST awards, when Aloalii Tapu was named „Best Dancer“  for the solo „Urban Sou Café“ . In addition, he also initiated a  co-curated „The Witch Dance Project“ with Franziska Werner/Sophiensaele.  In 2017, within three months, he premiered five new pieces: an ensemble  project, two new solos, his first work for younger audiences, and his  first collaboration with the Cantus Domus Chor. For CTM 2018, he will  present the wide-ranging project „The Complete Expressionist“, a tribute  in music and dance to the multifaceted pioneer and pedagogue Ernest  Berk. 

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/

Ernest Berk - The complete expressionist

Artistic direction / Conception : Christoph Winkler

Artistic direction assistance / Conception : Jan Rohlf

Choreography : Christoph Winkler

Interpretation : Martin Hansen, Emma Daniel, Lois Alexander, Luke Divall, Lisa Rykena, Dana Pajarillaga, Riccardo de Simone, Sarina Egan-Sitinjak, Julia B. Laperrière, Gareth Okan

Artistic consultancy / Dramaturgy : Elena Polzer

Set design : Valentina Primavera

Original music : Ernest Berk

Additionnal music : Group A, Rashad Becker, Pan Daijing

Video conception : Walter Bickmann

Costumes : Valentina Primavera

Settings : Valentina Primavera

Other collaborations : Andrea Keiz - Video Interviews

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : The Complete Expressionist – A Tanzfonds Erbe Project is a Christoph Winkler and ctm project in collaboration with ehrliche arbeit – freelance office for culture. Funded by TANZFONDS ERBE – A Federal Cultural Foundation Initiative as well as by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe/ Co-Finance Fund

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Tanzforum Berlin - tanzforumberlin.de

Duration : 1:45

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