Tanz im August 2021: „You cannot expect the dancer to go wild“

Colette Sadler. Copyright: Mikko Gaestel
Portrait Colette Sadler. Copyright: Mikko Gaestel

How can you make a human artificial? Choreograph Colette Sadler shows the answer in „ARK 1“. She tells the story of a lost cyborg in the dance piece as part of „Tanz im August“.

Colette, what is your personal approach to a a piece?

My choreographic work is conceptionally motivated. Throughout my works there have been two major thematics that I have dealt with in different ways. My earlier works focus on notions of hybridity, identity and otherness in relation to bodies and objects. In more recent works I focus on the relationship between bodies, digitality and virtual space. My approach starts with thinking about an idea then expanding those ideas into different media including (primarily) dance, visual images, text and sound. In this way my work can be understood as interdisciplinary, during the creation process I weaved layers of meaning using different media.

What was your recent research about?

I have been dancing all my life. The core of all my work is movement based. For “ARK 1” and my last two pieces “Learning from the Future” and “Temporary Store” I worked with the performer Leah Marojevic from London. Together we developed movement and choreography centering on understanding movement and its relation to technology. We developed a series of cyborgian figures for whom virtuosity becomes a translation of non human and a new internal “technology” based in dance. By analyzing all the aspects of the physical body, it was almost like a perspective from technology itself. And I used techniques to emphasize the artificiality of the body like speeding up, slowing down, rewinding.

I used techniques to emphasize the artificiality of the body

What inspired you to “ARK 1”?

My interest in sci-fi narrative, visions and different concepts of time was my starting point. The piece references sci-fi-movies such as Stanley Kubricks “Space Odyssey” and Ridley Scotts “Alien”. The costume of the cyborg is inspired by the jumpsuit Sigourney Weavers wears in the movie ”Alien”.  For “ARK 1” I was interested in feminist perspectives and articulating new narratives for women in relation to technology and space travel. The spoken text was written with the aid of artificial intelligence. It’s about cyborgian technology on the verge of obsolence after centuries of space travel.

Cyborg. Videostill „ARK 1“ by Colette Sadler and Mikko Gaestel

What can we expect from the piece?

“ARK 1” is an immersive video installation and performance intended for museum space. The first part is a sci-fi narration film that tells the story of the fictional bio-tech company VESSELS Inc. who launched the ARK as part of the Earths “Great Preservation Project”. The performance is a hallucinatory visual poem danced by Leah Marojevic on a rug. You cannot expect the dancer to go wild.

With “Strange Garden” you release another performance in august. How are they related?

“Strange Garden” is a piece for young audience. It portrays a living landscape made with objects from everyday life that transform to strange organic beings. “ARK 1” has a core fictional project based around the idea of synthetic life systems. So both works consider future nature in the absence of human life. If the earth would be no longer a place where we could live and which forms of life would still be there?

Further information:

„ARK 1“ will be shown on august 13th-16th at Tanz im August (St.Elisabeth-Kirche, Invalidenstr. 3, 10115), „Strange Garden“ will be shown at PURPLE- Internationales Tanzfestival für junges Publikum („Theater an der Parkaue“) on august 21rst, 22nd.