Monday, September 25 – Saturday, September 30,
daily 10 am – 12 noon
at Sophiensaele Berlin

open for all levels and backgrounds,
in English

We can still accept participants for the whole week, but also for single classes. Please contact us at

Fee: 80,- € for all 6 days, 15,- € for a single class

Dances and choreographies about, as, with and for animals: Animal Dances, in which an animal is ‘seen’ or is addressed, in which animals become performers themselves, in which the relation between humans and animals is focused on, in which we perceive ourselves as animals and animals as partners of human beings: six artists and artist-teams share their working approaches and their current forms of engagement in a series of masterclasses. They provide comprehensive insight into contemporary dance practices as well as thoughts upon the relation between animals and human beings and the role of the human subject in society: through somatic practices and real-time-composition, working with the imagination, projection and scores, exercises of animal-drag and the examination of a politics of a multiple gaze.

Monday, 25.09.
Masterclass with Martin Nachbar: Somamimetics

In somatic practices, the anatomic imagination of the practitioner is used to create new modes of perception and movement in improvisation. In my choreographic work with this method I realized that the anatomic atlas can be replaced by any image system, as long as it is meaningful to the practitioners. In Animal Dances, we have studied animal anatomies, sensations and actions, and imagined actually becoming the studied animal, embracing the impossibility of this attempt. In this workshop, I present some of these techniques, inviting the participants to join me in simple imagination and movement exercises.


Tuesday, 26.09.
Masterclass with Claire Filmon

It’s with Simone Forti that I start to approach movement coming from observing animal movements. In this master-class, I’ll share at first some explorations I’ve discovered with Simone Forti, from walking to crawling. Then from a series of pictures, videos or memories of animal movements that interested us, we will deepen the explorations and finish by short compositions in small groups with these explorations.


Wednesday, 27.09.
Masterclass with David Weber-Krebs & Maximilian Haas

In this masterclass, we will reflect on the possibilities of conducting artistic research, especially with atypical performers (such as animals). We will retrace some of the main steps of the project Balthazar (2011-2015) and ponder upon the practical, conceptual and ethical issues that we have been facing during our extensive work with donkeys. In so doing, we will touch upon broader issues of collective devising processes in performance/dance, collaboration across disciplinary and methodological difference and meeting others in and through work.


Thursday, 28.09.
Masterclass with Krõõt Juurak & Alex Bailey: Performing for Pets

We will share our interest in the position of pets as cultural producers and consumers, as artists, performers and emerging audiences. Domestic pets read humans mostly through body language. A typical pet spends at least as much time, if not more, looking at humans than looking at members of their own species. In “Performances for Pets” we mimic and reflect the pets’ body language back at them. A reversed version of this situation might be a parrot addressing humans in human language, however removed from its original meaning the gestures become more abstract.

In this masterclass we will also introduce our practice of ‘imprinting’ various non-human physical qualities and movements onto our bodies, through which a personal movement language suited for performances for pets can be developed. What are the similarities and differences between human and non-human audiences, is the performer inherently subordinate, i.e. working ‘for’ the audience, how does the audience gain agency?


Friday, 29.09.
Masterclass with Miriam Jakob

In the twentieth century, monkeys and apes were seen to inhabit a liminal zone between the “potent, mythical poles” of nature and culture. According to Donna Haraway, they are “almost human”. This “almost” points to an ambivalence which shows monkeys – and apes in particular – as an enigmatic mirror image of human beings and yet as animals, non-human “others”.

The workshop will use a pre-produced video projection of gorillas living in the zoo as a catalyst for an experimental choreographic encounter between difference and indistinguishability. The question addressed will be that of the extent to which methods borrowed from film-making can be transferred to the stage. The aesthetic equality the medium of film is capable of producing is to be made available to choreographic practice. In this respect, the mechanical camera gaze and the animal gaze will constitute a starting point for an engagement with Robert Bresson’s methodology that is to form the theoretical focus of the workshop, complementing the practical exercises.


Saturday, 30.09.
Masterclass with Antonia Baehr

In this masterclass, we will investigate how scores can function as a constitutive factor for kinship relations. We will use scores as tools to explore portraiture and self-portraiture, in relation to temporal and animal drag. This masterclass addresses different models of conceiving and reading scores, directing and of collaboration. It also looks at gender performance as a form of score that encompasses language, gestures, and all kinds of socio-symbolic signs. It examines the boundaries between score/interpretation, rehearsal/performance, director/performer, and audience/presentation. This masterclass’s focus is an investigation through praxis.