04. June 2018, 19:00 Uhr
In Old English, the word „understand“ means „to stand among“. Systems of structural racism promote institutionalized, normalized and embodied division; we no longer „stand among“ each other and often believe it is impossible to do so. UNDER I STAND is a choreographic public dialogue on racism that acts to counter this division through a collective „physical interview“ process where the body – the ground of bias in racists systems – emerges as a ground of communication.
Participants in UNDER I STAND use simple physical actions, such as walking, tapping and gesturing, to create a compelling physical map of their lived experience as individuals and community members. Moving through stations of conversation – physical and spoken – they see, hear and offer multiple perspectives simultaneously, allowing the complexities of social experience to find an appropriately rich strength of expression.
UNDER I STAND asks questions about how we experience the world and how our interactions with others shape that experience. Collectively, participants use physical action to examine how racism emerges in society and what it means to counteract racism through connection.
Dana Caspersen combines conflict resolution strategies with choreographic methods. Developed in close collaboration with local communities, these projects culminate in interactive public events that address difficult social issues and possibilities of change. Invited is anyone who is interested in the topic, whether from their own experience of racism and xenophobia or for a better understanding and the search for a way to interact.
Director: Dana Caspersen
Dana Caspersen is a conflict specialist, performing artist and author. She holds an MS in Conflict Studies and Mediation and an MFA in Dance. During three decades with the Ballet Frankfurt and The Forsythe Company, Caspersen worked as a primary collaborator of choreographer William Forsythe, creating and performing as a principal artist in Forsythe’s most celebrated works. She uses choreographic thinking to create large-scale international public dialogue projects on topics such as immigration and violence. Previous projects have included: “Knotunknot” (Germany, England), which assigns meaning to spatial position to enable physical dialogue on immigration issues; “Violence : Recode” (USA, Germany, England, Austria) and “The Exchange” (Germany, USA, Turkey, Slovakia).
Special thanks to Reshma Anwar, Robin Aren, Mikaela Brandon, Delaine Dobbs, Francesca Harper, Emily Hart, Tasha Hess-Neustadt, Sam Kaltenhaler and Maya Miller for their work on the development of UNDER | STAND, and to many others who have offered their thoughts and experience. Thank you to New York University’s Center for Ballet and Arts for their generous support of the project.
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The event will be conducted in German and English.