Archiv des Autors: susanne

Biography extended 2017


Susanne Martin (PhD) is a researcher, choreographer, performer, and teacher in the field of contemporary dance and performance. Her work is presented internationally.

In her research and artistic practice she focuses on improvisation as a crucial practice within the contemporary performing arts, artistic research methods, and interdisciplinary improvisation-based approaches to learning, knowledge production and knowledge dissemination.

In her teaching for professional artists and performers she currently focusses on contact improvisation, instant composition, improvisation-based workout, age politics, and artistic research methods. In her teaching for students and researchers from other fields she supports embodied learning, somatic sensibility, age reflexivity, and performance skills through improvisation practices.

She has been a guest lecturer at the following academic institutions: Middlesex University, UK; University of Northampton, UK; University of Roehampton, UK; Bowdoin College Brunswick, USA; Budapest Contemporary Dance Academy, Hungary.

Selection of recent activities

In 2017 she published her doctoral thesis Dancing Age(ing): Rethinking Age(ing) in and through Improvisation Practice and Performance. This university funded PhD research argues that specific approaches to a long-term, open-ended dance practice, alongside critical images and new imaginations of age(ing) in performance, allow dance to evolve as an age critical arts practice (PhD completed 2016 at Middlesex University London).

Since 2018 she teaches artistic research methods at Somatic Academy Berlin.

Since 2011 she curates, hosts, and performs Susi & Gabi’s Salon in collaboration with choreographer and urbanist Gabriele Reuter. In dialogue with invited guest artists and the audience these participatory Kunstvermittlung events (médiation artistique) revolve around the practices, working methods, and audience-performer relationships in contemporary dance and improvisation-based performance.

In collaboration with the musican Marlène Colle she curates and hosts 7 minutes of fame, a monthly performance evening that brings together dance, poetry, pop, experimental music, and performance art in a traditional Berlin corner bar (since 2016 ongoing).

Her piece Von der Schönheit und Seltsamkeit des Anlehens, co-choreographed with Eliane Hutmacher won in the German national competion Tanztreffen der Jugend 2017.

She creates stage works since 1990……

2011 – 2016 PhD research at the Universities Northampton and Middlesex, UK
2007 – 2009 MA research at Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz Berlin, Germany, Master of Arts “Solo/Dance/Authorship”
1992 – 1994 postgraduate studies dance at Folkwang University Essen, Germany
1987 – 1991 dance teacher studies at Rotterdam Dance Academy, Netherlands

Performing Improvisation at Bucharest Contact Improvisation Festival (2017)

22 June 2017, group improvisation performance of the teachers at Bucharest Contact Improvisation Festival, with Steven Batts, Inna Falkova, Elisa Ghion, Sergey Golovnya, Susanne Martin, Virginia Negru, Adrian Russi, Alexandra Soshnikova, venue: CNDB (Centrul Național al Dansului Bucuresti)

Photo Eugene Titov, duet with Adrian Russi

Photo: Alina Usurelu, duet with Virginia Negru

Photo Alina Usurelu, duet with Adrian Russi

Photo Alina Usurelu, with Steven Batts, Elisa Ghion, Susanne Martin, Virginia Negru

Dancing Age(ing) lecture performances 2017

Photo Annika Fredriksson, Dancing Age(ing) as Artistic Research, Venice 29 June 2017

– September 2017, Searching for the Fountain of Age – a danced lecture, Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts (CARPA 5), Theatre Academy and the Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts
Helsinki, Finnland.
See publication:

-7 July 2017, Improvising Age(ing) or dancing around the fountain of youth and the fountain of age – a danced lecture and workshop, Dance & Somatic Practices Conference, Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) Coventry University, UK

-29 June 2017, Dancing Age(ing) as Artistic Research – Embodied Practice and Artistic Research: Debating European Artistic Doctorates in Dance and Performance, Seminar organised by Artistic Doctorates in Europe (ADiE), RESEARCH PAVILION: UTOPIA OF ACCESS, Biennale di Venezia 2017, Research Pavilion, Theatre Space

-29 April 2017, Dancing Age(ing): Strategies for Rethinking Age(ing) in Contemporary Dance, ENAS Conference: Cultural Narratives, Processes and Strategies in Representations of Age and Aging, University of Graz, Austria

Photo: Annika Fredriksson, Dancing Age(ing) as Artistic Research, Venice 29 June 2017

Von der Schönheit und Seltsamkeit des Anlehnens 2017

Photos: Etienne Girardet

Lehnen, federn, fallen, berühren, ausstrecken, anschmiegen, ausklappen einsacken, hinfläzen, auftanken. // 8 junge Menschen, ein Sofa, viel Raum für Kontakt und für eigensinnige Versuche des Anlehnens und Abhebens. // Es entstehen schöne und seltsame Beziehungen zwischen Körper und Körper, zwischen Körper und Boden, Körper und Sofa, Körper und Raum. // VON DER SCHÖNHEIT UND SELTSAMKEIT DES ANLEHNENS ist das erste Tanzstück des neuen ACADEMY Produktionshauses. Es ist entstanden aus dem Bewegungsmaterial der Akteur*innen, improvisiert und verabredet, bequem und unbequem, bewegt und eigenwillig.

Akteur*innen: Anna Simonsmeier, Bernadette Schnabel, Felipa Goltz, Han Nguyen, Jacob Ernst, Katharina Dittrich, Klara Kruse Rosset, Larisa Brettingham-Smith

Choreographie: Eliane Hutmacher und Susanne Martin
Künstlerische Beratung: Rachel Hameleers Produktion: Ronja Hinz

ACADEMY. Die Bühnenkunstschule für Menschen aller Kulturen von 13 bis 19 Jahren. Ein Projekt der Alten Feuerwache und der Gasag. Unterstützt von der Kreuzberger Kinderstiftung und der Stiftung am Grunewald.
Das ACADEMY Produktionshaus ist eine Produktionsstätte von, mit und für jugendliche Bühnenkünstler*innen. Es möchte Zuhause und Plattform sein für Bühnenexperimente aller Art. Ob Tanz, Schauspiel, Gesang oder alles vermischt zu einem Ganzen mit, mit voller Energie und ganzem Einsatz kommen hier professionelle Bühnenkünstler*innen, aber auch junge Macher*innen und vor allem Jugendliche der ganzen Stadt zusammen und produzieren Vorstellungen: Interdisziplinär, möglichst experimentell in Form- und Zielsetzung und mit einem ausgesprochen künstlerischen Ansatz. Mitmachen können alle ACADEMYs, das heißt alle, die das Basisjahr an der Bühnenkunstschule abgeschlossen haben.

Premiere: 30. März 2017, Alte Feuerwache Berlin

Photos: Etienne Girardet

7 minutes of fame 2016 / 2017

After  18 months and 12 editions and many many wonderful performers and performances Marlène and me closed the series in 2017. 2018 it is taken up again curated and hosted by Emilia Oebel and Georg Bergmann. We are very happy about that!!!!!!

7 minutes of fame flyer 2016

A mixed performance evening curated by Marlène Colle and Susanne Martin at good old Eckkneipe „Stammtisch“ in Berlin Neukölln. Roughly once a month. Each time an astonishing line up with acts of maximum 7 minutes length, performers wild and tamed, minimalists and exhuberants, newcomers and Wiederholungstäter*innen, auf Deutsch oder Englisch oder. Original music, dance, poetry, stand up, science, performance art……
Info: check the facebook group ‚7 minutes of fame‘ or facebook page ‚Stammtisch‘
Next dates: 6 April, 18 May, 8 June 2017
You want to perform: write a mail to me and Marlène

Photos by Max Vaupel.

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What do I teach (in 2019)?

My teaching deals mainly with dance, improvisation, performance, the body in different contexts, artistic research methods, or topics such as such as dance & age(ing) or improvisation & engineering, which developed out of my own artistic research.

In which formats do I teach?
– Workshops / Classes = practice oriented, limited time for verbal interaction
– Seminars = mix of input, practical exploration, group reflections/discussion
– Supervising / Coaching = one to one work, content focus tailored to supervisee
– Lecture Performances = performances aiming at knowledge production/dissemination, therefore therefore including a substantial amount of verbalizing

Workshops / Classes
Generally speaking, I teach what I embody as dancer and performer. I teach what I know most about, what I learned and still passionately study. So I design my dance teaching around one of the following 3 focal points
– contact Improvisation
– improvisation and composition for performance (group-duet-solo)
– improvisation-based workout

Photo Eugene Titov, contact workshop Dancing with Others – Dancing for Others, Bucharest Contact Festival 2017

These are thematic seminars that combine practical and theoretical inputs and explorations with the participants. Themes are
– artistic research
– improvisation as exploration, as performance, as research
– showing process on stage, staging your work (e.g. “bad performing for shy artists”)
– dance & age(ing) (e.g. “undoing age appropriateness”)
Supervising / Coaching
I started to support individuals and groups in developing their respective artistic research practices. Currently I am supervising some MFA students, helping them the find, find back, not loose their very unique paths through the jungle of art and academia., I’m sharing inputs, tools and strategies from dance, theatre, artistic research and from my personal experience with collaborative artistic practice. I’m supporting processes of performance making

Photo:Harald Mühle, Zeitgenössischer Tanz und Alter(n), Dialog der Generationen Werkstattgepräche, Berlin 2013

Lecture Performances
I keep developing the hybrid format of lecture performance.
I’m staging, dancing and discussing specific themes often with invited guests and/or the audience – these lectures often include some audience activity/participation. For past lecture performances go to „Research“ and “Salons” in the menu.

Video Still Benedikte Esperi, Dancing Age(ing) – Sliding through Time, Göteborg University for Music and Drama, Q&A with Benedikte Esperi 2017

Dancing Age(ing) lecture performances 2014 – 2016

Photo: Lars Åsling

– 7 Dec 2016, Performing Age(ing): Sliding through Time – a danced lecture, Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

-1 Dec 2016, Performing Age(ing): Sliding through Time – a danced lecture, SITE, artistic platform and production house for contemporary performing arts, Stockholm, Sweden

-29 Nov 2016, Performing Age(ing): Sliding through Time – a danced lecture, swedish research council’s symposium on artistic research, Linnaeus University Växjö, Sweden

02 August 2014 – Staging Age
Lecture-Performance at Festival Performing Presence – Improvisation Xchange Berlin, Venue: EDEN Studios, curated by Jenny Haack, see also website


Dancing Age(ing) – PhD Dissertation 2016 – Abstract

Set in the context of contemporary dance this thesis investigates how improvisation practice and performance making participate in a critical rethinking of age(ing). Advancing the notion of an age critical dance practice, the research draws on the theoretical frameworks of age studies – a multidisciplinary field of critical inquiry informed by, largely speaking, feminist and poststructuralist theories. The age critical dance practice developed in this thesis, in turn, enters into conversation with the discourses established in age studies and dance studies as a way to incorporate age critique into dance.

The thesis is a Practice as Research project consisting of a written thesis, two solo performances (The Fountain of Youth, premiered 2013, and The Fountain of Age, premiered 2015), and employs immersive dance based research methods such as the development of a Solo Partnering practice (as documented on DVD). The research also remodels the method of qualitative interviewing into a performative method that allows the participating expert practitioners to tap into their unique improvisation and performance expertise when addressing their particular understanding of age(ing).

Through the development and analysis of improvised practice and performance making, alongside in-depth performative interviews, the findings of this research point to ways in which improvisation and performance embody age critical potential. The long-term, open-ended and agentic artistic processes that improvisation experts develop all share a range of characteristics that serve to challenge the established youth-orientation in dance and constitute an implicitly critical position to dominant understandings of age(ing) in dance. Consequently, the thesis argues that improvisation practices ‘do’ age(ing) in ways less prone to dualistic stereotyping and reiterations of (self-) discriminatory age(ing)-as-decline narratives that dominate our culture as a whole. The research also suggests strategies in performance making that enable representations of age(ing) in ways that collide with, resist, or complicate normative expectations on age(ing). The dance works presented in this thesis allow the dancer to articulate shifting perspectives and experiences, creating ambiguous meanings and disjunctive narratives of age(ing), and thereby making explicit a critical position towards the grand narratives of age(ing).

In conclusion, this research argues that specific approaches to a long-term, open-ended dance practice, alongside critical images and new imaginations of age(ing) in performance, allow dance to evolve as an age critical arts practice.

Doctor D meets Doctor V (2016)

Susanne Martin and Alex Nowitz

Premiere: July 7, 2016, at festival Improvisation Xchange Berlin – berlin arts united at Dock 11, Berlin
Duration: 60 min

An interdisciplinary dialogue between two artistic research projects, one based in dance, the other in voice/live electronics
(spoken language English)
In this three-part performance Susanne Martin and Alex Nowitz each share, explain, and perform aspects of their respective research for the other and for the audience. Susanne’s research “Dancing Age(ing)” rethinks age(ing) critically in and through improvisation practice and performance. With “The Multi-Vocal Voice” Alex traces the potentialities for the contemporary performance voice without and with technological means, i.e. live electronic instruments. Finally they enter into a duet improvisation in which they allow their ideas and modes of performing to merge, interact and possibly inspire each other.

I See Red (Berlin 2016)

I SEE RED / Interventions

An improvisation event by Peter Pleyer and Michiel Keuper
Guests: Zen Jefferson, Andrea Keiz, Susanne Martin
Dock 11, Berlin 11. – 13. March 2016

Inspired by the history of interventions by artists and designers in the field of choreography and vice versa, dancer/choreographer Peter Pleyer and visual composer/designer Michiel Keuper use this series of performances to improvise new space and dance compositions based on their long-term collaboration. On Friday and Saturday they will be joined by video artist Andrea Keiz and dancer/choreographer Susanne Martin. With a focus on process, the audience is invited to witness the creation of a landscape of objects, costumes, dances, books, stories and images.



The Fountain of Age (2015)

Photos W. Gillingham Sutton​​

A Solo / Dance / Piece / Lecture / Performance
Premiere: 18 June 2015, Ravensfield Theatre MIddlesex University London
Duration: 40 min
Supported by: Middlesex University London, Tanzfabrik Berlin

Photos William Gillingham Sutton

The Fountain of Age tells an ambiguous and ironic tale of age(ing). Through a collage of scenes in which dance, text, costume, mask work, and music interrelate, the piece aims to counteract any simple ascertainment of youth and age.

Ambiguity is emphasised in this performance to see what can be learned when we complicate and question our ideas, expectations, and judgements around age(ing). What happens if we linger in the multitude of sensual, imaginative details of bodily doing, experiencing and showing, and in the multiple possible meanings of age(ing)? How can dance introduce less stereotypical and more complex perceptions of age(ing) and moving through time?

This solo performance constitutes one of two artistic outcomes I present as part of my PhD dissertation Dancing Age(ing) at the School of Media and Performing Arts.

TIN Pieces (London 2015)

23.10. 2015 Middlesex University London

‘TIN Pieces’ is a playful evening of improvised performance by members of the TransDisciplinary Improvisation Network (TIN) based at Middlesex University and their guests.
Exploring processes of instant composition, within and across dance, music and theatre the event promises to be a lively celebration of all things spontaneous. The evening is shaped through a chain like structure in which ‘scored’ improvisation pieces are linked by open ‘riffing’ spaces alongside interactions with the audience, who will have opportunities to shape the emerging improvisations.
Including world class performers in Music (Ben Dwyer, Garth Knox, Jonathan Impett and Simon Limbrick), Dance (Susanne Martin, Jovair Longo, Helen Kindred)  and Performance (anthologyofames collective), TIN pieces emerge from shared interests in improvisatory processes and play, feedback loops, fear and vulnerability, touch and embodied knowing.

With: Mariana Camilotti, Antonio de la Fe, Ben Dwyer, Peter Gomes, Jonathan Impett, Helen Kindred, Garth Knox, Simon Limbrick, Jovair Longo, Susanne Martin, Vida Midgelow, Maga Radlowska, Petra Söör, Robert Vesty,

The Performance is part of The Cultural Capital Exchange, Inside Out Festival, and ‘What’s in a Name?: Improvisation Symposium (Oct 23rd & 24th, Middlesex University)

Korsobad: on Stage (2014)

Photos Steffen Rüttinger
IMG_4934 IMG_5305

Duet with Gabriele Reuter
Solo (work in progress for The Fountain of Age)
Group improvisation with all performers

Ein Abend mit kurzen Tanzstücken, Improvisationen und Live Musik, kuratiert von Gabriele Reuter. Diesmal mit Solos von Susanne Martin, Maria Colusi, Lutz Streun (Saxophon) und Previews der neuen Stücke von Philip Amann und Gabriele Reuter/Mattef Kuhlmey. Danach tanzbare Musik von Montage.


Dancing Age(ing) lecture performances 2013

21. November 2013: Werkstattgespräch kulturelle Generationenarbeit, Berlin
Titel: 18800 Bewegungen und 1000 Worte, an deren Ende wir alle 30 Minuten älter sein werden – Ein getanzter Vortrag

12. October 2013: Symposium of Society for Dance Research at Middlesex University. London ‚New Visions on Dance‘
Titel: Dancing Age(ing): An improvisation-based performance of 18800 movements and 1000 words during which we grow 30 minutes older

12.-14. September 2013: 4. Werkstattgesprächs des Interdisziplinären Arbeitskreises Ambivalenz
„Ambivalenz und soziale Praxis“ Inter- und intrapersonale Potenziale ambivalenter Erfahrungen
Institut für Soziologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Titel: Performing the Ambiguity of Age(ing) – Ein getanzter Vortrag

6. – 9. June 2013: ‚Tanzkongress‘ im Tanzhaus Düsseldorf
Titel: Dance in a Critical Discourse on Ageing / Tanz im kritischen Diskurs über das Altern
Respondent: Katherine Mezur

1. June 2013: ‚Contact Samstag‘ – One festival day with  CI classes, outstanding CI teachers, evening jam, organic food, chill out, lecture, discussions
Titel: The Fountain of Youth: Dance in a Critical Discourse on Ageing

AREAL GEÖFFNET Festival Ausufern, Berlin 2013

AREAL geöffnet, 31. August 2013, 17.30 – 21.00 Uhr, Uferstudio 11

The AREAL_Artistic Research Lab Berlin is a network initiative of dancers, choreographers and dance reseachers, supported by Tanzfabrik Berlin. AREAL runs monthly labs for its members as well as regular Open Studios to share and discuss diverse artistic research practices in dance with the public.

Das AREAL­_Artistic Research Lab Berlin ist eine 2011 mit Unterstützung der Tanzfabrik gegründete Netzwerk-Initiative von Künstler_innen mit transdisziplinären, forschungsorientierten Arbeitsansätzen im Bereich Tanz und Performance. Beim Open Studio gibt ein Teil der Gruppe Einblicke in die laufenden Arbeitsprozesse. Mit Geöffnet schafft ein Teil der bei AREAL mitarbeitenden Künstler_innen einen Raum für parallele Arbeitspräsentationen mit kurzen Phasen der Hervorhebung einzelner Ansätze. Während einer durchgehenden Installation wird der Ausstellungsraum zirka halbstündlich mit kurzen Einführungen, Experimenten und Performances bespielt.

Folgende Künstler_innen des Netzwerks  Geöffnet geben dabei einen Einblick in laufende Arbeitsprozesse: Joa Hug, Andrea Keiz, Paula Kramer, Susanne Martin, Crosby McCloy, Katja Münker

Photos: Paula Kramer, Crosby McCloy
IMG_4187-1024 IMG_4223-1024

The Research Project Dancing Age(ing) (work in progress spring 2013)

My PhD research engages with the premise that Western artistic dance can be seen as holding an interesting multi-layered position in relation to age(ing). On one hand, it most often focuses on youthful physicality and therefore takes part in an unquestioned marginalisation of ageing bodies, which, according to critical age studies (Woodward 1999, Gullette 2004, Lipscomb/ Marshall 2010), pervades Western culture as a whole. On the other hand, it is a potential site of experiencing and presenting human bodies in new and unexpected ways. Therefore dance may also enable ways of appreciating our bodily being beyond a narrow focus on athleticism and an attractiveness, which is commonly assured by youthfulness.
My research focuses on improvisation-based dance making. My main argument is, that improvisation-based dance forms and their specific working methods may offer ways of practicing and performing dance that have the potential to challenge previously unquestioned understandings of age(ing) in the field of dance and possibly beyond.
The research unfolds from the hypothesis that it needs an in-depth engagement with the practice of improvisation-based dance and the working conditions negotiated in the practice to reveal if and how such an age-critical potential might be realised. My research approach, therefore, uses artistic practice as the primary mode of enquiry, interacting with and framed by an analysis of other artists’ approaches and the theoretical insights of critical age studies, which challenge dominant representations of the ageing body, a stereotypical understanding of the life course, and a gendered bias in regard to the social impact and consequences of getting older.
So far my research, approached as an evolving embodied Practice as Research mode of enquiry in dance, is realised by actively intertwining three distinct but interdependent modes of research engagement.
1. Modes of Artistic Enquiry
I have developed ‘Solo Partnering’ as a long-term improvisational studio practice and ‘Performing Age(ing)’ as a specific choreographic process. Both practices grapple with the theme of age(ing) creatively whilst further offering propositions for re-thinking working methods/ structures for mid-life dance artists.
2. Modes of Documentation
Through a detailed written practice logbook and video documentation of my working processes and performances I have implemented documentation methods that trace the practice and allow me to reconstruct and reflect the steps taken in my practical enquiry of Solo Partnering and Performing Age(ing) in the written part of the thesis.
3.  Modes of Contextual and Theoretical Reflection
The development of a critical, reflective position towards my research subject allows me to articulate the presumptions, creative strategies and age critical potential inherent in/ developed by my artistic practice. This critical position is gained through examining critical age studies, other artists’ approaches, relevant literature on dance, as well as through interviews with acclaimed older dance makers, participant observations and the on-going drafting of ideas and questions arising throughout the research process.