Archiv der Kategorie: Performing Age(ing) during and pre-PhD

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.

The Fountain of Youth & The Shadow (2013)

Photos Lars Åsling, Graphic Sophie Jahnke
_MG_9282_1crop Foto Lars Åsling, Graphic Sophie Jahnke

The Shadow and The Fountain of Youth – Two Dances on Staying Alive
As a new step in their long-term collaboration Bronja Novak Lindblad (Göteborg) & Susanne Martin (Berlin) have created each a solo on the same subject: the facts of getting older and sustaining in the world of dance. ”The Shadow” by Novak  and ”The Fountain of Youth” by Martin are two creative and quirky responses to the exciting challenge of moving forward in time.

Premiere: 19 April 2013, Atalante, Gothenburg,
Additional performances:  Dance and Theatre Festival Gothenburg, Sweden,  2014. Venue: 3e våningen
Sound: Anna Gustavsson
Light: Thomas Dotzler
Production: Big Wind/ Sofia Åhrman,
Supported by: Swedish Arts Council, City of Gothenburg, Tanzfabrik Berlin

The Fountain of Youth

Photos Lars Åsling
Foto Lars Åsling _MG_0244Fount.960

A solo/ dance/ piece/ lecture/ performance by Susanne Martin
Duration: 45 min
Additional performances: Grove Theatre, Middlesex University London, November 2014

The Fountain of Youth
Is a dance on forever-youngness and on being old enough to tell the story differently

The Fountain of Youth
Is an untrustworthy lecture on trusting an ever-changing body

The Fountain of Youth
Is also a core part of my doctoral research in dance, dedicated to exploring and questioning dominant views on ageing dancing bodies through my own improvisation-based dance practice and performance making

Susi & Gabi’s Salon #4 The A-word: Ageing

Salon Guest: Amos Hetz
04.09.2011 at Tanzfabrik Berlin

Amos Hetz is a dancer and movement teacher, looking for expanding his movement vocabulary through the use of the Eshkol Wachman Movement Notation and the heritage of the somatic learning. He composes solo dances, dance-collaborations, and movement games. For the last 22 years he was artistic director of the „Room Dances Festival“ in Israel.   
Amos: „I understand my movement apparatus as a big orchestra of many limbs, in which each limb has its own character. It is calling me to listen to my imagination, as well as to my memory, and to my movement interests that are moving as well. The interest in the small gesture, and in the coordination between the different limbs is the motive behind all my movement activities: performing, teaching and conducting dance projects. I am swinging between the integrated movement and differentiated gestures. This process of moving my awareness from the extremities to the spine and to the shift of weight is bringing me closer to be one.”

Notes from Gabi & Susi, taken during the Salon
Born 1933 – Still dancing
Can I say ‘old’ performer or is it rude? old = mature?  – young = immature?
Something about time and presence – Something about just looking interesting in whatever you do, because there is some life experience behind it  – Something about not being so influenced by others anymore
Amos is dancing behind the pillar, choreographing perception, resonance – What do we do when we run out of time here? – Everyone wants to be 27 and wise and beautiful – The perception of time: Is one’s perception of time relative to one’s own age? – Interest in the small, the less  – When is an artist old? What does old mean? – The anxiety of not being fulfilled gives the sense of feeling late
„I’m already concerned with ageing at 31“ – Velocity, speed – is there space for ‘Entschleunigung’? – Still dancing: Anna Halprin, Steve Paxton, Simone Forti, Deborah Hay

Susanne: I love to see older people on stage, and I would like to become one of them myself. There are several ways to contribute to that. One is that I’m looking for ways and strategies for myself that allow me physically and creatively to keep going performing dancing as a life long practice. Another is that I’m studying the strategies and underlying concepts and ideas and circumstances of older performers who have an improvisational focus in their performance work. Because that is the field I’m working in and know the most of myself, and that is the field where I met the most exciting artists and choreographers. One of them is Amos Hetz. I met Amos through one of his choreographic projects, “Vexations” in which I participated twice (1997? and 2010).
During Vexation I experienced him as an old artist with a very specified and detailed aesthetic and interest, who nevertheless invites performers very different from himself to collaborate in his performance score. And the score he proposed, although tight and rigorous, still had gaps and spaces for our divers choreographic practices. I experienced the whole 12-hour performance, not only as a composition and meeting of all our aesthetics and motivations, but as an active negotiation between all of us. But especially between him as the director and us bringing along our own individual universes.This openness and effort of negotiation and dialogue seems to me one key of how to keep a dance practice alive through decades, through changing fashions and changing artistic values.

Rosi tanzt Rosi – The Conference (2009)

Photos Thomas Aurin
rosi_tanzt210_1024 Foto Thomas Aurin

Concept and performance: Susanne Martin
Dramaturgy: Brenda Waite
Mentoring: Andrew Morrish
Choreographic support: Meagan O’Shea
Duration: 45 min.
Supported by: Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz Berlin, Mimecentrum Berlin, Tanzfabrik Berlin
Premiere: BAT Studiotheater Berlin July 2009
Touring: Berlin, London, Plymouth and Granada (in Spanish language)

Rosi tanzt Rosi – The Conference is a 45 min solo performance with three characters; with Rosi’s enigmatic choreographies and a round table discussion honouring, dissecting and critiquing her oeuvre; with film excerpts and movement demonstrations; with crisis and a happy end.
It’s a lecture on contemporary dance, which draws the audience into a play of dance references while reality and fiction become a question of opinion and interpretation. „The Conference“ looks at choreography and improvisation, at the narration of femininity on the dance floor and behind the microphone, and creates a complex web of identities around and perspectives on contemporary dance.

“The Conference” and the academic setting
“Rosi tanzt Rosi – The Conference” is the final piece in my M.A. studies at HZT Berlin. During the M.A. course focussing on “Solo / Dance / Authorship” I searched for a personally enriching and satisfying way to bring together my 20 years of dance and performance practice with academic research. As the piece draws attention not only to questions of contemporary dance aesthetics, authorship and historical solo figures in dance, but also to the academic art of ‘reflecting on and talking about’, it attempts to link performance practice and academia in an entertaining and thought-out way. It especially lends itself to be shown in the context of university as a proposition, as a discursive template. Many discourses of today’s performance and dance studies are touched upon in this work that I would wish to open to an engaged and informed student and staff audience for further discussion and exchange in an after-show talk.

Press: “A fleet-footed disquisition on the self-made myths in the dance-business…captivates through dance- and didactic humour.” (Die Tageszeitung Berlin)

Photos Thomas Aurin
Foto Thomas Aurin Foto Thomas Aurin

Technical needs:
DVD player: professional (that doesn’t go into stand by mode after a few minutes in pause mode)
Projector: 4.000 / 5.000 ansi-lumen for theatre stage; min. 2.000 ansi-lumen for smaller studio
Projection screen (3×4): 300 x 225 min. or bigger, depending on size of stage
1 table and 3 chairs (conference look)
2 wireless microphones, 2 table mic-stands
Sound system / theatre lights: standard
A complete technical rider is available


Rosi bei Freistil – Die Kunst der Improvisation (2008/2009)

„Material zu Rosi tanzt Rosi“ Eine Soloimprovisation

Freistil at Tanzfabrik Berlin 6. 4. 2008

Was macht Tanz lesbar für die Zuschauer?
Was ist der Text eines Tanzes?
Wie erhalte ich meine Freiheit in der Improvisation, wenn ich mit klaren thematischen Grenzen und Narration arbeite?


“Neuigkeiten aus der Rosi-Welt“ eine Improvisation von Susanne Martin

Freistil at Tanzfabrik Berlin 3.5. 2009


“Rosi tanzt Rosi“ ist ein Solo Projekt, dass sich durch 2 Jahre Masterstudium zieht und auch mein Abschlussstück bilden wird.
Für Freistil gibt es das Neueste von Neuen aus Rosis Welt.


Rosi tanzt Rosi – The Winter Version (2009)

photos David Bergé
0012_1024 0014_1024

Performances at Critical Path, Sydney and Lucy Guerin Studio, Melbourne in  January 2009 during the residency at Critical Path, and as semester-presentation for MA SODA at HZT Berlin at Uferstudios Berlin

„During her stay in Sydney and Melbourne she will work on her solo Rosi tanzt Rosi, dealing in it with the notion of narration in solo dance, narration in Improvisation, with aging, the female solo as 20 century’s dance, mask work, character work. She will have a  work in progress showing and a practice based research weekend with interested colleagues on these subjects, both in Sydney and in Melbourne.“ (program Melbourne)

In giving Rosi more and more history and detail without wanting to arrive at a coherent, possibly real life person, I’m at the moment seeing her as living through, as carrying with her the whole time span of twentieth century. In my process with her I meet female liberation, expressionism, World War II, entanglement with fascism, migration and survival of the first half of the century, as well as the conquest of uni-sex athleticism, of feminine seduction, of informality and quotidian movements of the second half. And I meet the end of these kind of female dances; Rosi as phased out model, a pathetic last subject on stage. (Feb. 2009)

Rosi tanzt Rosi – The July/August Version (2008)

Photos Rita Roberto
IMG_1052_1024 Photo Rita Roberto

Performances: July 2008 at Uferstudios Berlin as part of MA SODA research showings and
August 2008 at HALLE Berlin as part of the International Dance Festival Tanz im August
Supported by: HZT Berlin

Rosi tanzt Rosi is a piece, a process, a movement towards a fictional character; it’s also my continuous research subject/object throughout my MA studies (Solo/ Dance/ Authorship at HZT Berlin). When she appeared first she was a dream figure, a projection born out of the sexual fantasies of Claudia (solo 2005). Then she became a real person, a dancer, somebody that is professionally impersonating the erotic fantasies of her audience (and by now in this job since 40 years). Then she became an ageing Rosas dancer; then an highly honoured soloist celebrating her retirement from stage at the age of 60 (January 08); then she was object to dance science (February 08). Now she’s returning to stage.

Rosi tanzt Rosi ist ein Stück, ein Stück Prozess, die Annäherung an eine Figur, auch mein roter Faden durch mein Studium. In ihrem ersten Erscheinen war Rosi eine Wunschfigur, die Projektion sexueller Träume von Claudia (Solo von 2005). Dann wurde sie zur realen Figur, eine Tänzerin, eine Person, die berufsmäßig Projektionsfläche erotischer Fantasien ist – mit inzwischen 40 Jahren Berufserfahrung. Dann wurde sie zur in die Jahre gekommenen Rosas-Tänzerin. Dann wurde sie zur hochverehrten Solistin, die zu ihrem sechzigsten Geburtstag ihren Bühnenabschied begeht (Januar 08). Dann wurde sie zum Objekt der Tanzwissenschaft (Februar 08). Jetzt widmete sie sich plötzlich (ein Comeback?) der Improvisation.

Rosi tanzt Rosi I (2008)

Photos Andrea Keiz
Foto Andrea Keiz IMG_2496_1024

Duration: 10 min.
Performances: 3./ 4. Jan. 2008 at Sophiensaele Berlin during the festival Tanztage 2008
Supported by: HZT Berlin

„Ist das nicht ein bisschen…….?“
„Aber die Leute lieben sie“
„Irgendwann muss doch mal Schluss sein …. Du hast schon den Artikel gelesen……? (…) und zeugt ihr Tun eigentlich von einem fortschreitenden Realitätsverlust oder eher von selbstbewusst zukunftsweisender Verschiebung tanzästhetischer Grenzen oder handelt es sich um profane ökonomische Verzweiflung? (…)“
„Na hybrid halt, postmodern, das könnte Kult werden“

In der Fortsetzung der Familiensage „JULIO “ (2006) ist „Rosi tanzt Rosi“ eine weitere Charakterstudie. Im Gegensatz zu den liebenswerten Laientänzern Klaus und Claudia bei „JULIO “ ist Rosi eine Vollbluttänzerin und das Stück eine Hinwendung zu Choreographie im traditionellen Sinne.

JULIO (2006)

A piece about longing, ageing and the music of Julio Iglesias

Photos Antonella Travascio
DSC_0207_1024 DSC_0248_1024

JULIO is a patchwork project. It has been presented internationally in different versions and lengths. The two solos can also stand for themselves and have been performed independently. The group version with guest lecturer and singer is at the moment only available in German language. The guest appearance of Julio Iglesias unfortunately had to be cancelled for budget reasons.

Supported by: Berlin – Senatskanzlei – Kulturelle Angelegenheiten, Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V., Tanzfabrik Berlin

Group Version – 90 min – German language (English/ Spanish):
premiered in Tanzfabrik Berlin, April 2006, with Eliane Hutmacher, Olaf Stuve, AnnA Stein, Susanne Martin and a film by Andrea Keiz and Susanne
Solo Version – 60 min – English or German (Spanish):
premiered during Notafe Dancefestival Viljandi, Estonia, July 2006, with Susanne Martin and a film by Andrea Keiz and Susanne

Photos AnnA Stein
mueh+freund2 olaf

Press: “ein kurzweiliges und herzwarmes Stück über die verschwommenen Wahrheiten der Unterhaltungsmusik, über Sehnsüchte und Selbstfindung und darüber, dass man für letzteres doch nie zu alt ist.“
“The overall effect resonated ambiguously and intriguingly between blunt comedy and poignant character study”
“Martin hits the right note. The result is tenderly comical, smilingly human. A Chaplin for the 21st Century.”

Group Version:
Old Herr K. Müh talks silently about his outset for a more sensuous life. The elderly Claudia shows talkative her ever concealed desires. The referee opens the possibility to think gender anew, while the kitsch singer next to him counterpoints him. A documentary film about old tourists in Mallorca hopes to find the individual fragility, oddness and claims to love inside the stereotyped mass concept of a controlled “luxury of the minimum” for pensioners on the “German island”. During a jazz dance duet with a friend (Amigos) Herr Müh twists around again every clarity on identity, and the evening is framed by a silent observing view on a hotel swimming pool in the photos of AnnA Stein. During all this appears again and again the music of Julio Iglesias as Leitmotiv.

Der alte Herr K. Müh erzählt stumm von seinem Aufbrechen in ein sinnlicheres Leben, die alternde Claudia zeigt wortreich die verhinderten Begehren, ein Bildungsreferent eröffnet die Möglichkeit Geschlechtlichkeit neu zu denken, während die Schnulzensängerin ihn konterkariert. Der Film Golden Playa über Seniorenpaare und Singles auf Mallorca hofft in der stereotypen Massenhoffnung vom kontrollierten Mindestluxus für Rentner auf der „deutschen Insel“ die individuellen Brüche, Verschrobenheiten, Liebesansprüche und –erinnerungen ans Licht zu holen. Im Jazztanzduett mit einem Freund verdreht Herr Müh noch mal alle Klarheiten von Identität. Der Abend wird eingerahmt von der still beobachtenden Aufsicht eines Hotelswimmingpools in den Fotos von AnnA Stein. Zu all dem taucht leitmotivisch immer wieder die Musik von Julio Iglesias auf.

Solo Version:
Old Herr K. Müh talks silently about his outset for a more sensuous life.
The elderly Claudia shows talkative her ever-concealed desires and invites the audience for a kissing experiment.
The film Golden Playa, about winter tourists in Mallorca, hopes to find the individual fragility, oddity and claims to love inside the stereotyped concept of a Mediterranean holiday island.
In between we see the very personal music video Music For Lovers.  
During all this appears again and again the music of Julio Iglesias as Leitmotiv.

Golden Playa (2006)

A film by Andrea Keiz and Susanne Martin, 17 min
spoken language: German, with English and Spanish subtitles

In this documentary film (arty as well) I wanted to give the word to the old themselves. With the video artist Andrea Keiz I spent two weeks during winter season in a typical “German” hotel in Mallorca, contacting older people, interviewing, having conversations. Against the background of a holiday paradise for German pensioners I interviewed old couples and singles about love, relationships and longings.

The film was made for and presented during the piece JULIO and supported by Berlin – Senatskanzlei – Kulturelle Angelegenheiten, Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V., Tanzfabrik Berlin