March 2020 - the first lock-down. Artists are starting to reproduce (represent) themselves on the web. But is it even possible to create new art via the stream? Is it possible to dance with each other at a distance? D|S°DANCE film documents this historical situation and experiments with its possibilities - it shows four artists in a dance home office: Taneli Törmä in Copenhagen, Ingo Reulecke in Berlin, Neus Barcons Roca in Brussels and Karen Bößer in Düsseldorf.
Four performers at four places were formed up to one ensemble with the help of an equipment case sent by post service. Under the direction of Karen Bößer their movements were captured by Zoom- and the cell phone cameras, by body cam and with the help of the auto-follow-mode. With a lot of pleasure and humor, poetry and technique, they reflected the lock-down situation and experiment with its possibilities.
What emerges from this makes you want to break predetermined limitations in everyday life. The abstract narrative flow is complemented by documentary scenes of rehearsal, informal exchanges, laughter, and the eternal struggle with the given technology. Bößer took seriously the artists' "home stage" that became digitally ubiquitous during the weeks of Lock-down and she has questioned these new shared working conditions.
D|S°DANCE film is an attempt to overcome boundaries: Boundaries of the spatial, of the physical, of communication, of physical intensity, of empathy. The four performers made the most of the constrictions of the lock-down - they worked with it.
It is the first time Karen Bößer works with this ensemble. The renowned choreographer has produced pieces that have been presented at numerous national and international theaters and festivals. She has worked with dancers and choreographers in USA, Hungary, Uganda, Netherlands and Japan.
The film is the debut of Dirk Dietrich Hennig, a concept artist who has managed to weave the different narrative planes into an experimental work of art. Musician and composer Thomas Klein aka Sølyst has created tribal beats that either complete the atmospheric moods, break or alienate them.
Choreography Karen Bößer
Director Of Photography Karen Bößer, Taneli Törma, Ingo Reulecke, Neus Barcons Roca, Thomas Klein Aka Sølyst
Editing Dirk Dietrich Hennig
Art Director Karen Bößer and Dirk Dietrich Hennig
Original Film Score Thomas Klein Aka Sølyst
Public Relations Jaqueline Friedrich
Production Management Petra Klein and Jaqueline Friedrich
Graphic Design & Web Development Jan Bashaijha Mwesigwa
Directed and produced Karen Bößer and Dirk Dietrich Hennig
Catch Fish Films & karen-boesser-projects
All Rights Reserved
Catch Fish Films Present
A Karen Bößer and Dirk Dietrich Hennig Film
Funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW State Office for Independent Performing Arts, the NATIONAL PERFORMANCE NETZ - STEPPING OUT, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media as part of the NEUSTART KULTUR initiative.
Aid program dance as well as by the cultural office of the city of Düsseldorf, Germany.
Dirk Dietrich HennigDirector
karen - boesser - projectsProducer
catch fish filmProducer
Ingo ReuleckeKey Cast"Performer / Camera"
Taneli TörmäKey Cast"Performer / Camera"
Neus Barcons RocaKey Cast"Performer / Camera"
Karen BößerKey Cast"Performer / Camera"
Thomas KleinKey Cast"Musician / Camera"
Dirk Dietrich HennigKey Cast"Editor"
Project Type:Documentary, Feature, Other
Runtime:1 hour 5 minutes 25 seconds
Completion Date:December 16, 2021
Production Budget:44,000 USD
Country of Origin:Germany
Country of Filming:Belgium, Denmark, Germany
The renowned choreographer Karen Bößer has produced pieces that have been performed at numerous national and international theaters and festivals. She has worked with dancers and choreographers in the USA, Hungary, Uganda, the Netherlands and Japan.
Dirk Dietrich Hennig is a well-known concept artist and has done the stage design for several of Karen Bößers pieces and has succeeded in weaving the various narrative levels of the recordings by the performers into an experimental work of art. His work is internationally recognized and received numerous awards and grands. The film D|S°DANCE is their first film debut.
The idea for the film came up after my last performance project. That was a stage production as I am a choreographer. I had often worked with video recordings during rehearsals as well as in my solo work to check the visual effect. At that time, the camera view had already become a counterpart and main reference point for correction on how to present on stage for me. When we happen to experience Lockdown, the moment had come to follow my idea of a documentary on the fleeting nature of dance. I was inspired by the medium of film and wanted to explore the many possible ways of recording and reproducing something like a dance performance. In addition, I wanted to start an artistic discourse.
In the many years of working with Dirk, I have admired his feeling for the design of a spatial situation, for a composition and his ability to capture and emphasise scenes on stage from a different perspective. I could imagine that Dirk has a talent for film composition and the inherent aesthetics of it.
As most of the performing artists had no jobs due to the pandemic, the film project, that was supposed to be realised via Zoom, was the perfect idea to establish an ensemble of artists in different countries. Thus, I brought together three artists plus myself and we are all very different in our artistic expression, in our physiognomy, and in our energetic dance vocabulary. I knew we would all bring our own inspiration to the project - although everybody was in their own home and all communication could only take place via the laptop camera. And indeed, during the shooting, the situation was very playful, the performers immediately got involved and started to work artistically and theatrically in their kitchens, living or bed rooms. A special mention deserves the work with the technical equipment. Each performer had to cope with a lot of technical stuff and its installation sometimes took a lot of time and effort. But once everything was set up, the cooperation with the performers and the musician was intensive, stimulating and expanding.
In terms of performing, I can say, that turning away from conventional ways of working, even in all its limitations, opened up new space for trying out, exploring and getting involved in the moment in what you have and what your opportunities are. A free space had been created and it became visible in a variety of impulses, in the way how to react to one another, in how we tried things out. At the end we can say, that despite the lockdown situation, we found a feeling of freedom.
In terms of film, we decided to use different kind of cameras for a maximum variety of perspectives. The juxtaposition of conventional images with film rides gained from the body cams brought a filmic experience that could not have been experienced in a staged dance performance.
Dirk Dietrich Hennig
After having been developing stage design and video documentation for Karen Bößer for years, it was an easy decision for Karen and me to consider a cinematic solution for the time when there were no performance opportunities available during the pandemic. It was a wonderful challenge to think about the handling of the technique for the performers in advance, since the dancers should film themselves at work, and problems with the technique should not be in the foreground. And as it happens often in projects, you think about so many things in advance, which then no longer play a role later.
I don't think it will be possible to get so close to the dancers again so soon. The camera sat on their hands, on theirs heads and on the feet and brought completely new dynamics and perspectives into the cinematic documentation. In the end, we had such a tremendous amount of video material that we could have made a film about each one of the group. But merging the individual positions into an overall concept was a great task, which was only surpassed by the task of bringing the whole thing together with the music of Thomas Klein. It was a tightly knit adventure to put together this film, and it was great fun, and we hope that it brings the dance closer in the truest sense of the word.