New methods for contemporary tap dance
In 2016, after some 20 years of eclectic choreographic work, Sebastian Weber felt like it was no longer interesting to combine tap dance with other means of performing arts as he had done in about a dozen full productions until then. Using tools such as film projections or acting lost its appeal as an extension of possibilities and now felt like touch of arbitrariness. Instead, a focus on the core qualitites of tap, the connection of sound and movement, seemed more attractive now and whatever intellectual or emotional content the work wanted to relate was now supposed to be expressed in tap alone.
This generated two main challenges. First, a new technical approach was necessary to better understand and utilize the visual potential of tap, to analyze and expand the movement vocabulary.
And secondly, methods of dance dramaturgy needed to be found to help the dancers develop precise movement images from abstract ideas with neither becoming too intellectual nor too noncommittal.
Weber first hijacks methods from all kinds of fields: From contemporary dance to industrial design, from film to dance theory and integrates numerous experts and amateurs into the process.
The first production, which was based on these ideas, is called CABOOM and was both a choreographic project and creative laboratory. The production began with a research week in which the company tried any method, no matter how weird, with curiosity and brazeness. The mode of collaboration developed in this process became a basis of the company’s artistic identity.
Doppelpass Fund for Tap Transform
In 2018, the company, together with its partners Theater Koblenz and LOFFT – Das Theater, receives a multi-year grant from the Germen Federal Cultural Foundation.
In CABOOM, the company had already been internationally staffed – the dancers came from five different countries. The federal funding now allows for the production of COWBOYS to expand the line-up to seven dancers and finally to work with live music again!
Under the title TAP TRANSFORM, the Doppelpass project will run until the end of 2020. After the current production COWBOYS, there will be a co-production at the Theater of Koblenz. The company is also trying to expand its touring activities.
“… and after”