projects

First Caboom Residency at LOFFT Leipzig

Mid June, we started the choreographic research for a new project during a week-long residency at the LOFFT. The week was geared at finding movement ideas for the theme of chaos and complexity. These movements will later a basis for further choreographic work and were presented in a short showing.

CABOOM – new contemporary tap dance

 

Seven years after the “award-winning” production of THE GROOVE JOURNALS (minor awards, to be honest…) and following some exciting collaborations with film and theater, my next project takes me back to “pure” tap ensemble work. This gives me a chance to apply a newly discovered concept, which feels like the holy grail of choreography to me: an analytical, yet creative approach I call CABOOM and have already introduced at some workshops.

CABOOM

CABOOM was sparked by some very open movement research, in which fantastic dancer Janne Eraker and I tried to find fresh visual ideas for audible dance in the most general sense. Doing this, I realized with some surprise that we as tap dancers do not usually have a vocabulary for the physical “organisation” of our body in movement. Our terminology describes the foot percussion precisely. But if a shuffle-ball-change moves to the left or the right, crosses in the back or the front, turns or does whatever… is not usually conveyed in our vocabulary. In fact, many of us would rather sing a step to a colleague than describe the movement.

This is perfectly in tune with the jazz tradition, since the individual differences between the dancers keep the whole thing interesting and might be considered part of the personal style. When trying to develope a unique movement esthetics as an ensemble, however, tap frequently moves within narrow limits.

To expand the options here, CABOOM starts with an analysis of the inner “logic” of a choreographed sequence and identifies, which parameters are important to that sequence: weight change obviously, but also axial coordination, balance, momentum and centrifugal power… How do arms and legs relate to each other? Which body parts initiate a movement, which follow? Which potentials are unused and which individual variance exists?

The attention to these functional elements alone releases great potential: the dancers move more spaciously, more dynamically.

In a second step, CABOOM explores how the movement repertoire of tap can be altered or expanded. To this end, I work with a number of experts of contemporary dance, movement analysis and dance dramaturgy. Peer-learning, method transfer and trial & error are key strategies. Contemporary choreographers inspire new approaches to tap, add gestures, suggest a different concept of developing movement altogether, apply their take on body language to tap. What still feels like tap? What does not?

In return, contemporary dancers try to bring out the precise musicality of tap in their movement repertoire, try to use typical movement ideas of tap and to explore other means of developing a style of “audible dance”. Of all their approaches, what can be re-imported into tap?

WORKSHOPS

These are some of the technical aspects I explore more fully with my new CABOOM project in a series of interconnected workshops, residencies and ensemble choreography. Some of the workshops take place within the newly found CABOOM COMPANY, others are open to anybody.

Among the public workshops are two that offer a more in-depth opportunity to participate in the choreographic process: April 3rd thru 8th, there will be an advanced and an intermediate residency at Guillem Allonso’s Casa Luthier, an awe-inspiring hub for great tap dancing in Barcelona. While the intermediate workshop is mostly about introducing the principles of CABOOM by means of a short choreography, the advanced workshop will be more of a team effort to actually create original material. That material will later be developed for the stage and used in a short dance film. Details and registration information can be found on the workshop flyer.

Later in the summer, there will be an intensive workshops at Anina Krügers beautiful Blue Tap Studio in Berlin. Covering two weekends, we will first learn original choreography and then change and develope that material in collaboration with renowned contemporary dancer and choreographer Damian Gmür. This will be an opportunity to experience the research first hand an find out about personal limits and potential.

Then, there are some smaller workshops, in which I introduce the CABOOM approach. Next chance will be at the end of march in Heidelberg, soon after that there will be a more intensive four-day workshop at the tap dance days (formerly “tap ahead festival”) in Düsseldorf.

AUDITION for professional tap dancers

In the course of the year, I plan to produce three short films and a full-evening performance, which will be presented in Leipzig, Berlin, and Aschaffenburg. Professional tap dancers who are interested to participate are very much encouraged to check out the audition notice and send a brief application!

Blind Date

Blind_Date_2_Foto_Sophie_Stephan_600

BLIND DATE was  series of improvisational performances curated by Sebastian Weber and Sebastian Göschel in 2016. Each installment brought dancers, musicians and performers of other genres together in an unplanned encounter.

Sophie Stephan created these short video clips of statements on improvisation by all participants. | weiterlesen… »

SYNCHRONZEUGEN

SYNCHRONZEUGEN

Webers first collaboration with Frankfurt’s author and director Stéphane Bittoun is a multifaceted, vibrant dance theatre production on the theme of resonance and synchronisation. It features contemporary tap dance and top-class modern jazz, but also acting and film.

The Story

Two men sail around the world, one trying to escape his dreaded job and marriage, the other as his hired skipper. The two are as opposite as can be, but the many adventures at sea glue them together and they become a great team. Then – without fully knowing what they do – they rescue the wife of a drug lord in Venezuela and get entangled in a mist of suspicions and deceptions. In the end, nobody – not even the audience – knows what’s true, but it also does not matter…

BESETZUNG

Stéphane Bittoun is an abundantly creative writer and director whose unorthodox stage and film style has recently been recognized with a nomination for the Georg-Tabori-Award of the National Endowment for the Arts. In many original productions at Frankfurt’s prestigous “Künstlerhaus Mousonturm”, as well as on Kampnagel in Hamburg and a range of city and state theaters, Stephane proved to be a master of combining diverse genres and styles.

Werner Neumann is the musical director of the production. Weber and Neumann already collaborated in the critically acclaimed “THE GROOVE JOURNALS” which won the Leipzig Movement Art Award. Neumann is considered „one of the most sophisticated virtuosos on the european jazz scene” (Deutschlandfunk). Apart from Sebastian Weber as artistic director and co-author, the following artist are involved in the production:

Ludovico Hombravella

Tap dancer Ludovico Hombravella works free lance as an actor for theater and TV. He has choreographed the musical “40 Principales” in Madrid and Barcelona and has performed and choreographed for the tap and street dance production “Hermanos de Baile”, which had a tremendously successful two year run in Barcelona. He has been a featured dancer in many tap productions, for example in CAMUT BAND and with Roxane Butterfly. As a soloist he performs all over Spain, but also in Japan, Beirut, Yemen, Jordan and Germany.

Werner Neumann

Gitarre, musikalische Leitung

Werner Neumann studied jazz guitar in Arnheim, Cologne and many international workshops and has meanwhile become a professor at the prestigeous Leipzig College of Music. He has played on more then 2.500 gigs around the world, travelling from the Netherlands to Zimbabwe, from Kazakhstan to Brazil. Werner plays on more than 40 international CDs and has composed and produced scores for about a dozen TV and movie productions.

Robert Lucaciu

Bass Robert Lucaciu ist einer der „Young Lions“ des aktuellen Jazz: bereits im Alter von 17 Jahren erhielt er erste Auszeichnungen wie den Jugend-Jazzt-Studiopreis und gleich mehrfach den Sonderpreis des sächsischen Staatsministeriums für Wissenschaft und Kunst. Seitdem führen ihn Konzertreisen durch ganz Europa und er musiziert mit internationalen Jazzgrößen wie Wolfgang Muthspiel, Richie Beirach und Johannes Enders. In Leipzig gehört er zu den Initiatoren der viel beachteten Jazzbühne im Liveclub

Philipp Scholz

Diverse Solistenpreise, spielte mit Nicolai Thärichen, Jürgen Friedrich u.a., Mitglied im BuJazzo. Werner Neumann, Robert Lucaciu und Philipp Scholz spielen auch außerhalb der Produktion SYNCHRONZEUGEN gemeinsam im Trio. Unter dem Namen Baby Boomer haben sie ihren eigenen, kraftvollen Sound zwischen aktuellem Jazz und Rock entwickelt.

Milena Gürtler

Milena Gürtler lernte Schauspiel, Tanz und Gesang an der Theaterschule Roy v. Bongort in Leipzig und arbeitet seit 2011 freischaffend für Schauspiel, Operette und TV.

Stéphane Bittoun

Ausgebildet an der berühmten „Giessener Schule“, arbeitet Stéphane Bittoun seit 1998 als Regisseur für Fernsehen und Theater. 1999 gründet er seine erste Theatercompanie TMT Jones und verwirklicht seitdem zahlreiche Koproduktionen mit dem Mousonturm Frankfurt, Kampnagel Hamburg und anderen. Als Regisseur ist er außerdem an Stadt- und Staatstheatern, wie z.B. in Mainz, Erfurt und Heidelberg tätig. 2012 ist er für den Georg-Tibori-Förderpreis als herausragender deutscher Regisseur nominiert.

PRODUKTION

SYNCHRONZEUGEN ist eine Koproduktion des LOFFT Leipzig und als solche gefördert vom Kulturamt der Stadt Leipzig.  Außerdem wird das Projekt von der Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen, sowie vom Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V. aus Mitteln der Bundeskulturstiftung gefördert.