TENACITY OF SPACE, Premiere: 24 March 2017, DE (future performances Feb/Mar 2018 in HAU Theater, Berlin)

© Dorothea Tuch

Choreography and Direction: Deborah Hay
With artistic support from Jeanine Durning and Ros Warby

In collaboration with Ty Boomershine, Amancio Gonzalez, Brit Rodemund, Christopher Roman and Jone San Martin

Artistic Direction DANCE ON ENSEMBLE: Christopher Roman

Deborah Hay:
Dance is my form of political activism. It is not how I dance or why I dance. It is that I dance.
The Tenacity of Space represents a catastrophic loss of learned dance behavior. Rather than rely on their physical bodies and what they can do, the DANCE ON quintet was encouraged to relentlessly notice everything in their visual field to support their moving bodies. “Immensity is within ourselves. It is attached to a sort of expansion of being that life curbs and caution arrests…” (Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space)

Recognizable movement is not an element in my work. Instead I create conditions that are intended give rise to an atmosphere of indefinable logic for both the dancer and the audience. What keeps me interested in Tenacity of Space is what I cannot name or point to in watching how the DANCE ON ENSEMBLE responds to my choreography.

Tenacity of Space is a phrase I found while reading Harvest, a recent Jim Crace novel. It was my second reading of the book and I turned to it during my five weeks with the ensemble. The phrase leapt out perhaps because of two particular issues in the news, one being Trump’s ascension to power and the other being the Syrian Diaspora. During my second week with the dancers I felt a need to somehow reference these disempowering world conditions in the dance being made. Changing the title from Nothing is Outside to Tenacity of Space changed how we continued to work together.

Lighting Design: Tanja Rühl

Composition and Live-Electronics: Mattef Kuhlmey

Costume Design: Judith Adam

Tailoring and Costume-Making: Sophia Piepenbrock-Saitz

Assistant to the choreographer: Katharina Rost

Co-production: tanzhaus nrw, ADC-Association Danse Contemporaine Genève

Supported by the NPN Coproduction Fund for Dance, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media on the basis of a decision made by the German Bundestag.

Co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union as part of DANCE ON, PASS ON, DREAM ON

DANCE ON is an initiative by DIEHL+RITTER gUG funded by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media


Tenacity of Space will be presented as part of the Dance On Festival on Friday, March 2nd, 2018.