Johanna Lemke, Saskia Oidtmann and Maria Walser are the first in a new series of a cooperation called "ada goes garage", which is characterized by the unifying status of the artists: dance creators who are also mothers. Sounds like a revolution. Absurdly enough, it also feels like revolution, although the experiences, strategies and working methods of young mothers in contemporary dance could help us all to get started right now.
When Gabi Beier, Raisa Kröger and Johanna Lemke met for the first Zoom meeting in June to talk about the idea of a residency, a flower pot fell from the side table in the living room and a decisive sentence took space while someone disappeared from the picture, collected the child and swept up the potting soil: "I'm always here, even if you can't see me!"
The last months of the crisis have challenged us to think fundamentally about how we as a dance scene want to shape our living and working worlds in the future. Structures of solidarity, alternative production and performance formats, other ways of working together and renegotiating what was previously taken for granted. Young mothers in the scene have had to constantly negotiate their working conditions, not only since Covid-19 - against constant flexibility and tacitly assumed availability, precarious conditions, planning uncertainty. Apart from structural and economic dimensions, visibility and thus also networking, recognition, PR is a big issue: How does a woman meet collaborators, curators, journalists, if she can't constantly jump around at premiere parties in the evening? It is perhaps no coincidence that young mothers are increasingly associated with the collectively organised project and rehearsal space, Garage - Werkstatt für Darstellende Künste e.V. For the showings, which will take place from September to November, three mothers' choreographers will present very different works that cannot be reduced to their family status and which are sent from the rehearsal space to the living rooms via video stream. When Maria Walser examines chaos as an effective principle, Saskia Oidtmann traces the "naturalness" of the body and Johanna Lemke examines Chopin's traces in dance, "reinkommen/coming in" also means going out - continuing.
JOHANNA LEMKE: "I work as a dancer and choreographer and I am a band singer of ROOM SERVICE.
I am a mother of three children.
For several years I have been working in the artist collective "TEAM VOLUME". In 2019 we made a piece on the topic of "Mothers in Art - Divinity meets Punk" with pregnant performers. We are often dealing with socially relevant topics that are relevant to us too. In August 2020 the premiere of "HELLO KEVIN/Installation of the senses", a hybrid between analogue live dance performance and media chat transmission, will take place at Dock 11.
I will use the residency at garage to finally take a closer look at my dance vocabulary.
Since we usually raise quite big issues with very little means, I have the feeling that I will never really be able to dive into the found dance vocabulary, because there is never enough time for that. Now I have this opportunity and am very happy to focus on dance and to deepen my language.
I have decided to make a dancing encounter with a synthesizer variation of Chopin-Nocturnes. Chopin's compositional style is influenced by Polish folk music, and he was known to have been a technician during his lifetime. His artistic paths have led him to France. I see interesting connections there.
My childhood roots are in Lithuania, where traditional folk dances played a major role for me. Folk songs were also very present. I am still very interested in the sharp precision of mastered technique in dance, and I have found in France a recognition of art that I did not know from Germany. Especially in dance, I have observed that there is a much better education in France. My collective partner Jacob Stoy (musician) and I will work together on the musical and dancing translation.
Jacob and I both come from the former GDR and carry in us something from a time in a country that no longer exists and is increasingly disintegrating. I would like to deal with memory - in terms of time, but also in terms of how much a body can absorb and reproduce.
"reinkommen" (“coming in”) is ada Studio's latest performance series. It gives young choreographers the opportunity to open their work process, invite the audience to come in and get into conversation. Due to the restrictions imposed by the Corona pandemic, "reinkommen" will be presented online. Check www.ada-studio.de
"ada goes garage" is a cooperation project of ada studio and garage. Garage is a space that offers possibilities to research, rehearse, create, produce and present work in the fields of dance and performing arts in Berlin-Lichtenberg.
From September through November, ada studio invites the audience to come in three times to get an impression of the three research processes of the artists at garage.
Concept, Choreography and Performance: Johanna Lemke