In tandem with emerging dance artists connected to our city, Tanztage Berlin 2022 continues to examine what keeps us together and tears us apart. It also asks questions about dance’s ability to heal the individual and the collective body in times of distress. After 2021, the festival took place exclusively online – presenting perspectives on the near and distant future, work culture, care practices and (mental) health – its 31st edition returns as an extended offline and online program. Alongside the last year’s selection of performances, it includes new creations and discourse formats on power, protest, and empowerment.
The music video to the 2011 pop anthem Till the World Ends by Britney Spears depicts the artist throwing an underground party as the apocalypse approaches. The city is burning, debris is falling from the sky, but she is executing synchronized choreographies with a crowd of people, as in some modern-day version of dancing plague, convincing the listeners to “keep on dancing till the world ends”. But what kind of dance do we need when the apocalypse is more of a chronic menace than a story with a climax? And how does it feel to be a body in a never-ending state of emergency?
The work presented during Tanztage Berlin 2022 critically navigates the present by reimagining past and future encounters on the dance floor. While dealing with acute problems like power relations, surveillance, disembodiment, or climate change, it tunes into the social body, creating much-needed moments of awareness, connectedness and self-determination. Unlike the 21st-century billionaire strategy of abandoning earth in a rocket ship or escaping into a parallel virtual universe, the festival chooses instead to stay with the trouble: to celebrate dancing together through the crisis and against despair.