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Recording: 2019-12-12 , Ballhaus Ost (Video © Walter Bickmann)

Christoph Winkler

On HeLa – The Color of Cells

Ballhaus Ost

Production Details / Press Releases

The project confronts the history of the HeLa cells, the first human cell line to be cultivated in a laboratory. The cells were taken from Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951. During treatment against the tumor, the cells were extracted and passed on to a laboratory without her knowledge. There it was discovered that the cells were “immortal”, that they keep dividing infinitely. Scientists were able to grow the first human cell line out of them, and later made numerous medical discoveries such as polio vaccination, as well as advances in cancer and HIV/ AIDS research. The choreographer Christoph Winkler, who has had cancer himself for a year, relates his own experience with illness to the history of the HeLa cells in a documentary dance performance. Collaborating with the dancer Lois Alexander he creates a solo that engages with questions of ethics, privilege, and racism. With music by Sun Ra, Matana Roberts, Alice Coltrance, Max Roach, and others.

[Source: play bill]

TFB Nr. 1400

Cast & Credits

Concept, Choreography: Christoph Winkler
Performance: Lois Alexander
Video-Installation: Josephine Freiberg
Technical Direction: Fabian Eichner
Production Management: Laura Biagioni
Production Assistance: Gabriella Fiore
Music: Matana Roberts, Moderat, Phill Niblock, Sun Ra, Alice Coltrane, Max Roach, Angel Bat Dawid
Additional text: Claudia Rankine, M. NourbeSe Philip, Anne Boyer
Thanks to Susan Sontag & Audre Lorde for their inspiring texts.

A production of the Company Christoph Winkler in cooperation with Ballhaus Ost.
Funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

Ballhaus Ost

Pappelallee 15
D-10437 Berlin

Ticktes: (030) 440 391 68

Video Documentation

The video documentation is produced on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion. The purpose of this contract is to document productions in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin. The master recordings are archived by the University Library of the Berlin University of Arts. Copies of the recordings on DVD are available for viewing exclusively in the reference collections of the following archives (at media desks in these institutions):

University Library of the Berlin University of Arts
Mediathek für Tanz und Theater des Internationalen Theaterinstituts / Mime Centrum Berlin
Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT)

Christoph Winkler / Trailers and Video Documentations

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