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Recording: 2019-01-17 , Tanztage Berlin 2019 | Sophiensæle (Video © Walter Bickmann)



Tanztage Berlin 2019 | Sophiensæle

Production Details / Press Releases

PAIN THRESHOLD takes its name from the measurement of pain the doctor uses to test the patient. In Perel’s work, this term involves more than the threshold of physical pain. Engaging in questions of openness, vulnerability, control, consent, care, and intimacy, Pain Threshold invites the audience to bear witness to their own emotional and intellectual thresholds.

Perel’s research for this work began in the midst of receiving care in preparation for another performance. It was inside of this experience that the artist asked: What if this care was the performance? From there, Perel grew curious about the format of Talk Shows, and began to re-watch episodes of Oprah, Barbara Walters’ interviews, and Late-Night shows. Perel decided that the position of receptivity to care would make them the perfect Talk Show host. As Perel opens up their body, an audience member might be willing to open up emotionally. So, if you imagine a disabled, queer Barbara Walters, you’ll get the picture…

As this part of the project was in development, two important events occurred. The first event was the artist’s discovery of sex therapist Esther Perel. Not only do they bear the same last name, but they both use discursive practices in their work to frame life events. The second event was the hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court, who defended himself before the Senate against allegations of sexual violence. As Perel listened to the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the artist was reminded of a sexual trauma experienced years ago. The parallels between Ford’s story and Perel’s were undeniable. Perel then decided to open up the past and reveal this pain endured long ago.

In the admission of vulnerability lies true strength. Power rests in the hands of those who dare to challenge the status quo to imagine a higher form of justice than what is presently available.

PLEASE NOTE This piece explicitly deals with sexual violence.

[Source: play bill]

TFB Nr. 1280

Cast & Credits

PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT: Antonio M., International Fabulousness.

Co-produced by American Realness Festival 2019 (NYC). Created as part of residencies at Movement Research (2018-2020 Mertz-Gilmore Artist-in-Residence), Gibney Dance (2018 Dance In Process Artist) and Making A Difference – Tanzpakt Stadt-Land-Bund.

MANAGEMENT: Johanna Withelm
DRAMATURGICAL ADVICE: Alexandra Hennig, Isabel Gatzke
The Tanztage Berlin are produced by SOPHIENSÆLE.
Funded by Senate Chancellery for Culture and Europe.
Supported by Goethe-Institut Kairo, mapping dance berlin and Tanzfabrik Berlin e.V.


Sophienstraße 18
10178 Berlin

Tickets: (030) 283 52 66

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)

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