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Recording: 2018-12-06 , Sophiensæle (Video © Walter Bickmann)

Christoph Winkler

Speak Boldly – The Julius Eastman Dance Project (dance film)

dance film on demand | Sophiensæle

Production Details / Press Releases

The project is a musical-choreographic exploration of the works of Afro-American composer Julius Eastman, who passed away in 1990. The project takes into special account the broader history of minimal music and contemporary dance. It expands the spectrum of the established canon of minimal art dance pieces inspired by music and adds to it a new, previously little-heard voice.

In the process, it brings together more than 20 artists from a wide range of cultural backgrounds.

J. Eastman, born 1940 in Ithaca, New York, was one of those multi-talents rarely found in music history. He was a musician, composer, singer and dancer. He began piano lessons as a young child and soon later also started dance training. He had a remarkably deep singing voice. Very soon, his talents began to cause a stir and consequently he worked with acclaimed artists such as Morton Feldman, Pierre Boulez, Meredith Monk and Arthur Russel. His compositions were enthusiastically performed and received in the USA and Europe. However, as an openly gay Afro-American in an art form dominated by whites, he never quite managed to really become part of the minimal music community. In the end, he died lonely and homeless, after a long bout of substance abuse. Most of his compositions were also lost in the process. Thanks to various reconstructions in recent years, his work has been rediscovered and is finally receiving due international recognition.

This project attempts to render three of Eastman’s pieces – Gay Guerilla, The Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc and Femenine – with international guests into choreography that concentrates on the rhythmic qualities and political objectives of Eastman’s music. The starting point is the hypothetical question: What if Eastman’s music had become part of the musical canon? What inspirations could dance have drawn from his work?

All pieces are performed live by the renowned Zafraan Ensemble.


TFB Nr. 1266

Cast & Credits

IDEA AND CONCEPT: Christoph Winkler
CHOREOGRAPHY, PERFORMANCE: Aloaii Tapu, Jahra ‘Rager’ Wasasala, Karima Amrani, Lois Alexander, Lisa Rykena, Zen Jefferson
MUSIC: Zafraan Ensemble & Guests
ARRANGEMENT: Clemens Hund-Göschel
COSTUME DESIGN: Raki Fernandez
STAGEDESIGN: Valentina Primavera

A production by Company Christoph Winkler.
Funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds, the Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa and the Augstein-Stiftung.

Camera: Walter Bickmann, Doris Kolde, Dominik Schötschel
Editing: Walter Bickmann (Tanzforum Berlin)


Sophienstraße 18
10178 Berlin

Tickets: (030) 283 52 66

Christoph Winkler / Trailers and Video Documentations

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