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Recording: 2024-03-16 , ada Studio (Video © Bickmann & Kolde GbR)

Dasniya Sommer, Fungi Fung

SPK – der Sommer Phuong Komplex

neworks - Aesthetics of Access | ada Studio in den Uferstudios

Production Details / Press Releases

The emerging choreographer and dancer (Dasniya Sommer) and the martial artist and poet (Fungi Fung) use their time in ada studio to performatively interpret their experiences of physical and mental illness. Based on Sommer’s sports injuries and Fung’s clinical bipolarity, they examine the relationship between the “sick” individual and society, dance and mixed martial arts (MMA), as well as the situation on stage and the audience. Martial arts serve as a dance metaphor for the social treatment of illness and violence. Based on historical research into alternative psychotherapy movements, they begin their residency with a theoretical focus on the “Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv” (SPK, socialist patient collective), founded in Heidelberg in 1970. They see its development from an emancipatory self-help group to an armed terrorist cell as a radical inspiration for an original dance practice. The SPK slogan: “Turning illness into a weapon” is thus to be adopted in dance. In the search for answers as to how choreographed scenes about illness, pain and violence can lead to a reception that is as universally legible and non-offensive as possible, formats of aesthetic accessibility for people with and without mental disabilities are part of the material development from the very beginning.

Dasniya Sommer is a freelance dancer, choreographer and installation artist. She completed a classical dance education in Berlin in the 1990s and studied contemporary dance (Limon, Cunningham, Trisha Brown Institute) in New York and in Berlin with LaborGras. Between 1989–1999 she was a member of the Staatsballett company in Berlin. Her father, who comes from Thailand, taught her yoga, meditation and Buddhist philosophy from childhood. In her work, she explores her dual identity and develops a critical practice of both normative aesthetic and cultural body coding. Studies in ethics and gender studies influence her work. She is part of the Berlin kink community and has been practising ‘Shibari/Kinbaku’, a Japanese bondage technique, since 2008 and has developed a contemporary stage practice with which she has collaborated with many other artists (Meine Damen und Herren, das Helmi, Monstertruck, Romeo Castellucci and Silke Schönfleisch-Backofen), both mediating and actively performing. Her many years of continuous ballet training are characterised by non-judgemental research, whereby she does not stop at deconstruction, but strives for an expansion within the framework of her experiences, which are fed by other body practices.

Fungi Fung is a poet, martial artist and freelance photographer. She graduated from the Lette Verein Berlin in 2016 and has since realised exhibitions on the subject of Agent Orange at the House of Democracy and Human Rights Berlin and in Paris, among others. She is also interested in the Vietnamese diaspora and the inner state of artistically minded people. She has been practising martial arts (kickboxing, Mui Thai, BJJ) since 2016, taking part in competitions and developing performative approaches from her training practice, including for the choreographer Yotam Peled and for Haus Sommer. Her clinical bipolarity often sets her physical and psychological limits. She wants to push these limits as far as possible, for example by shaping her body herself, despite the physical changes caused by the medication, and by constantly exploring herself and her training partners physically through martial arts practice. Fungi’s writing and her photographs are approached as visual products of her own emotions. They arise less from a brief mood/phase than from deep-seated feelings. Together with details taken from her environment or (abstract emotional) landscapes created in her mind, they form the motor of her poetic texts.

“neworks – Aesthetics of Access” is a performance series that focuses on works where accessibility for disabled, chronically ill and/or deaf audience members is an integral part of the artistic concept. As defined by Diversity Arts Culture, “the term ‘Aesthetics of Access’ describes a practice in the performing arts: accessibility is built into the art production from the beginning and with an artistic claim and not added afterwards.” neworks 2024 includes three works from Berlin based artists that have found their own personal perspective on how to allow means of accessibility to inspire and inform their artistic processes.

Curators Liisi Hint and Maria Ladopoulos are non-disabled emerging dance artists who have been collaborating since 2020. They approach this curatorial process as an extension of their artistic work with the clear aim of learning together, experimenting and challenging their own perspectives. With that in mind, they chose three projects that all deal with Aesthetics of Access from different angles, creating a performance series that tries to reflect the wide spectrum of what is possible in accessible performance making.


TFB Nr. 1865

Cast & Credits

Concept, choreography & dance: Dasniya Sommer
Co-choreography, text & performance: Fungi Fung
Support for easy language: Manuel Gerst
Outside Eye: Clara Eckhardt, Akiles
Dramaturgical support: Liisi Hint, Maria Ladopoulos
Critical Companion: Melmun Bajarchuu
Lighting design: Robert Prideaux

neworks – Aesthetics of Access
Curated by Maria Ladopoulos and Liisi Hint
The ada Studio is funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion.

ada Studio in den Uferstudios

Uferstr. 23
13357 Berlin

Tickets: (030) 21 80 05 07

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)

Dasniya Sommer / Trailers and Video Documentations

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