Production Details / Press Releases
In the dance performance TENNIS, Angela Alves examines sport, art and society for ableist and classist patterns of discrimination; exploring methods to confront them without losing her nerve. In the setting of a tennis court, the dancer takes up the racket and prepares to serve for a barrier-free future. For the crip artist from a so-called underclass background, the tennis court marks a space that was never intended for Angela Alves. In TENNIS, she claims the court for herself, making it her site for gentle self-empowerment.
A ball-throwing machine fires balls into the court. The actress Athena Lange is enthroned on the high seat, controlling the space as a referee, with the tennis coach on the screen in the background. But how does one hold one’s own in a demanding game when stress avoidance is the top priority? And how does one escape a social system that knows no boundaries without admitting defeat?
For the performance, Angela Alves studies the serve, forehand and backhand, and tirelessly practices the movements of the game with relish; finding a way to creatively adapt them to her needs. The result is a humorous choreography of sensitive resilience, which, via audio description, sign language and English subtitles, specifically ensnares numerous players in the hurdles of accessibility.
ANGELA ALVES takes her first long-awaited tennis lessons in the summer of 2022. She studied dance at the ArtEZ School of Dance in the Netherlands and dance studies at the FU Berlin. She lives and works as a freelance choreographer in Berlin and is a member of Backbone Berlin. In her artistic work she negotiates perceptions and constructions of “healthy” and “sick” bodies and is interested in the subversive potential in between. Her practice focuses on political dimensions of the unavailable body and explores its transformative potency through strategies of access, self-empowerment and self-care in classist and ableist pre-structured spaces. Alves is co-founder of TURN. New Movement for Multiple Sclerosis e.V. and IHMAR. Institute for Medical & Health Humanities and Artistic Research.
ATHENA LANGE, *1991 in Plauen, lives and works as an actress and artist in Berlin. Among other things, she was a permanent ensemble member of the Leipziger Ensemble until 2016, and performed for the Deutsche Gehörlosen-Theater and Possible World Berlin. At the Staatstheater Hannover, she took on the lead role in the play Die Wut, die uns vereint from 2019. Since 2021 she embodies Isa from Wolfgang Herrndorf’s novel Bilder deiner großen Liebe at the Societätstheater in Dresden. Her engagements also include performances at the Sophiensælen Berlin and Kampnagel Hamburg, among others, where she works with renowned artists from all over Germany and Europe.
[Source: play bill]
TFB Nr. 1689
Cast & Credits
Performance: Angela Alves, Athena Lange
Concept, choreography: Angela Alves
Dramaturgy: Alex Hennig
Artistic Assistance, Access Work: Michel Wagenschütz
Stage design, costume: Mascha Deneke
Movie: Michelle Ettlin
Sound: Christoph Rothmeier
Audio description: Emmilou Rößling in collaboration with Silja Korn
Light design: Susana Alonso
Tennis coaching: Ozan Filiz
Third Eye: Ania Nowak
Philosophical consultation: Svenja Flaßpöhler
Medical consultation: Sabine Schadow
Internship: Luise-Finn Tismer
Production: honest work – free culture office
A production by Angela Alves in co-production with SOPHIENSÆLE and TATWERK | Performative Forschung.
Supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe Berlin and Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media within the framework of NEUSTART KULTUR.
With the kind support of Tennis Club Blau-Gold Wuhlheide e.V.
The video documentation is produced on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. 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):