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Recording: 2019-08-18 , Tanz im August | Sophiensæle (Video © Walter Bickmann)

Deborah Hay

The Man Who Grew Common in Wisdom

Tanz im August | Sophiensæle

Production Details / Press Releases

The Man Who Grew Common in Wisdom (1989/2019)
Deborah Hay makes simplicity eloquent in her three-part solo, said the New York Times in 1989 about “The Man Who Grew Common in Wisdom”. For Hay, wisdom becomes the tangible experience of well-being within the ordinary world. The trilogy is comprised of “The Navigator”, “The Gardener” and “The Aviator”. Eva Mohn, an exceptional dancer from Cullberg, has been coached by Hay and will perform the dance.

Eva Mohn is a dancer and choreographer. She performs, lives and works in Stockholm, in the Cullberg company. Before moving to Sweden, Mohn studied dance at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and was a founding member of the company TU Dance in St Paul (USA). In Minnesota she also performed with Black Label Movement, Morgan Thorson, the Maggie Bergeron Dance Company and her down dance pieces and musical compositions. She was a member of the women’s music quartet Coach Said Not To and the sister duo the Dale Hush Hush. In 2009 she moved to Germany to work with the choreographer Johannes Wieland at the Staatstheater Kassel. During her time in Europe she has collaborated with the choreographers Jozef Frucek, Benoît Lachambre, Jefta van Dinther, Edouard Lock, Eszter Salamon, Ian Kaler and Deborah Hay. In her choreographic works she plays with musical compositions and enjoys finding an alternation of storytelling, physical exertion and somatic practice

Deborah Hay was a founding member of the experimental Judson Dance Theater and toured worldwide in 1964 with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. For the last 30 years, she wrote and published while developing her own language for dance practice and choreography, which she applied in her work with both untrained and professional dancers. Commissioned works were produced by The Forsythe Company, Toronto Dance Theater and Cullberg Ballet, among others. Last year, MoMA opened their major exhibition “Judson Dance Theater: The Work is Never Done”, which features Hay’s work alongside that of her pioneering dance contemporaries Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown, Steve Paxton and others. Deborah Hay has been a guest at Tanz im August three times before, with “If I Sing to You” (2008), “No Time to Fly” (2012) and “Figure a Sea” (2016) with Cullberg.

About the music “Staggered Stasis” was written for “The Navigator”. Chord changes hover around a theme of Pythagorean intervals, microtonal shifts occur in a staggered fashion. There is a flatness in this drama, like what I imagine it must be like to be alone in the middle of an ocean. Music for “The Gardener” uses the image of a curbside garden decorated with bits of broken glass and scrap wood. Recordings of these materials are manipulated with a Prophet sampler to build an audio mosaic out of discarded things. Music for “The Aviator” is rooted in Deborah’s directive: “We contain the mystery, but we don’t know what it is.” The music illustrates this concept as a day at the circus with calliope music, starter pistols, large crowds and abrupt disturbances.
Ellen Fullman, composer

[Source: play bill]

TFB Nr. 1351

Cast & Credits

Choreography: Deborah Hay
With: Eva Mohn
Music: Ellen Fullman
Costume (“The Gardener” & “The Aviator”): Susan Norwood
Custume Reconstruction: LiLaRo Skrädderikompaniet

In the context of RE-Perspective Deborah Hay

Tanz im August 2019
Artistic Director: Virve Sutinen
Executive Producer Festival: Isa Köhler
Producer: Anja Lindner, Marie Schmieder (on parental leave)
Project Management: Simone Graf
Assistant to Artistic Director & Production Assistant: Alina Sophie Scheyrer-Lauer
Production: Florian Greß, Ben Mohai, Sofie Marie Luckhardt, Katharina Rost, Lovisa Sohls Söderberg, Charlotte Werner
Technical Director: Ruprecht Lademann, Patrick Tucholski
Tanz im August is a festival by HAU Hebbel am Ufer, funded by the Capital Cultural Fund.


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)

Deborah Hay / Trailers and Video Documentations

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