We shape our urban surroundings collectively, often without even noticing it; this is how we create the daily groove of a city. For three years now, in his performance series groove space, Sebastian Matthias and his team of dancers have been investigating the essential features of this specific rhythm: the tactile collective movement of a city. In public spaces, he seeks out those sites of interaction which collectively form the invisible network of a metropolis: their ‘permanent urban choreography’. The team then translates forms of movement and everyday practices of the inhabitants of the city into an artistic performance. Berlin, Zurich, Freiburg, Jakarta and Tokyo/Düsseldorf have made up the stops on the journey of this dancing research project. It brings the public and performers together in a setting in which both groups possess equal agency, and facilitates a shared experience of the feeling of movement, managing to be touching but not intrusive. Sebastian Matthias choreographs relationships – shifts in perspectives, approaches, spatial formations – and through this, collective practice, togetherness, presence.
The last performance in the series, x / grove space, which was premiered in June at the tanzhaus nrw, is concerned with cultural crossovers and the points of contact between the urban dynamics of inhabitants of Düsseldorf and Tokyo. In collaboration with the visual artist Yoko Seyama (Berlin/Tokyo) and the sound artist Atsuhiro Ito (Tokyo), Sebastian Matthias creates an open performance space in which the dancers and audience members can collectively produce and experience the grooves of Düsseldorf and Tokyo. The performance artist Masaru Iwai (Tokyo) will mingle with the participants, providing his own intervention.
Choreography and Concept Sebastian Matthias
Co-choreography and performance Jubal Battisti, Rachell Clark, Lisanne Goodhue, Deborah Hofstetter, Oskar Landström, Harumi Terayama, Idan Yoav
Visual Arts Atsuhiro Ito (Light and Sound Installation), Masaru Iwai (Video Installation), Yoko Seyama (Kinetic Sculptures and Costumes)
Lighting Design Andreas Harder
Dramaturgy Nanako Nakajima
Consulting and Communication Akiko Okamoto
Production Dramaturgy Mira Moschallski
Production Sebastian Matthias
Coproduction tanzhaus nrw, Festival Tokyo, Goethe Institute Tokyo, Tanz im August 2016 and Sophiensaele.
With the support of NATIONALE PERFORMANCE NETZ (NPN) Koproduktionsförderung Tanz aus Mitteln der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien aufgrund eines Beschlusses des Deutschen Bundestags sowie durch die Kunststiftung NRW, das Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, die Stadtsparkassenstiftung Düsseldorf und die Japan Foundation.