What to dance, what to perform?

Fourth-Year students of the BA Dance program at the Center of Contemporary Dance performed their graduation solos at soloedition'22 at Studiotheater ZZT in Cologne

This year's soloedition showed a beautifully constructed evening that seemed like a coherent piece made out of solos.

Köln, 09/02/2022
Thirteen of the fourteen fourth-year students of the BA Dance program at the Center of Contemporary Dance (Zentrum für Zeitgenössischen Tanz - ZZT) of the Cologne University for Music and Dance (Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln) – one of them was unfortunately unable to participate in the showcase due to a positive Covid test – danced their short solos on a beautifully constructed evening with a running time of about 70 minutes. The concept was signed by Vera Sander, director and professor at ZZT.

Students had the opportunity to develop their own artistic practice, and signed their own choreographies with mentoring from the artists whom they drew inspiration from. Even though they all performed alone, many collaborated with each other on their processes, displaying the generous way art is cultivated in institutions. Professors were also attentive and giving throughout the whole creative process.

Although possessing distinct origins, bodies, techniques and interests, some common ground unifies this body of dancers, forming a richly varied group that simply makes sense. The soloedition’22 can be seen as less of a series of works than rather an evening-long piece formed by solos. Special attention should be given to the curation, placing each solo in perfect order, contributing to this unifying feeling.

What is interesting about seeing works created in the university sphere, is the glimpse young artists give us into the future of dance and performance. These particularly young artists raise relevant questions on what it is to dance, what it is to perform, and on the importance of choosing to do so. Their focus is not on exhibiting their virtuous bodies and all the tricks they can play, but on the development of their voices as artists. They experiment. They take risks. And the results are eye catching: genuine and beautifully engaging movements in very unique and rich ways – even at the absence of dance or of human bodies on stage. Overall, their creations were drenched in creativity, mesmerizing aesthetics and choices that took the audience by surprise.

Another striking element of the evening is the infrastructure of ZZT. Two of the dance studios of the school merge together into a full theater, with a generous black box stage, comfortable seats and great lights and projectors. The student showing was delivered in a highly professional manner.

By Fernanda Ermelindo


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