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Un-naming Collaboration

a collaborative performance research

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‚Continuing with what has started without knowing it has‘ was the first chapter of the research on un-naming and collaboration of artists Susanna Ylikoski and Raz Mantell. We approached the thematic through the act of walking and taking a walk. Our sub questions revolved around questioning female bodies and ownership. The research was shared in a performative frame in Dock11 theater in Berlin in 2022, where the audience was invited to engage with the research through both viewing a dance score and reading a booklet archiving the research material. The work was invited later to perform at Stadt theater Spandau Art in the City project in 2023. 

‚Continuing containing‘ is the 2nd chapter of the research, where we are more in-depth with un-naming. We wanted to explore how by the act of things coming together creation unfolds. In the work, alone our bodies aren't saying much. The clothes we are wearing aren't saying much. The sound alone doesn't perhaps say much, neither does the light. The stone placed in the space in a puddle of water doesn't say much: it's neither big nor small. But perhaps over time all these elements begin to speak and sing. The 2nd chapter was shared in a performative frame in Dock11 in 2023. 

In the 3 chapter, in ada Studios Berlin residency, we asked: What is collaboration? What shapes can it take? And what is enabled within and through collaboration? We have been looking into the means and spaces in which an exchange happens. And how this exchange is a creative act. 

We perceive collaboration as similar to biological processes. A specific environment is created depending on the pre-existing vegetation, soil, and climate. Our bodies and the past bodies of our research are perceived as the vegetation, the space as the soil, and the climate as the current winter time.

We want to challenge our relation to social hierarchies: exploring and breaking ideas of beginnings and endings, initiating and reacting, creating and executing. In that way, it gives space for a view on coexistence - a web, a forest, a society, a collaboration. Within it, everyone and everything contributes to a force, to something to become. 


"Jade is praised as precious

but its strength is being stone."

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, as translated by Ursula K. Le Guin



Dance and choreography: Raz Mantell and Susanna Ylikoski

Sound: Raz Mantell and Susanna Ylikoski
Dramaturgical assistance: 
Peter pleyer and Gabi Beier


Premier: Dock11, June 2022

Further shows: Stadt theater Spandau (DE) January 2023, Dock11 Berlin (DE) September 2023

ada studios Reinkommen, December 2023 

Supported by: Dachverband Tanz Deutschland, Neu Start Kultur, DIS-TANZEN funds


Press articles:

michela filzi: On “continuing containing” and two whirling bodies of water
Adèle Aïssi-Guyon: „reinkommen“

michela filzi: On "continuing" and containing

Residencies: Tanzbüro Berlin; one-month residency space at Prenslauer Promenade in Berlin DE, 2023
ada Studios Reinkommen residency: 5 weeks, 2023

Photos: From the 1st phase 'Continuing with what has started without knowing it has', by Andras Szombathy, From the 3rd phase at ada studios by Aïsha Mia Lethen Bird

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