Unmögliche Tränen

A symposium on emotions in contemporary dance and performance

“Yes, if you could write tears –
but like that –”
Heinrich von Kleist

The gift of tears, of feeling, defies representation, the closed economy of exchange. The symposium analyses this uncertain task, the im/possibilities of expression, the vacancy of representation of feeling in contemporary dance and performance. If tears come into play at all they are immediately put at risk – and so is everything they could write.

Concept: Krassimira Kruschkova

pay as you wish



Fri. 24 Sept.

16.00: Opening

16.30: Rainer Nägele (USA/F)

“Crying without tears”:
the expression of the expressionless
Just as the “posa” in dance, the pausing and posed stopping of movement has always belonged to dance movement, so the expressionless is the condition that something like emotion – like what emotion might be – can be expressed.
R. Nägele is Professor of Comparative Literature (Johns Hopkins University) and lives in  Baltimore und Paris.

17.30: Claudia Jeschke (D/A)
The cost of moving.
DV8 Physical Theatre and other “deviations” of the emotive in dance
In contemporary dance works – despite “impossible” tears – paths of historically locatable divergences of being moved on the stage and traces of traditional strategies of (physical) deviation can be identified and their emotive effectiveness reflected.
C. Jeschke is Professor of Dance Studies at the University of Salzburg.

18.30: Helmut Ploebst (A)
Why Jérôme Bel cries during a work by Raimund Hoghe?
Is experienced reality just a military training ground on which emotions are systematically mutilated? Does the performance of emotionality play a greater role in the construction of inner feelings than the daily survival routine?
H. Ploebst is a freelance dance critic and author and lives and works in Vienna.

Sat.  25 Sept.

10.00: Monika Meister (A)
“With one crying and one laughing eye.” (No) emotions in the theatre
Are tears the expression of emotions? And how can one speak of the body and feelings that express themselves in a scenic way?
M. Meister is a professor at the Institute for Theatre, Film and Media Studies, Vienna.

11.00: Gerald Siegmund (D)
Feelings – there, where I am not . . . On Jérôme Bel’s “The Last Performance”
What concerns me in dance results from the absence of the representation of feeling on the stage.
G. Siegmund is a dance and theatre studies researcher at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen.

12.00: Valérie Baumann (CH)
Superfluous, or: how much delay can tears endure
From the drop of water under the microscope that “teems” just before it falls (Adorno), to the pearls of sweat under the transparent raincoats in Meg Stuart’s “Visitors Only”: can the false spontaneity of tears become due through what is processual about blurring?
V. Baumann is a freelance literature studies researcher and lives and works in Lausanne.


15.00: Andreas Spiegl (A)
I only have one body, and that’s not mine . . .
The subject for discussion is one that moves in a space that displays no connection between cause and effect, a subject that has lost its reason, but not the feeling of keeping to the facts.
A. Spiegl is Vice-Rector at the Institute for Arts and Cultural Studies of the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. 
16.00: deufert + plischke (D)
Eporue (Video, length approx. 15min.)
Seduction. Violence. Searching. Birth. Conquest and settlement begins in the form of beauty.
deufert + plischke: Artist twin since 2001. Lives and works in Leipzig.

16.30: Nikolaus Müller-Schöll (D/F)
Do tears not lie?
Starting from Lepage’s “Le polygraphe” and Castorf’s “Pension Schöller/Die Schlacht”, the ideologemes of the body as the court of appeal for something like the “real” are to be investigated.
N. Müller-Schöll is an assistant at the Institute for Theatre Studies of the University of Bochum.

18.30: visit to a Philipp Gehmacher rehearsal in the TQW / Studios

09/24/2004    ab 16.00h Studios
09/25/2004    ab 10.00h Studios