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Offensive Tanz

Dance Ambassador Celine

Symposium "Equity in Dance"

An experience report

Translated with (free version).

On 14.11.23, the Offensive Tanz für junges Publikum organized the Equity in Dance symposium at the Hector Peterson School. Dance ambassador Celine was there and wrote this report:

Tuesday morning 9:00 a.m. in a school in Kreuzberg...

As soon as I arrive, the old feeling of school spreads through me. When was the last time I was in a normal school? Surprisingly, it was very quiet when I arrived. However, this was deceptive, as it turned out later in the day.

The entire organization team was already there. The smell of coffee and tea hit me as soon as I arrived in the warm cafeteria. We were all still a little tired, but full of anticipation for the day as we took our seats in the auditorium. After the welcome, I was particularly touched by the minute's silence for the current situation in the world. Once we had all gathered again, the first part of the program began. I was really pleased because we started with a movement unit straight away. This allowed us all to get to know each other a little better. Bahar Meriç started with a short warm-up followed by a sometimes difficult listening task. Here we teamed up in pairs and one of us had to find the other in the room with their eyes closed, guided only by the sounds their partner made. Due to the many noises in the room, we were sometimes confused and if a sound was duplicated, we were literally looking for a needle in a haystack.

Another fun game was a speed game where the two main characters Peppa and Schorsch Wutz had to be passed around the circle very quickly. In the end, both groups were so in the flow that there was a tie. Finally, there was free dancing and tea and cookies. We were ready for the next part of the program.

As I had already suspected, it wouldn't stay quiet for long. The windows and doors of the assembly hall kept getting loud. We were the highlight of the school that day. Some people weren't afraid to open the door to the assembly hall and shout messages at us. That's real school life.

Five keynote speeches followed in the "Equity in Dance" exchange forum.

The speakers were: Gabi Dan Droste and Jan Kress (FELD - Theater für junges Publikum), Fee Josten (LUNA PARK e.V.), Bahar Meriç (Future Move e.V.), Dörte Wolter (MV tanzt an, Perform[d]ance e.V. and Elisa Ricci (Offensive Tanz für junges Publikum). The speakers reported on their own experience with the topic of equity, but also on challenges and unanswered questions.

It was exciting to hear the many perspectives. After the short impulses, we split into small groups and discussed various questions. At the end, one person was supposed to summarize what they had talked about, but everyone was so engrossed in the discussion that we forgot to name one person. This showed how important the topic was for everyone. The event and the whole day were captured by Nora Haakh's fantastic sketches.

After this exciting exchange, it was time for the lunch break. Food from the school canteen. The school feeling returned.

Afterwards, we went to the school gym to watch the play PUSH by Potpourri Dance. We were surrounded by lots of pupils. It felt like a break in the courtyard. People were talking or making friends everywhere. Some were very quiet and waited for it to start. The premiere was a complete success and even the loudest boys were suddenly very shy when they were asked to dance along at the end of the performance.

In the afternoon, there was a dance battle in the gym and a political discussion in the auditorium at the same time. The political exchange was about the consolidation and safeguarding of existing structures in dance for young audiences. It was a new and very interesting situation for me.

After this eventful day with lots of new information, we then went to the Dance Battle to see which of the young dance talents would win. Everyone showed their personality in this battle and turned the dance floor into their own stage. You didn't get the feeling that the participants were competing against each other, but rather that there was a sense of harmony. It was mainly about showing off your own style, supporting each other, networking and just having a good time.

In any case, the mixture of a specialist day and school was a perfect combination, where you were in direct contact with the young people.