“Un|controlled Gestures” 3rd Edition | 2023-2024
Open call for choreographic projects from Arabic speaking countries
Who: Choreographers from Arabic speaking countries
Section: Performing Arts
Places: Cairo (Egypt), Berlin (Germany) and Online
Application Deadline: October 14, 2023
Results: November 13, 2023
Online Kick-Off: January 8 - 10, 2024
Residency in Cairo & Work in Progress-Showing: January 21 - February 17, 2024
Residency in Berlin & Work in Progress-Showing: 10 days between June 23 and July 20, 2024
The program aims at supporting choreographic creations within contemporary dance practices which centre on notions of body politics and poetics, intimate and collective memories that go beyond the known and written. For its 3rd edition, choreographers from and based in Arabic speaking countries will be selected. The selected artists get the chance to develop their choreographic creations during two residencies in Cairo and Berlin as well as benefitting from mentorship and a production grant of 2,000.00 Euro.
With this arises the question of locality: Where do we go to connect with these memories in our contemporary societies? Where do we situate the knowledge of our ancestors in the present? How the respective contexts provide inspiration for artistic practices and also influence the way in which they are applied?
And lastly, when we are once again met with these various layers of knowledge, how do we incorporate them, translate and transmit them and allow them to influence our present lineages of performative vocabularies?
The 3rd edition of Un|controlled Gestures is a programme that brings together artists, mentors and cultural operators to question the connections, traces and ties between dance practices of different temporalities and localities. With this starting point the artists are invited to explore their context and embody its heritage of but not solely dance practices. In this way proposals are welcomed and encouraged that break away from dominant Western dance traditions and manifest the multitude and abundance of body languages in the artists' respective backgrounds. This call centres different modes of knowledge transmission and education in locating the body as a site where both intimate as well as collective memory is held, contested and shared.
However, this edition hopes to create opportunities for the outcomes of the residencies to be shared in spaces that are available in the artist’s context, whether that are more normative spaces such as the theatre, the gallery or more informal spaces not yet explored.
The first residency of the program provides the opportunity to engage for four weeks with the urban space(s) of Cairo, a megacity with an immense presence. A presence in the collective history, but also a huge and complex body of stone, sounds and people, to live with. The call invites applicants to reflect on how the engagement with this city can support them in further developing their choreographic projects.
The selected participants will have time during the residencies in Cairo and Berlin to develop their creative processes and exchange with other artists from the region. Around trip (Economy), visa fees and accommodation during the two working periods will be covered by the Goethe-Institut.
The participants are advised and accompanied by Nedjma Hadj Benchelabi (Performing Arts Curator and Dramaturge at Ad’Hoc Platform Brussels) with Petra Poelzl (Curator Dance & Performance at HAU Hebbel am Ufer) and guest mentors during the residencies in Cairo and in Berlin. Additionally, a three-day online kick-off workshop as well as individual online meetings will be organised. The working languages during these sessions will be either Arabic or English.
The Goethe-Institut will award a grant (€ 2,000.00) to each selected artist to support the artistic development process during the residencies and the production of the work-in-progress showing. Participants are allowed to find co-production funds but are obliged to inform the Goethe-Institut about them first.
Visibility and Distribution
Participants will have the opportunity to show the performances at a Goethe-Institut Cairo and at HAU. The mentors will take in consideration the selected projects and support for more visibility and presentation of their performances in regional dance festivals.
The choreographers meet for the first time and explore philosophical and artistic approaches with cultural theorists, artists and dance experts.
January 21 until February 17, 2024: 1st Residency - Cairo
During this four-weeks residency in Cairo the artists have time for research and experimentation. Mentors will provide feedback to support the development of the choreographic projects. In addition, the residency is an opportunity to exchange with peers as well as choreographers, performers and artists from Cairo. At the end of the residency a public presentation of all work-in-progress performances will take place at Goethe-Institut Cairo.
March - May 2024
The artists develop their projects individually. Online follow up meetings with mentors will be organised.
10 days between June 23 and July 20, 2024: 2nd Residency - Berlin
During the second residency in Berlin the choreographic projects are developed further and prepared for the work-in-progress performance at HAU. Mentors will provide feedback to the performances and the technical team of HAU will hold a workshop to introduce the possibilities of the space.
Please note: The mentioned dates can be subject to slight changes.
- Develop a new performance addressing the topic of his call.
- Inform the curator and the Goethe-Institut about the project’s development (important changes, difficulties, questions, etc.).
- Motivation to participate in the program, exchange with peers and share experiences.
- Relevance of the choreographic project dealing with the proposed topic in this call. Finished projects will not be accepted. Interdisciplinarity is highly encouraged.
- Innovative and compelling theme-related practice and body of work.
- Applicants have already created at least one choreographic work or multidisciplinary project.
- CV (max. 2 pages)
- Letter of motivation (max 1 page) with the following guidelines:
o Why do you want to take part in the program?
o Please explain your first ideas on the topic and the future performance.
o If a project around the topic is already under way, specify since when and indicate if any steps of the work have already been shown or supported.
- Link(s) to previous and current choreographic projects or link to a video (max. 5 minutes) that present the artistic journey of the applicant.
- A copy of your passport (identification page)
- Application form (see last page of the call) dated and signed sworn statement, certifying the accuracy of the information provided and that the candidate agrees to the general terms and conditions of the programme.
CV, motivation letter and the presentation of previous work can be in Arabic, English or French. If the application is in Arabic or French, please provide a short synopsis (3-5 sentences) in English about your first ideas on the topic and the future performance.
All applicants will be informed about the results until November 13, 2023.
Please note: Incomplete applications cannot be considered.
HAU Hebbel am Ufer stands with its four stages, HAU1, HAU2 and HAU3, and since 2020 the digital stage HAU4, for current artistic positions at the interface of theatre, dance and performance. Additionally, music, visual arts, and discursive formats are also essential components of the programme, which connects the vibrant artistic scene in homebase Berlin with strong international voices.
Born in Algiers, Nedjma Hadj Benchelabi lives in Brussels. Recently, she was curating the Mahmoud Darwish Chair Program within Bozar (Brussels) and coordinator of the Dance Biennale of Africa (Marrakech). Nedjma is curator and dramaturge of the Halaqat and Un/Controlled Gestures projects, initiated by the Goethe-Institut.
The Goethe-Institut has no-tolerance towards all forms of violence, harassment, and discrimination and expects the same from its contractual partners, grantees, and scholarship holders. Partners agree to follow the anti-harassment, anti-violence, and anti-discrimination approach of the Goethe-Institut.
There is no legal entitlement to the award of a scholarship by the Goethe-Institut.
If you apply to UnControlled Gestures III you agree that we will process your data as described in the Information on data protection and processing of your personal data.
Un/controlled gestures, 3rd Edition” is an initiative of the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, curated by Nedjma Hadj Benchelabi.
UN/CONTROLLED GESTURES – 1 EDITION