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Learn more about dance in Munich! In TTmag dance creators talk about their aesthetics and approach, dance formats and Munich dance topics are put under the microscope!

Conversations about pieces
Johanna Richter: fear:less

Johanna, you refer in your piece "fear.less" very specifically to our situation in the COVID19 pandemic during the period of strict contact restrictions- how did you personally experience this time?

For me it was and is a very complex experience - socially, politically and humanly. I have experienced how the artistic professions that shaped my life disappeared in a vacuum; how togetherness became complicated in the most absurd ways, and how the compulsion to isolate drove many to despair. At the same time, I experienced a time when the return to what counts pushed much else into the background. I was very lucky not to feel lost and lonely during this time.

. "fear.less" - so fear-free or have less fear - is the title of your piece, do you feel we are moving towards a society of fear?

The threat of the pandemic has exemplified that the powerlessness against a virus that is not visible or tangible leads globally to horror scenarios that push us into helplessness. And that's scary. In an age of control over all aspects of life, up to and including self-optimization, such a threat is unbearable. To be sure, the surface on which the feeling falls is a quintessentially human one. We all have to deal with fear, or learn to deal with it. That's what life brings.

A beautiful sentence in your announcement of "fear.less" is that on stage, fear spaces can become possibility spaces...

The stage as a direct place of experience, has always had the great power to mirror experiences, share stories, and invite identification with the characters. The physical and subconscious level of this special shared experience between audience and stage action, opens spaces for new perspectives, and reflection on their own life reality....

Many of your pieces are a collaboration with dancers and actors, yet always tell themselves largely through the body...

Actually, I have always told stories, humanity stories translated into the vocabulary of the body. The playful, situational aspect of my pieces, was always more important to me than the abstract movement vocabulary. Through my many years of teaching at the Otto Falckenberg School, I have discovered more and more interfaces between acting and dance. For me, there are not actors and dancers, but only artistic personalities who together bring a story to life. For me, dance-theater is truly a synergy of both arts; and I would gladly dispense with all categorizations of where dance begins and where acting ends.

You were choreographer-in-residence at the Schauburg in Munich for 12 years, with "fear.less" you also return to the independent scene in Munich...

After the years "in Residence" I am actually now back in the independent scene - and thus also back to zero, so to speak. I would not have thought that after the many years in which I was continuously present with my pieces, I really start all over again, and make requests in which I describe my choreographic style. "fear.less" I was able to realize as a co-production, and I am particularly pleased that I am working here with an ensemble, whose members I have supported elsewhere (Otto Falckenberg School/Platform HERE=NOW).

"fear:less" is from 26. - 28 November, 2021, 20:00 to see at the schwere reiter. Get tickets here: schwere reiter.

First glimpses can be seen in the trailer.

More abourt Johanna Richter see her website

The interview with Johanna Richter was conducted by Simone Lutz, October 2021

Tanztendenz Munich e.V. is sponsored
by the Munich Department of Arts and Culture