Out of the Box
Out of the Box #1

21 and 22 May 2022, 7pm - 9 pm HOTO - home to artists | Potsdamer Straße 120 10785 Berlin | free admission

The experimental performance series Out of the Box, organized by MMpraxis and CAA Berlin, provides a platform for Berlin-based emerging choreographers to adapt existing stage works to a gallery space. After having been selected through an open-call, the kick-off event of Out of the Box will present works by choreographers Léonard Engel and Rocio Marano at HOTO - home to artists – inside the gallery in Tabea Baumann's exhibition, as well as in Kristiane Kegelmann’s installation on the roof terrace of HOTO. In this first edition, Engel and Marano will rehearse in the gallery for a week before presenting their work to the public. In addition, the artists participate in a mentoring program where they receive support from a mentor of their choice.

Léonard Engel will adapt his performance ‘Parotia’, which explores the physical and visual qualities of the act of whirling. Inspired by his practice of the Egyptian folk dance Tanoura, the choreographic heritage of Loïe Fuller and Oskar Schlemmer, and the visual experimentations of Marcel Duchamp, Engel develops a choreography with two dancers, Gizem Aksu and Lisa Stertz, that deconstructs the simple movement of spinning. Wearing heavy skirts created by Josa Marx, the dancers become kinetic sculptures in constant transformation and test the spectators' perception of the space and body. During the preparation, Léonard Engel will work remotely with curator, researcher and dance dramaturge Gaia Clotilde Chernetich as a mentor.

Publication to Parotia

Rocio Marano will, together with Ángela Muñoz, perform her work ‘Matria’ which imagines a history not represented in colonial and hegemonic narratives. In an exploration of Malambo, the resistance dance of the gauchos, known today in Argentina mainly as a solo competition between men, the performance dismantles the disciplinary and patriarchal aspect of the style and moves towards a dance of rebellion. In a crossover between traditional and contemporary dance, the standard of Western aesthetics is challenged to create space for other dance ontologies. The gallery adaptation of the performance will be accompanied by a video interview with Malambists from Argentina. Rocio Marano will work with performance artist and teacher Ana Kavalis as a mentor.

Publication to Matria

About the choreographers

LÉONARD ENGEL, born in France, is a Berlin and Munich based performer and choreographer. He started his career as a ballet dancer at the Bavarian State Ballet, before becoming a freelance artist. He has worked with Laurent Chétouane, Meg Stuart, Moriah Evans, Paula Rosolen, Gintersdorfer/Klaßen and the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch among others. His choreographic work focuses on the body and the alteration of its perception through movement, costumes and states of being. His first piece, Pavane, premiered in 2019 as part of the Tanztage Berlin in Sophiensaele, followed the same year by How to get rid of a body. A magic manual. Parotia, his first group piece, was created in November 2021. Aside from his stage performances, he’s been studying the Egyptian whirling dance Tanoura with dancer and choreographer Elsayed Morsi since 2020. He’s currently working on the subject of masculinity in dance, and the “depatriarcalisation” of the representation of the male body on stage. Léonard’s pieces have been invited to Hybrid Festival (Berlin), Soundance Festival (Berlin) and the Rodeo Festival (Munich). For his choreographic work, he’s been granted residencies in Tanzfabrik Berlin and in PACT Zollverein (Essen, GE).

ROCIO MARANO, born and raised in Mar del Plata, Argentina has been living Berlin since 2014. She is trained in physical theatre, martial arts and contemporary dance in an independent trajectory. Parallel to her training, she studied at the Escola Superior d'Art i Disseny de las Islas Baleares, Spain. Later she continued her studies at Area Centro de Dansa y Creació Barcelona; recently she has graduated from Inter-University Dance Centre HZT in Berlin (Master in Choreography). During the pandemic, she completed a distance learning diploma in Ecofeminism at the University of Buenos Aires. Rocío is attracted by the movement that is generated in the popular terrain of the collective and whose norms extend beyond contemporary dance, hence her exploration of Krump, Malambo, Contact Improvisation and yawning, where the oppression of bodies is transmuted into dance and a kinesic exchange takes place between the conscious and the unconscious. She has worked with Tino Sehgal, Christopher Winkler, Juha Marsalo, Barbara Berti, Lea Kieffer, among others. Rocío received the danceweb grant in 2016 under the mentorship of Tino Sehgal.

About the organizers

The MMpraxis curatorial platform organizes exhibitions and events at the intersection of performing and visual arts with a focus on choreography, time- based media, and performance art.

The Contemporary Arts Alliance Berlin (CAA) is a private platform for the promotion of contemporary culture in Berlin. It supports young artists from the fields of visual arts, theater, music and dance both financially and in practical matters.

HOTO - home to artists is an exhibition space and an independent residency project that focuses on the promotion of contemporary artists. During the residency, the space is left to the artists to take possession of, develop in, and to translate this experience into their work.

Organized by MMpraxis and CAA Berlin in collaboration with HOTO - home to artists. Supported by the NATIONAL PERFORMANCE NETWORK - STEPPING OUT, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the framework of the initiative NEUSTART KULTUR. Assistance Program for Dance, CAA Berlin.