Julia Keren Turbahn & Simone Gisela Weber

In “hesitation waltz“, two bodies meet, unfolding a specific fine logic of togetherness in moments of hesitation. A physical quality and a dynamic of hesitation emerges, that opposes the widespread idea that hesitation is an unproductive sign of weakness. “hesitation waltz” negotiates contemplation as an active gesture and productive force of questioning, which provides space for freedom and imagination. To hesitate does not only mean to have a sense of reality but a sense of possibility: It may well be that everything is entirely different.
 
CHOREOGRAPHY AND PERFORMANCE: Julia Keren Turbahn, Simone Gisela Weber
SOUND DESIGN: Nikola Pieper
COSTUME DESIGN: Bettina Mileta

Simone Gisela Weber is a performer and choreographer based in Berlin. After studying cultural and theatre studies in Leipzig, she devoted herself entirely to dance and obtained a BA in Dance, Context, Choreography at HZT Berlin. With Julia Keren Turbahn she has a long artistic cooperation, which is based, among other things, on a long-lasting letter and studio practice. In her choreographic practice, Simone focuses on the development of a so-called “twin-identity” as a performative quality and on the question of how body knowledge can be used as a choreographic tool.

Julia Keren Turbahn studied Media and Cultural Studies in Düsseldorf and graduated in Dance, Context, Choreography at the HZT Berlin in early 2019. In her artistic work, she is particularly interested in the choreographic quality of everyday movements, their poetry, and their social dimension. She appreciates interdisciplinary and continuous collaborative work processes, which is why she has a longstanding collaboration with Simone Weber and the Israeli performance artist Tal Alperstein.
juliakeren.com

Bettina Mileta is an artist and fashion designer from Berlin. She completed her degree in fashion design at the Berlin University of the Arts. Her main focus of interest is the interaction of clothing and the body, and she is intrigued by the staging of fashion. She is developing an artistic approach to costume and stage design and explores the relationship between fashion and costume within performative situations.

Nikola Pieper (E/DE) is a sound engineer and self-taught sound artist. After finishing her training in Canary Islands/Spain and being part of the local experimental music scene, she has been working in Berlin as a technical director for dance and theater for the last ten years. She creates her music with electronic and non-electronic instruments, including manipulated field and foley recordings, to create rhythms and melodies. She is also interested in hardware hacking, e-textiles, and basic electronics and aims to combine this knowledge to create unique and straightforward instruments.

Letter to Simone

“Die leichte Möglichkeit des Briefeschreibens muß — bloß theoretisch angesehen — eine schreckliche Zerrüttung der Seelen in die Welt gebracht haben. Es ist ja ein Verkehr mit Gespenstern und zwar nicht nur mit dem Gespenst des Adressaten, sondern auch mit dem eigenen Gespenst, das sich einem unter der Hand in dem Brief, den man schreibt, entwickelt oder gar in einer Folge von Briefen, wo ein Brief den anderen erhärtet und sich auf ihn als Zeugen berufen kann. Wie kam man nur auf den Gedanken, daß Menschen durch Briefe mit einander verkehren können?”

“The easy possibility of writing letters must have brought wrack and ruin to the souls of the world. Writing letters is actually an intercourse with ghosts, and by no means just the ghost of the addressee but also with one’s own ghost, which secretly evolves inside the letter one is writing.”

 

Franz Kafka, Letters to Milena

 

Liebe Simone,

 

A.PART Festival neigt sich dem Ende bzw. wenn man es genau nimmt ist es seit gestern „vorbei“. Irgendwie schwer zu greifen, das Ende für etwas, das sich als Festival auf einem virtuellen Blog entfaltet hat. Etwas weigert sich in mir jetzt sentimental zu werden und zu resümieren. Also eher ein Innehalten und kurzes Umdrehen bevor es weitergeht. Zögern, Zweifeln als Thema und als realer Einstieg in eine Situation in der das künstlerische Schaffen an sich durch eine bestimmte Linse als (im pessimistischen Blick für die Zeit) nicht system- relevantes überaus privilegiertes Arbeiten betrachtet werden könnte. Auf persönlicher Ebene hat mich das Zusammen-Arbeiten durch die Wochen getragen und Kraft gegeben. Auf künstlerischer Ebene hat der Freiraum uns Wege und Arbeitsformen finden lassen, für die wir uns sonst mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit keine Zeit genommen hätten. Auf gesellschaftlicher Ebene kann und darf es für mich jetzt kein komplettes Innehalten im künstlerischen Schaffen geben. In welcher Form das Schaffen jetzt sichtbar werden kann/soll bleibt für mich eine Frage. Aber in Bewegung müssen wir bleiben. Zweifeln zulassen und als Möglichkeit nutzen Strukturen umzudenken wäre ein anstrebsames, durchaus aber auch sehr ambitioniertes aber notwendiges Ziel in diesem Zustand.

 

Interessanterweise haben wir aus meiner Sicht trotz oder vielleicht gerade wegen der Ausnahmesituation extrem konzentriert arbeiten können. Zeit- Konturen entweichen und Kriterien, welche Leistung, Tätigkeit oder Haltung wichtig/richtig wären entgleiten uns. Das kann beängstigend sein und ist es für mich in manchen Momenten auch nach wie vor. Es geht mir nicht darum zu verherrlichen in welcher Situation wir uns befinden. Dennoch denke ich, dass diese Form des Schwebezustandes, den man auch im Zaudern verorten kann für uns eine Form des Arbeitens, des Gemeinsam-Seins erlaubt hat, der mich noch lange begleiten wird und mein weiteres künstlerisches Arbeiten prägen wird. Dafür bin ich A.PART Festival dankbar. Ich freue mich auf ein Weitergehen und ja vielleicht kann ich jetzt gerade auch besser als sonst annehmen nicht ganz genau zu wissen wohin, wie und wann. Auch ein Resultat dieser Zeit. Daran das es weitergeht besteht kein Zweifel. Bis dahin… we will survive…

 

Deine Julia

 

 

 

Dear Simone,

 

A.Part Festival is coming to an end, or if you look at it correctly it is “over” since yesterday. Somehow hard to grasp, the end for something that has unfolded as a festival on a virtual blog. Something in me now refuses to become sentimental and to summarize. So rather a pause and a short turn around before continuing. Hesitation, doubt as a theme and as a real entry into a situation in which artistic creation in itself could be seen through a lens as absolutely (in a pessimistic view of time) non relevant, extremely privileged work. On a personal level, working together carried me through the weeks and gave me strength. On an artistic level, the freedom has allowed us to find ways and forms of work for which we would most likely not have taken the time otherwise. On a social level, there cannot and must not be a complete pause in artistic creation. In what form the work can/should become visible now remains a question for me. But we have to keep moving. Allowing doubt and using it as an opportunity to rethink structures would be an aspiring, very ambitious but necessary goal in this state.

 

It is interesting to observe that, in my view, we have been able to work in an extremely concentrated manner despite or perhaps because of the exceptional situation. Time – contours slip away and criteria, which performance, activity or attitude would be important / correct are slipping away from us. This can be frightening and in some moments it still is for me. It is not my intention to glorify the situation in which we find ourselves. Nevertheless, I think that this form of suspension, which can also be located in hesitation, has allowed us a form of working, of being together, which will accompany me for a long time and will shape my further artistic work. I am grateful to A.PART Festival for this. I am looking forward to moving on and maybe I can accept better than usual not knowing exactly where, how and when. Also a result of this time. There is no doubt that it will continue. Until then… we will survive…

 

Your Julia

 

Ein Brief an Julia – A letter to Julia

Seit einigen Jahren verfolgen wir einen Briefaustausch. In diesen Briefen tauschen wir Ideen aus, erwecken neue Themen, an denen wir arbeiten wollen und erzählen uns Dinge, die in einer realen Konversationen nur selten Platz finden. So entstand auch die Idee, zum Thema des Zauderns zu arbeiten. Vor einigen Jahren war das Zaudern und Zweifeln ein stetiger Begleiter in diesen Briefen. Auf vielen Ebenen erwähnten wir immer wieder das Innehalten, das Zurückhalten, das in Frage stellen, also wesentliche Aspekte des Zauderns.
Der Briefaustausch brach nie ab und so begann Hesitation Waltz mit einem Brief und so endet vorerst diese Arbeitsphase mit Briefen, die wir mit euch teilen wollen.

For several years we have been following an exchange of letters. In these letters we exchange ideas, awaken new topics we want to work on and tell each other things that rarely find a place in a real conversation. This is also how the idea of working on the topic of hesitation was born. A few years ago, hesitation and doubt was a constant companion in these letters. On many levels we repeatedly mentioned the pausing, the holding back, questioning, that is, essential aspects of being hesitant.
The exchange of letters never broke off and so Hesitation Waltz began with a letter and so for the time being this work phase ends with letters which we want to share with you.

 

Letter for Julia _English
Brief an Julia

Rhythm of Hesitation

 

 

Stille

Vielleicht kann man nur sagen “Die Stille war voller Geschrei.”- Aber niemals: “Das Geschrei war voller Stille”. 
(Hans Saner)

Silence

Maybe you can only say “The silence was full of screaming” – but never: “The screaming was full of silence”. 
(Hans Saner)

Together with Bettina and Nikola we researched on the rhythm of hesitation.

We were interested to work more intensively with the physical quality and dynamics of hesitation focusing in particular on the element of ‘pre-gesture’: What internal organisation of tension and weight organisation takes place in the body before a decision is made and what visual effect does this process have on the quality of the movement that results from this hesitation? How can this rhythm of hesitation be made tangible?

In this video you can see a try out with contact microphones touching different kind of fabrics in order to create a rhythm which emerges out of little weight shifts and specific movements. In the video you see us getting more familiar with how the structure can work for us experimenting with what movements create which kind of sound and improvising together with the notion of action and reaction creating specific rhythms in the sound and in the movement itself. It is still a rough draft that we expose here and the sound quality is quite poor on the video but still we thought its worth sharing this step in our process.

 

 

 

Perspectives

A while ago we did an experiment with our sound designer Nikola. As we could not share the same space due to the Corona Pandemic we discussed different formats of still working together and decided to overcome our hesitation of trying a jam over a video transmission.

Within the form of a Skype Jam Session we investigated our ideas of sound and movement. This session we captured in three different perspectives: Screen recording, video recording of studio action, video recording of Nikola’s home sound studio. Due to the video transfer, converting and editing some of the sound got lost. For that reason editing the video became also a little experiment of matching sound and image and of what we hear in the different spaces.

For us it was an interesting experiment and experience of having some kind of ghost presence in the studio. Nevertheless this try out was also connected to a feeling of melancholia and frustration due to delayed and transformed transmission and the absence of Nikola in the space manifesting itself through a weird and challenging tech set up. We told ourselves: don’t judge before you have tried but as a result of the experience we would say you can not replace a live presence and personal connection via the internet. And maybe that is also a comforting thought?

Stretching

Hesitation creates moments of suspense. Stretching time, stretching thoughts, stretching movement. Becoming flexible.

Bettina attached a stretchy fabric to our shirts as a try out.

Sound Research

Today Bettina gave us some costumes for a research on texture and sound. She sowed tops on which she attached different textures that could be used to produce sound. Nikola came up with a device to capture that sound. Initial idea was to use contact microphones to capture sound of movement, textures, touch.  In the video you can see and hear some of our outcome of today’s try out. Its best to use headphones to hear the sound a bit better. We learned a lot on how to make the microphones and textures work with movement and need to see how we can take this further.

Hesitation Waltz – Status Quo

Nach all diesen zögerlichen Zeiten unter Corona möchten wir ein kleines schriftliches Gespräch über die Vergangenheit und die Gegenwart unseres künstlerischen Prozesses teilen. Wir haben gelernt, Schreiben hilft, wenn man zögert.

After all this hesitant times under corona we would like to share a little written conversation about the past and the present of our artistic process. We figured writing helps when you hesitate.

 

Hesitation Waltz – Status Quo English

 

Hesitation Waltz – Status Quo German

Und jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zaudern inne

There is a hesitation inherent in every beginning…

And some potential silliness…

SCORES

SCORES

 

Hesitant weather – So let it snow…

Die erste Woche im April. Beginn der Proben.

Das Wetter zaudert.

 

First week of April. Start of rehearsal.

The weather is hesitating with us.