Researching with and about the body and movement

A centre between art, society, and politics

At the HZT Berlin, students and teaching staff create a study and research environment together that explores artistic, theoretical, and collaborative practices and connects these with one another. Designed to be strongly context-related and transdisciplinary, and in exchange with international experts, it is about linking body-based knowledge from dance, choreography and performance to current developments and topics, and to play a role in shaping these and to bring in new impulses.

“Bodies, unprotected” programme series
What bodies are worth protecting for us and our society?

The long history of structural racism and discrimination as well as current debates about sexism, colonialism and ableism provide the starting points for “Bodies unprotected”. In dialogue with different experiences with and needs for protection, the international programme series – initiated by HZT professor Sandra Noeth and the Mousonturm artists’ house in Frankfurt/Main – takes a closer look at the connections between bodies, art and socio-political actions, a topic that gained more relevance during the corona crisis.

From May 2021 to December 2022, international artists and experts from the areas of political science, migration research, psychoanalysis and philosophy developed artistic works and research work together. With reference to their specific life and work realities, they examined how the physical and symbolic protection, the legal status and the ethical recognition of bodies are linked to this, and how they are translated into images, words or movements. At the end of Bodies unprotected, the results of the process were presented at Mousonturm in a five-day programme. Complemented by workshops, discussions, and formats for exchanging information and ideas, the forum provided an opportunity to highlight the unequal distribution of protection from different perspectives, and tested strategies and practices of individual and collective learning and acting.

Prof. Dr. Sandra Noeth is currently working on a reappraisal and publication of the research results in the publication series “Corporeal Matters”, which the HZT is designing together with the publishing house “transcript Verlag”. 

Choreographic work in the urban space
Collaborations with the “Potsdamer Tanztagen” and the 2024 Cultural Capital Salzkammergut

The cooperation between the study course MA Choreography (maC) and the “Potsdamer Tanztagen” allows the students to be involved in an international dance festival while still studying and gives them a chance to show their own first works. The focus of their research here is an exploration of the urban space. Their choreographic sketches are developed in the public space and enquire about the connection between movement and urban texture. By engaging with the location and biographies in the urban space, the students examine how dance can contribute towards firmly and profoundly establishing sustainable thinking and acting in society.

The cooperation with the “Potsdamer Tanztagen”, which has grown over the years, takes us in content terms to the next project, in which students create choreographic works as a political narrative for the 2024 Cultural Capital Salzkammergut. This project deals with questions as to how a coming generation of creatives in dance see themselves in relation to formations of landscapes and explores ways in which the relationship between humans and the environment can be experienced differently.