“COBRA BLONDE” steps over the apparent boundaries between two worlds of expression that rarely touch: Traditional German guard dancing and contemporary art. The focus on gender roles within these different scenes lies at the core of this trespassing. Choreographer Reut Shemesh’s project explores the representation of female dancers during traditional carnival festivities and opens a contradictory, almost tragical perspective on this mode of entertainment. Between the prevalent approach in contemporary dance to emphasise individuality and the power of community from which the dance guard draws, an unusual aesthetic emerges, as well as political forcefield. With “COBRA BLONDE”, Reut Shemesh directs the gaze unto a desire for representation of authentic identity – if such a thing can exist at all.
Work on this performance began in 2018, following an invitation by tanzhaus nrw. Starting out as a photography project titled “WITNESS”, the choreographer took several steps to develop the topic into a stage performance over the last few years: After research showings of the choreographic material, the project came to its first presented stage performance at tanzhaus nrw in September 2020. Reut Shemesh now lends the project its final form with this premiere in April 2021. The performance will be accompanied by a photo book and a film.
Reut Shemesh, having been one of three tanzhaus nrw Factory Artists, alongside Alfredo Zinola and collective nutrospektif, since January 2020, takes on the crosslinks between the visible self-portrayal of femininity and imagined ascriptions from within as well as without in her work. After her training at ArtEZ in Arnhem and post-graduate studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, she now resides and works as a choreographer and performer in Cologne.
Duration: 45 min.
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Artistic direction, choreography: Reut Shemesh; Co-choreography: Ulla Gerling; Artistic assistance: Ele Rose-Krosch; Dance: Lisa Aydin, Laura Bremicker, Katharina Brink, Constanze Fischer, Claudia Hinkel, Carmen Meier, Ele Rose-Krosch, Emily Rose, Sarah Pullich, Janina Schentek, Franziska Simandi; Dramaturgy: Matthias Quabbe; Dramaturgical concept development: Daniel Rademacher; Lighting design, props, stage: Ronni Shendar; Music, Composition: Simon Bauer; Finance dramaturgy: Béla Bisom; Production: Sabina Stücker.
A production by Reut Shemesh, co-produced by tanzhaus nrw and Theater im Pumpenhaus Münster, in cooperation with Tanzgarde der Karnevalsfreunde der katholischen Jugend Düsseldorf, funded by Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes NRW im Rahmen der Konzeptionsförderung und Spitzenförderung, Kulturamt der Stadt Köln, Kunststiftung NRW, Fonds Darstellende Künste, KunstSalon Stiftung / Step Up. Supported by iDAS NRW and TanzFaktur Köln.