In June 2017, the second generation of Factory Artists moved into tanzhaus nrw – Choy Ka Fai, Claire Cunningham and Ligia Lewis (from left). Each one convincingly handles his or her distinct artistic signature style and personality, standing at a point in his or her artistic development at which this partnership wants to enable them to take new steps. Simultaneously, the artists – as was shown by Jan Martens, Sebastian Matthias and Alexandra Waierstall as first-generation Factory Artists – invigorate the stage as well as the tanzhaus nrw academy with new impulses. All three artists embody the spirit tanzhaus nrw wants to empower in its artistically multilingual approach: For example, more diversity on as well as behind the stage and the claim to situate the dance genre as a space for political processes amid society, focussing on topics such as “minority politics”, “physical difference” and “body and technology”. By means of the idea of the Factory Artists, tanzhaus nrw also puts forth a statement regarding working conditions of contemporary choreographers, marked by nomadic jobbing, project-based funding and production pressures. tanzhaus nrw contrasts this by means of continuing collaboration and longer-term connection to the venue as well as with scope for research and the development of new projects.
Published in August, the “tanz“ yearbook 2018, part of the leading European trade magazine on ballet, dance, and performance, selected choreographers Claire Cunningham and Ligia Lewis to be the hopefuls “with the brightest prospects”. Claire Cunningham, who relies on crutches, “lets us participate in her perception of the world and how it also changes us,” the trade magazine goes on about the artistic quality of the Glasgow-based performer, choreographer and activist. Not least, she is about a “fundamental attitude towards adaptation or resistance. Conclusion: Rarely have I had so many light bulb moments in theatre.” Ligia Lewis creates “committed, dissonant, necessary dance pieces,” it is said about the choreographer currently residing both in Berlin New York, with roots in the Dominican Republic and the USA. “She creates space for untold stories and voices ignored.” One of her central questions:”Can the black box reproduce the cosmos of black experience that break the boundaries of mere identity politics?”