Philipp Lachenmann: DELPHI Rationale


Alexandra Bachzetsis: Private Song

20.12.2017, Berlin | For the choreographer Alexandra Bachzetsis, the communication systems that define our modern culture – pop music, the mass media, and the Internet – are the true sources of modern and contemporary dance.* At the invitation of documenta 14, Bachzetsis has developed a new work which premiered in Athens and will now be presented in Basel on January 24 and 25, 2018. In August 2018, it will also be performed at the Volksbühne in Berlin.

Alexandra Bachzetsis, Private Song, Photo Nikolas Giakoumakis

Alexandra Bachzetsis deals with social norms that control gestures, both in everyday life and onstage. In her work PRIVATE: Wear a mask when you talk to me (2016), Bachzetsis brings together bodily postures from yoga, porn movies, soccer, and other areas to record, through the ritualistic repetition of gestures, the creation of gender and desire under neoliberal conditions.* This work forms the starting-point for her new project Private Song for documenta 14. Private Song draws on, among other things, the rebetiko, a musical style combining Greek folk music and the Ottoman musical tradition. It is not only in Oriental coffee shops that gender-specific practices seem to be determined by a traditional division of labor: most instrumentalists have always been male, while singing and dancing were performed by women. This led to a separation of music and dance, composition and physical performance, mind and emotion. Based on critical observation and modern and contemporary dance, Private Song questions the social and collective construction of feelings and gender-specific behavior, from the norms of the rebetiko all the way to contemporary mass culture.

Alexandra Bachzetsis’ work straddles the fields of the performing and the visual arts, of critical research and dance, which is why the Ernst Schering Foundation supports her new production. For Bachzetsis, born 1974 in Switzerland to a Swiss mother and a Greek father, it is not origin and identity but uprootedness that occupies the political and aesthetic stage. She confronts us with the question of how to reclaim the erotic, affective, and micro-political power of the gesture.*

Alexandra Bachzetsis: Private Song

January 24 and 25, 2018, 8 p.m.
Kaserne Basel
Klybeckstr. 1b
4057 Basle

Introduction „Get Physical!" on January 24, 2018, 6:30 p.m., and artist talk after the performance. Further information

July 10–13, 2017, 10-11 p.m.
documenta 14

Wolfhager Str. 109
34127 Kassel

April 8, 2017, 8:30 p.m.:
Stadttheater Piräus, Athens

Additional performances at Berliner Volksbühne in August 2018 on the occasion of Tanz im August

"Private Song" is supported by Stichting Ammodo and the Schering Stiftung. A cooperation with the city of Zürich, Kanton Basellandschaft, Kanton Basel-Stadt, and Pro Helvetia-Schweizer Kulturstiftung.

(*) The text cites several passages from a text by Paul B. Preciado about Alexandra Bachzetsis, which will be published in the documenta 14: Daybook.

Images: Alexandra Bachzetsis: "Private Song", Photo Nikolas Giakoumakis

Alexandra Bachzetsis, Private Song, Photo Nikolas Giakoumakis


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