About the Sommerfest.ival

Three questions to Isabelle Schad about the Sommerfest.ival


Tanzhalle Wiesenburg and the Humboldthain – venues of the festival together with the Werkhalle Wiesenburg – have been a home and a refuge during the pandemic. How have you inhabited them in the past months?

Very soon after the second lockdown began, I started to invite members of my team – dancers, light and sound designers, anyone who wanted – to join me in the park at Humboldthain for regular training sessions in the morning.
It’s been a way of staying together: for oneself inside the pandemic, during which distance v. contact has become the central change, and among ourselves as a team and people who like one another.
It’s become a regular practice in which we learn new techniques derived from aikido with the stick and the sword, and it’s been a strong factor in as much it began to change the depth of the/my work in the field of performance, movement, dance …
On the other hand our own space, the Tanzhalle Wiesenburg, has been a refugee for us as a team: we restructured the space, did building work, had a place for gathering during the winter time and worked on small formats, respecting the rules for staying safe and healthy …
So the whole area around Humboldthain in Wedding has become a central point of meeting, and we developed our own ‘liveliness’ and home over there during that time, which has left good traces.

And now with this festival you’re sharing your work and practice with the public. What is the inspiration and intention behind it during this (still) special time?

The idea was to share some of that liveliness with an audience, or simply with a larger group of people, with friends.
The notion of being and doing things together is a central point. What can sharing be?
How does it feel doing the warm-up practice together in the park and then to witness another type of practice that can become an (invisible) performance – open-air, but at the same time worked for the theatre and now stripped of all possible theatrical signs (of representation)?
How can it be seen in its most essential presentness?
How can the material be looked at as a symbiosis of relationships between us as persons, as human beings and nature?
Relationships between culture and nature, inside and outside, self and other? How is it then to travel back to Wiesenburg, where installations happen indoors and concerts outdoors, where ‘doing things’ meets the notion of ‘seeing things’, ‘hearing things’, being together, relaxing and enjoying together.

The festival presents existing works in new forms and newly adapted versions. But there is also a thematic fil rouge around the idea of infinite movements.

The notion of infinite movement – movement that has no beginning and no ending, like all movements of life: walking, flying, climbing, etc. – has been a focus in my work for a long time. Weight shift and its movement patterns that repeat themselves but are continually new and different is the core material I’m dealing with.
That’s why the training and movement practice is so central to my work. When the looping and repetitive patterns are made visible they can become a living sculptural entity. In the working process I observe the places where things become visible and start to form … form the formless and leave the form again … alive material that is life itself: everything is vibrant movement.