A ballet class under Beatrice Schönherr direction, the first ballerina to dance Le Sacre de Printemps naked (John Neumeier’s Le Sacre, 1972), provides the framework of Florentina Holzinger’s TANZ. The performers undergo rigorous training in “action ballet”, the so-called “sylphic studies”. In collective rituals, they learn to master their bodies and minds, and they acquire supernatural powers, such as flying. A quest for perfection in an ephemeral world, during which the gross is transformed into the sublime. In an operatic setting, brutal parodies of sensationalist images emerge, as seen in ballet, comedy and pornography. The gaze regime finds reflection in the character of a porn producer who documents the performance. With a cast of women between the ages of twenty and eighty, all of whom have different backgrounds in dance, TANZ raises the question of the legacy of dance. How can the cult of beauty inherent in this tradition be reconciled?
TANZ is the third part of Florentina Holzinger’s trilogy Recovery, Apollon and TANZ. This trilogy investigates how the body is cultivated, shaped and transformed through different physical disciplines.
Florentina Holzinger (b. 1986, Vienna) is a choreographer who consciously plays with the shifting boundaries between high culture and entertainment. In her works, she explores different modes of female representation and questions the full potential of female physicality. From 2021 until 2026, she is an associated artist of the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in Berlin.
photo: Eva Würdinger
Theatre does not subsist in one fixed form, it rather has the characteristics of a verb – it is used to name actions or states. Perhaps that is why crises are so good for theatre, because once an impasse is recognised, it tries to break it.
This year, the International New Europe Queer Gaze Festival
wants to become a space where the only rule is the absence of rules, and the perspective is diversity. We are trying to deal with the point of view – with the position from which we speak, in view of which something seems to us to be fixed, forever defined.
We deny to ourselves the right to make unambiguous diagnoses, to formulate meanings and we give the floor to the female Artists. Their diverse narratives are an attempt to blur the boundaries and definitions concerning the experience of female identity. We believe that the exchange of views, different optics and perspectives allows for conversation, for a deeper and richer experience of reality.
We oppose the ephemerality and festivalization of cultural life with an on going festival that lasts the whole season. We want the screenings not to resemble a temporary event, but rather to become a regular practice of meeting important artists of European and world theatre. We invite you to experience together, discover and clash various, different views, to engage in debates and disputes.
Karolina Ochab / Joanna Nuckowska / Piotr Gruszczyński / Olga Drygas
International New Europe Queer Gaze Festival financed by the city of Warsaw.