Jody Oberfelder: "Walking to Present" - © Nina Hümpel

Jody Oberfelder: "Walking to Present" - © Nina Hümpel

Jody Oberfelder: "Walking to Present" - © Nina Hümpel

Jody Oberfelder: "Walking to Present" - © Nina Hümpel

Jody Oberfelder: "Walking to Present" - Routen

Jody Oberfelder: "Walking to Present" - Routen

Jody Oberfelder

Walking to Present (World Premiere)

Would you like to take a dance and performative walk on the "Olympiaberg" in Munich? It is one of three "mountains of rubble" in Munich that were made by piling up debris and the remains of buildings destroyed in the Second World War. In her walking piece created for DANCE 2021, Walking to Present, Jody Oberfelder links history to the present, the collective past to individual experiences, words to movements. And this creates a mapping of one's own experiences and the experiences of other people combined with the history of the location. What traces do we leave behind?

Walking to Present was developed as a commissioned work for DANCE 2021 during the peak of the isolation period during the Corona pandemic. After the piece was postponed due to the pandemic, the project was developed further for over 2 years under the context of what was then happening, and now it will celebrate its world premiere at DANCE 2023. It is in the tradition of the so-called walking pieces, interventions in the stream of pedestrians and provocations in municipal spaces. Important art movements in the 20th century, such as the Dadaists, the Situationist Internationals, the Fluxus artists, and land artists over and over again tested the art of strolling, the intervention in everyday life through movement.

Oberfelder's live art performances function as a living organism, inclusive and collective. Each participant's experience is woven into their own life's narrative. In this work one can experience this conceptual idea in small groups in a special – somatic – fashion and also encounter dancers in the park. Plans call for the conceptual idea of Walking to Present to be translated for and transferred to additional cities.

The artistic portfolio of the American choreographer and filmmaker Jody Oberfelder is huge. She directs operas, she choreographs fashion models for the photographer Steven Meisel, and she produced Kurt Weill's Zaubernacht at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York (2018). This was Weill's first composition for the stage, a ballet pantomime for children that he wrote in 1922 and was considered lost for a long time. Oberfelder has directed ten films, and she tours across the globe with her company Jody Oberfelder Projects (JOP), which she founded in 1987. She is influenced by modern dance, and she performed as a dancer in pieces by Steve Paxton (2012) and Simone Forti (2018/2019) in the context of exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Although she is the generation emerging just after the revolutionary movement that started at Judson Dance Theater, she is very familiar with their concepts and ideas, and Jody Oberfelder has searched for her very own method of thinking and practicing dance, choreography, and movement in a new manner.

At DANCE 2023 Jody Oberfelder and her team will also perform the artistic intervention Life Traveler in public spaces in Munich.

Meeting Point: Old Tram Station, Ackermannstraße 88, 80797 Munich

Friday, May 12, 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 13, 4 p.m.
Sunday, May 14, 11 a.m.

Duration: 90 min
Language: English

The performance includes a walk over uneven terrain on Munich's Olympiaberg. Please wear sturdy shoes and weatherproof clothing. In case of rain, please bring an umbrella. Travel light. 

Concept & Choreography: Jody Oberfelder
With: Rohan Dhupar, Vanessa Knouse, Paulina Meneses, Ashley Merker, Jody Oberfelder, Kate Page, Andrew Sanger, Grace Yi-Li Tong
Costume Design: Katrin Schnabl
Music: Missy Mazzoli
Dramaturgy: Peter Sampel
Booking: Rhizome Arts


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