A B O U T  D A N C E - forming futures  >>> FORUM

Exchange forum for professional dance & performance artists supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media #TakeAction. 

To receive a full video registration link please email us:

Vol. 2 - May 29 & 30, 13 - 19h

with moderators Kareth Schaffer & Olympia Bukkakis ARCHIVE here >>>

and online / live contributions from Madalina Dan, Annelies van Assche, Marcela Giesche and surprise guests


Contemporary dance is an art form in which we practice different ways of being (post-)human. This practice occurs both on and off-stage, during rehearsals and performances, in conversations and in improvisations. For most professionals, only a fraction of this practice is remunerated, yet most of it can be considered as a deeply necessary to our work. This forum considers the notions of labour, relating, virtuosity, ethics, exchange, and interdependency that go into the construction of a body of work—and of bodies who work.


The forum will be processed by a small group of socially distanced people present at LAKE Studios and freely available to a larger audience via livestream. 


Dates / host artists / themes:

May 1 & 2 - Mårten Spångberg & Guests / ECOLOGY & ARTISTIC PRACTICE

May 29 & 30 - Kareth Schaffer / Construction Company & Marcela Giesche / INTERDEPENDENCY

July 3 & 4 - Gabi Beier, Julek Kreutzer & Diethild Meier / ARTISTIC CURATION

August 28 & 29 - Lea Martini & Antje Pfundtner / TBA

September 25 & 26  - Jeremy Wade / CAMP PAIN (try-out)

Participation is free of charge and accessible online via the link below.


A very limited number of spaces for live participants is available with an application:

To attend live please send a short motivation e-mail & your CV as well as desired dates of participation to:

Live stream link:




Saturday 29 May 


13.30 – Opening Kareth Schaffer & Olympia Bukkakis


16.00 – Marcela Giesche 


17.30 – Madalina Dan interviews Kasia Wollinska


Sunday 30 May


14:00 – Intro with Kareth & Olympia


14.15 – Annelies van Assche

15:30 - 18:00 - BREAK (no live stream)


18:00 – Final Discussion Round

ABOUT the artists' contributions (Vol. 2  - May 1 & 2) :


Annelies van Assche: A Thin Line. Balancing Autonomy and Precarity in the Symbolic Economy of the Arts 


In 2016, five Slovenian performing artists and cultural workers published a two-page ironic handbook on how to ‘Become the ideal cultural worker in 86 steps’, a performance-text that was part of Choreographing Calculation (2012) that premiered at the CoFestival in Ljublijana, Slovenia. As a starting point of their performance, Arhar, Brezavšček, Čičigoj, Rakef and Založnik were involved in an experiment to calculate their work activities to find a precise measure for the value of their work. Unpacking what work goes into artistic and cultural work is also the point of departure within Annelies van Assch's ongoing research as a performing arts scholar who works at the intersection of dance and performance studies and cultural and labor sociology. Many performing artists have developed a comparable habitus within the European contemporary dance scene. Much in line with neoliberal ideology, their life and labor acutely depend on one another. Within this contribution, I explore how socio-economic precarity is micro-managed by my sample of project-based contemporary dance artists in Brussels and Berlin. For this purpose, I single out a few of the 86 steps that are listed in the performance text as a no-nonsense directive to success in the cultural sector. Engaging with the steps will provide insights into why project workers do what they do and keep doing it despite the lingering precarity, and as such expose the very thin line that exists between autonomy and precarity. 


Madalina Dan interviews Kasia Wolinska

In "What (still) moves us?" Mădălina Dan, Berlin and Bucharest based choreographer meets and interviews choreographers, dancers, performers, and artists from the local dance community in Bucharest. For the Lake Studios forum no. 2, WORK, she will be meeting - in a dancing/talking conversation- the Berlin and Gdansk-based choreographer Kasia Wolinska in an adapted version of the format “What (still) moves us?”. The format will facilitate their first dancing encounter but also an opportunity to share thoughts on: ways of working, notions, aesthetics, education, discipline of work engaged in by the two artists, collaboration, dialogue with other arts and humanities fields and the socio-political relevance of their artistic approach. 

Marcela Giesche: Marcela will speak about the founding of LAKE Studios and the continued interweaving of artistic and working processes involved in the maintainance of a space for dance and performance. 


Artist Bios Vol. 2:


Kareth Schaffer is a choreographer and dramaturg in Berlin, Germany. She makes dance pieces about the things that interest her, most recently Balinese dance, the language of bees, and the demons that attacked the early Christian desert fathers. She is in the midst of founding a dance company, Construction Company.


Kasia Wolinska is choreographer, dancer, and writer born in Gdańsk and living in Berlin. In the years 2013-2018, she ran a performative project named Hi Mary. Since 2018, she has been writing a blog on dance and politics Together with Faerieda Sandstrom she founded The Future Body At Work. She is a board member of ZTB e.V., the organization representing the interests of the free scene of dance in Berlin.


Mădălina Dan studied choreography and play-writing at the National University of Theater and Film in Bucharest. She was a member of “Oleg Danovski” Ballet Company from 1998 till 2003. In 2008 she received the danceWEB scholarship in Vienna. She was guest artist to the Herberger Institute, School of Dance (Arizona State University) in 2009 and was associated artists at the National Dance Centre in Bucharest in 2016. Her works have been shown at Springdance Festival Utrecht, Tanzquartier Wien, eXplore Dance Festival Bukarest and DTW New York, among others. In 2021 she will continue to develop her ongoing exploration into "The Agency of Touch."


Annelies van Assche obtained a joint doctoral degree in Art Studies and Social Sciences in 2018 at Ghent University and KU Leuven, on the working and living conditions of contemporary dance artists in Brussels and Berlin. She was production manager at contemporary dance school P.A.R.T.S. from 2011 until 2014. In 2019, she started a postdoctoral research on labor and aesthetics in contemporary dance in Europe’s (Eastern) periphery at Ghent University. 


Queen of the Heavens and of the Earth, Empress of Despair, and Architect of Your Eternal Suffering, Olympia Bukkakis is a drag performer, choreographer, and event organiser living in Berlin. Her practice is situated within, and inspired by, the tensions and intersections between queer nightlife and contemporary dance and performance.

Marcela Giesche:



Dates / host artists / themes:

May 1 & 2 - Mårten Spångberg & Guests / ECOLOGY & ARTISTIC PRACTICE

May 29 & 30 - Kareth Schaffer / Construction Company & Marcela Giesche / WORK & PLAY

July 3 & 4 - Gabi Beier, Julek Kreutzer & Diethild Meier / ARTISTIC CURATION

August 28 & 29 - Lea Martini & Noa Ramadan

September 25 & 26  - Jeremy Wade / CAMP PAIN (try-out)