Dreams in a Cloudy Space

Part #2 of the choreographic series BODIES OF CAPITALISM

In our capitalistic society we define old bodies mainly by their deficit, by what they are NOT able to do and what they are NOT anymore. But how can we encounter old bodies and perceive them beyond what they can no longer do? Based on research in different old people’s homes and senior citizens’ meetings in Cologne and Hamburg, the choreography “dreams in a cloudy space” deals with physical qualities beyond efficiency. In a poetic composition of video and sound fragments, objects and the bodies of a 35-year-old and a 75-year-old dancer, a choreography emerges in which boundaries become blurred: between activity and passivity, isolation and withdrawal, joy and resignation. “dreams in a cloudy space” is an amplifier for the voices we otherwise don’t hear, and a search for what attitude we can age with.


And then there’s Antje Velsinger with “Dreams in a Cloudy Space,” a delicate, sensitive work about aging and the mobility of the body. On the sterile white stage, an old and a young dancer, 35 and 75 years old, meet, support, wrestle, help, play and jump with the rollator. The video shows old ladies in wheelchairs with glitter blouses and pink wigs. “Can’t listen to all this efficiency so well anymore. Because I know I can’t participate,” says one. For weeks, choreographer Antje Velsinger conducted interviews with old ladies, about the future, the perceived fragility of life and bodies. The ladies visibly enjoy their self-dramatization in front of the camera – in times of Corona contact blocks, this already seems like a political act. And at the same time, it is an incredibly clever commentary on a society in which even growing old has become a neoliberal competition. In the end, the idea of uniting across all age boundaries is a consoling utopia and dissolves in shared laughter – because, after all, we are all trapped in the same circle of life.

Dorothea Marcus, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Sep 19, 2020

In “Dreams in a cloudy space“, Antje Velsinger focuses on the grace of transience. (…) Attitude is the currency between generations, as this sensitive production shows in its delicate nuances. Thus, “Dreams in a cloudy space” opens a watchful eye for human encounters that usually do not occur in the spotlight of the stage. An important task of the art of dance, since movement always articulates the longing for change, even when there is little future left. Antje Velsinger gives a fruitful impulse to win the physical expressiveness of old people for the art of dance. A project that calls for continuation.

Thomas Linden, Kölnische Rundschau, December 2019

One is moved, reminded of a child’s birthday party where the parents are careful to avoid anything that could go beyond the scope. The theme of dance and age is usually readily understood as homage. With Velsinger you see: old people are anarchists. The more the choreographer, who lives in Cologne and Hamburg, limits the scope in her dance and video performance “dreams in a cloudy space,” the freer the actors seem.

Arndt Wesemann, Tanz Magazin, February 2020



Artistic direction & choreography: Antje Velsinger * Dance: Pauline Payen & Brigitta Schirdewahn * Performance video: Marlies Dietrich, Inge Jost & Antje Velsinger * Stage: Sophie Aigner * Video: Ayla Pierrot Arendt * Sound: Julia Krause * Costume: Valentina Primavera * Dramaturgy: Heike Bröckerhoff * Lighting: Henning Eggers * Production manager: Sabina Stücker

A production by Antje Velsinger in co-production with tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf. Supported by: Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg | Ministry of Culture and Media, Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, North Rhine-Westphalia State Office of Independent Performing Arts, Fonds darstellende Künste, Kunststiftung NRW. With the support of: tanzfaktur Cologne, Lichthoftheater Hamburg, Altenzentrum Deckstein-Clarenbachwerk Cologne, Seniorenhaus Heilige Drei Könige Cologne, DRK Seniorentreff Haus Ottensen Hamburg

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