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Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of NEUSTART KULTUR.

TAKEHEART Residences hosted by Tanzhaus NRW Düsseldorf and PACT Zollverein.

with the support of the residency program Tanzatelier 0.10 in Quartier am Hafen

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I have been reflecting on the idea of disobedience in art, and more particularly for this research on how the concept of disobedience has a central place in the development of new artistic movements. I had a particular interest in the meaning of formulating disobedience as a way to break from a certain establishment, therefore I worked with the act of writing Manifestos. 


I selected and worked with different art or art related Manifesto written between 1909 and 2010, such as: 

“Manifeste du Futurisme” by Philippo Tommaso Marinetti (1909) ; “Manifeste du Surréalisme” by André Breton (1924) ;  “Manifesto Bianco” by Lucio Fontana (1946) ; “No Manifesto” by Yvonne Rainer (1965) ; “Women's Art : A Manifesto” by Valie Export (1972) ; “Yes Manifesto” by Mette Ingvartsen (2005) ; “Manifeste pour un centre chorégraphique national” by Boris Charmatz (2008) and “Manifestos for the Future” by Hans Ulrich Obrist (2010) I also enjoyed reading some feminist Manifesto that did not directly concerned art “Feminism Manifesto” by Mina Loy (1914) ; “Scum Manifesto” by Valerie Solanas (1967) and “Cyborg Manifesto” by Donna Haraway (1985)


I understood these manifestos as a transformation of disobedience into creation. Even though Manifestos are mainly breaking from a certain line of thought or artistic movement, I don’t consider them as resisting or being in opposition to precedent movements, but rather as disobeying precedent movements. I indeed consider disobedience as creating and opening a new door of thoughts and concepts that allows the writer and artist to detach themselves from all rules beforehand formulated. On the other side, I consider resistance or opposition as being entangled and undetachable from the concept resisted or opposed.

With disobedience, I enjoyed the freedom of speech that the platform of Manifesto’s writing can offer. Indeed I saw in Manifestos the possibilities for the author to be fundamentally right. In their rights. As if by creating new concepts the authors don’t need to neither explain themselves nor prove anyone wrong.


I questioned through my process what could it bring to my artistic development to write a Manifesto myself, so how could I allow myself to disobey all what I have known about choreographing without having to be frontally resisting certain concepts. Working on formulating my manifesto that would define the artist I am today, allowed me to question in a wilder sense my interests in art making in agreement with my political beliefs and to position myself more clearly on how I want to work in the future. 

I have reflected as well on my creative tools or conception of bodies and movement, then on how to collaborate with others, or how to position my art inside an economical and political system.  





I have been researching the movement quality of obedience from the perspective of certain animals that have been more or less educated by humans to perform actions. 

The first step of this research was about observing. So I watched many videos of circus, aquatic amusement park and horse dressage competitions. Once I have passed the step of intense discomfort those videos provoked in me, I was able to find the focus on what interested me to translate into movement quality and attitude. 

What interested me was not to copy the movements they may do, but rather understand both a physicality from the animal itself, the way they responded to authority and the attitude towards their human “master”. I focused on : Lions, Horses and Elephants.

By working on these three animals I have focused on three physicalities and movements qualities to translate them into choreographic material.

For the Lions I focused on the body appearance of laziness, constant distraction and highly articulated spine. 

For the Elephant I focused on their particular weight transfer strategies to rather sit, stand up or execute a requested movement; as well as on the rather slow timing of these weight transfers. 

For the Horse I focused on speed, leg sharpness, small jumps, change or rhythm and head movements. 


To understand and be in empathy with the studied animal during the forced executions of they performances, I have tried to obliged myself to move with theses physicalities and see how from there, I would rather obey and execute the physicality willingly, or see how to experience theses physicalities unwillingly and try to break free from the shapes that my body had to take. 

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learning to obey

me : © Isabelle Wenzel
tiger : © William Ocker 

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