Fatin Abbas, Berlin is a Sudanese-American writer, journalist and scholar. Her work lies at the intersection of postcolonial studies, African and African-American studies, migration, and gender. Her short fiction has appeared in Granta, Freeman’s: The Best New Writing on Arrival, The Warwick Review, and Friction, and her journalism and essays have appeared in Le Monde Diplomatique, The Nation, Africa is a Country and Die Zeit, among other places. Her first novel, The Interventionists, is forthcoming from W. W. Norton & Co. She gained her PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University and her MFA in Creative Writing from Hunter College, the City University of New York. She is a recipient of a Miles Morland Foundation Writing Scholarship, an Austrian Federal Chancellery / KulturKontakt Artist-in-Residence award and a James Baldwin St. Paul de Vence Writer-in-Residence award, among others. She is a Lecturer in Comparative Literature at Bard College Berlin, where she teaches on postcolonialism and migration. www.fatinabbas.com
Jenny Beyer, Hamburg studied at the Hamburg Ballet School and the Rotterdamse Dansacademie. Her work, which is mainly based at Kampnagel and K3 Tanzplan Hamburg, stands for the inclusion of spectators through regular open rehearsals. Beyer started focussing on collaborative work with the international artists’ initiative Sweet&Tender Collaborations, which she co-founded in 2007, and the resulting project “Treffen Total” in 2010, which now includes 30 artists. In 2007 she was resident choreographer at K3 |Tanzplan Hamburg. Since then, she has produced 11 touring pieces, which were shown at the Spring Dance Festival/Utrecht and the Impulstanz Festival/Vienna, among others. Since 2012 she is choreographer of the Hamburg band Deichkind. www.jennybeyer.de
Catalina Chouhy, Montevideo is dedicated to researching and teaching dance and contact improvisation in Uruguay. After her studies in contemporary dance in Montevideo, she continued her education at the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam and at the Hochschule für Sportwissenschaften in Leipzig. Inspired by scientific, philosophical and practical approaches, she developed her own senso-perceptive work, which informs both her choreographies and her teaching at dance academies and international festivals. Catalina is a licensed teacher of the Alexander Technique and Somatic Experiencing. Since 2009 she has organized the Festival Internacional de Contact Improvisation in Uruguay. Her current performance “El esqueleto del rio” was presented at Teatro Solis in Montevideo in November 2020.
Salome Egger, Bern is an artist, designer and performer enlacing threads from different disciplines. Textiles and textile techniques are mostly the medium of her practice. In her performative settings and spatial arrangements artistic thinking is bonded to complex theoretical questions. She realized an art research project in the field of Art & Science at the Nottingham Trent University, UK and gained thereby in 2017 a PhD. She designed and realized costumes for various theatre and dance productions and worked for several years as a fashion designer (Bivak, Antwerp, BE, Hugo Boss Ticino SA, CH, Fogal AG, CH, Colora AG, CH). Her artistic work has been shown in different contexts (Textilkunst Galerie, Salzburg, A; Bonington Gallery, Nottingham, UK; Progr und Schneller Kunstraum, Bern, CH; Galerie 5020, Salzburg, A; Window of Fame, Zürich, CH). www.salomeegger.ch
Cosima Grand, Zürich graduated from Centre nationale de danse contemporaine (CNDC) in Angers France, directed by Emanuelle Huynh. Grand was a member of Marchepied in Lausanne while she simultaneously completed the Bachelor in multilingual communication at the University of Geneva. She studied theater studies and sociolinguistics at the University of Berne. Grand collaborates and performs with i.a. Aina Alegre, Simone Truong, Chris Leuenberger, Lucie Eidenbenz. Her own work covers T-R-A-N-S (Cosima Grand and Pia Campos, 2011), Me, myself and I (Cosima Grand and Sabrina Zimmermann, 2013), BeMyselfAndDie (Cosima Grand and Davide Prudente, 2013, rewarded with the prize Fondation Bea pour jeunes artistes), CTRL-V (EP) (2nd prize PREMIO 2015), CTRL-V (LP) (2016), Hitchhiking through Winterland (2018). Cosima is co-founder of Residenz Tanz Leuk. 2015 she was rewarded with the Kulturförderpreis from the Kanton Wallis. www.cosimagrand.ch
Marcos Ramírez Harriague, Montevideo is a choreographer, director and teacher of contemporary dance. His background is both in psychology and the performing arts. He obtained the scholarship Estímulo a la formación Artística, Eduardo Víctor Haedo of the Ministry of Education and Culture to deepen his education in contemporary dance and dance therapy in France, Spain and Germany. In 2011 he founded Casa Almargen with Gaston Musetti, an interdisciplinary space with an artistic therapeutic commitment in Montevideo that has worked in conjunction with INAE, MIDES, SODRE, UDELAR. Marcos was selected by the National Institute of Performing Arts and GEN-Espacio de Artes y Ciencias to be part of the research and creation group within the framework of the project Vehicle SUR 2018: realizing a series of residencies across five cities: Montevideo, Sao Paulo, Santiago de Chile, Lyon and Munich. www.marcosramirezharriague.com
Thomas Jeker, Zürich is a musician, composer and sound designer for theatre, film and video art. His curiosity and affection for different sonic textures has led to imaginative scores and a generous, hypnotically engaging style of playing. He studied guitar, contrabass and shakuhachi at the Conservatories for Music in Basel and Bern. His exploration of hard-edged electronics with surprising acoustic touches is always conveyed with an expressiveness that’s understated, beautifully woven, and draws you mesmerizingly close. Since 2014 he has collaborated with Chris Leuenberger and Marcel Schwald on diverse theatre and dance productions. www.thomasjeker.ch
Kolatt, Yangon is a multimedia and performance artist currently working and living in Myanmar. Kolatt got his initial art education from Newzero Art Space in Yangon, where he soon moved on to be gallery manager, art trainer for children and assistant art trainer for adults. In 2013 he gained his MFA at the ZHdK (Zurich Fine Art School) in Switzerland. From then on his works have been shown not only in Yangon, but also in Gwangju (Korea), the Jakarta Biennial 2015, a Queer Film Festival in the Philippines, in Lyon (France), Stockholm (Sweden), Germany, Japan and Thailand. Kolatt’s artwork deals with expectations and pressure of society on a personal and political level. It reflects personal feelings of being misunderstood and imprisoned in one’s own society. To express this he uses different media such as painting, installation, digital media and performance art. myanmartevolution.com/ko-latt/
Lea Martini, Berlin works internationally in the field of dance making, transmitting, performing. Attracted by intense physicalities, she started out by learning gymnastics and later found her way into the world of contemporary dance. Works she is part of – often created in collective structures – ask for physical and sensual approaches and deal with socio-political issues. They often look for new perspectives through moments of contemplating and experiencing together. She is part of PSR Collective, the curatorial team of Heizhaus at Uferstudios in Berlin and runs the DIY Training For Everybody there. Motivated by projects with children and people of all generations she often tries to blur and combine aesthetic and social criteria. Her latest works include the piece for young audience „Eine Geschichte der Welt“, the performance „Melancholia“, the trans disciplinary „Tanzplage“ and the long term research „Inscriptions of all kinds“. Long term collaborations include the artists Chris Leuenberger, Anja Müller, Dennis Deter, Bella Hager, Josep Caballero García, ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS, Akiles. www.leamartini.de
Maria Mavridou, Amsterdam is a dancer, performer, choreographer and teacher. She holds a BA in choreography from the SNDO in Amsterdam, graduated as a dancer from the State School of Dance in Athens and did post-graduate studies at the Dance Space Centre in New York as a recipient of the Onassis Foundation scholarship. Since 2008 she has studied extensively under the guidance of Katerina Bakatsaki and Frank van de Ven (Body Weather Amsterdam) and Katie Duck (Interdisciplinary Real-Time Composition). Maria works internationally developing solo work and collaborating with artists from the field of dance, performance, music and visual arts (Andrea K. Schlehwein + Netzwerk AKS (AT), Free The Dance / Malgorzata Haduch (PL), Chris Leuenberger (CH), The Warp – Stichting C.L.O.U.D. / Lee Ellickson (NL), Dorit Weintal / Faido Company (NL) a.o.). She is a founding member of Dangerous Mouses – a platform for movement practice, training and research and an initiator and organiser of Tsak Bam Festival – a contemporary arts festival on Aegina island in Greece. mavridoumaria.blogspot.com
Shilok Mukkati, Bangalore is a marriage of celebration and destruction. She calls the powerful feminine energy in herself Shakthi. Dance and poetry are the two most important art forms Shilok uses to destroy patriarchy. In her dance “Athmanatyam” each move is a language of the soul. Her poetry is usually written in her mother tongue Kannada, in which she is trying to create a language to speak about queerness. For her radio show “Lesbians in the shadows“ Shilok received a National Award from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Presently she works as a PR and Marketing Consultant at Shoonya – Centre for Art and Somatic Practice, as a dancer for the Schwald/Leuenberger production “Ef_femininity“ and as a performer for Zubaan Project with “Undraping Silence”. Shilok is currently receiving her Master’s Degree in Marketing and Management Communications at COMMITS, Bangalore. https://shilokgowda.wordpress.com
Diya Naidu, Bangalore is a choreographer, dancer, performer, facilitator, arts & culture organiser. She is the director of ‘Citizens of Stage Co. Lab.’ and the head of Dance Programming at ‘Shoonya Centre for Art & Somatic Practices’, Bangalore. As a choreographer, her work has traversed into the area of gender and feminism – violence against women, the role of caste and class in lack of safety for women and the somatic implications of patriarchal penetration. She explores intimacy and touch through her work and finds deep correlations between our deepest needs and desires and the challenges we face in the society and the political realm. Diya has performed in many countries including Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, UK, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea. She has also begun engaging in the cultural scene in Africa with the East African Soul train residency (2019). She sees the artist as the key site for the integration of worlds and hopes to be of service. As such she is invested in work that transforms the artists as well as the witness, and creating in a safe and equal environment while really listening to what is needed.
Hilde Niederer, Bern started taking dance classes from Hilde Baumann, the ballet master of Stadttheater Bern, in 1948 while simultaneously completing her apprenticeship in photography. From 1955 – 57 she attended the Tanzschule Kreutzberg in Bern, named after the renowned German expressionist dancer Harald Kreutzberg. She studied under his tutelage and was one of the first graduates of the school. Soon after she moved to Germany where she accepted professional engagements in the ballet ensembles of Staatstheater Mainz and Theater Koblenz. In 1972/73 she got a diploma in dance therapy in New York. Upon returning to Bern she started working with patients of the mental health hospital Klinik Waldau. Since 1980 she has been working as a self-employed dance and movement therapist. In 2015, at the age of 82, Hilde returned to the stage to star in Schwald/Leuenberger’s documentary dance performance „Kreutzberg“.
Matthew Rogers, Hamburg is from the Tidewater Region of Virginia and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth in 2002. From 2003-2011 he was an active part of the dance community in NYC, working with renowned choreographers such as PearsonWidrig/DanceTheater, Jon Kinzel, Amber Sloan and most notably with Tere O’Connor. In 2010 he had the great pleasure to perform in Marina Abramovic’s retrospective, ‘The Artist Is Present’ at MoMA. In 2012 he moved to Zilina, Slovakia to establish a European base near his partner in love, but quickly developed working connections with Antje Pfundtner and Jenny Beyer making Hamburg, Germany his official address. In recent years he has begun creating his own choreographic work: „a fragile son“, a solo made in CZ/SK in 2014 and „Desire & Discipline“, a duet made with Chris Leuenberger in 2016. The latter was invited as a study for transcultural exchange on erotics in dance to Yangon, Myanmar in the context of the 2020 Yangon Pride.
Marcel Schwald, Basel has established a practice which approaches the audience very directly, comes close and calls for reaction. His works are often largely based on improvisation and reflect social hierarchies and possibilities of self-empowerment. Schwald’s works are shown internationally at independent venues and state theatres (including Schauspielhaus Zürich, Theater Basel, Impulse Festival NRW, Selection Suisse en Avignon, Beijing Fringe Festival). For his staging of the “The Making of Americans“ by Gertrude Stein he was nominated as Young Director of the Year in the 2017 critics’ survey of the magazine “Theater heute“ (“Theater today“). Since 2019 he has been working in an extended collective with the queer-feminist band Les Reines Prochaines. www.marcelschwald.com
Saadet Türköz, Zürich is a singer, composer and performance artist. Born in Istanbul in 1961, her first recordings were influenced by the folk music of her homeland, East Turkestan. Later her repertoire has widened to include improvised music and modern interpretations of Turkish and Kazakh music. In her work she combines past and future, traditional and contemporary, dream and reality. Through the years she developed her own style of singing, which is both expressive, physical, archaic and calm. In addition to solo performances, Türköz performs in duos, trios and larger free-improvising formations. Throughout her career she has worked in various video-, theater-, film-, dance- and literary productions, collaborating with Pipilotti Rist, Anders Guggisberg, Muda Mathis, Anka Schmid, Gita Gsell, Elpida Orfanidou, Novoflot and many more. www.saadet.ch
Living Smile Vidya, Luzern is an actress, author and hospital clown. As an activist she has been campaigning artistically and politically for the rights of Dalits and Transgenders. She has reached a legal milestone in her home state of Tamil Nadu with the fight to change her ID and gender. She writes poignantly of her journey to be recognized as a woman in her breakthrough biography “I am Vidya”, India’s first transgender autobiography made into a full-length feature film which bagged national and state awards. As an actress Vidya received the Charles Wallace Award 2013 for her excellence in theatre, followed by a degree from the International School of Performing Arts, London, which she completed in 2014. In the same year she founded the transgender theatre collective “Panmai Theatre” in Chennai. The collective’s debut “THE COLOR OF TRANS” was shown in many festivals in India and in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. https://smileydummy.wixsite.com/livsmile