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WE | The Empathic Body Vol. 1

WE | The Empathic Body Vol. 1

Audience 12 years and up



November 11th 2021  I 10: 00 am

November 12th 2021  I 10: 00 am

November 13th 2021  I 04: 00 pm

November 14th 2021  I 04: 00 pm



We are emotional.
We are resilient.
We are dependent.
We are loving.
We are uncertain.
We are envious, assaulting, grateful.
We are strange – tender – ignorant – freaky.
We are diverse.

Man as a social being has the ability to empathize with others, to put himself in their place, to take the place of the other. Can we not do otherwise? “WE” transfers the natural forms of emotional contagion into dance-choreographic settings. The performers take a tightrope walk between attraction and aversion, affection and assault.

Silke Z.’ Ensemble DIE METABOLISTEN negotiates in “WE” about empathy and faces the invasive, encroaching side of empathy. This first production of the project “DER EMPATHISCHE KÖRPER” lays the foundation for a perennial examination of the topic “empathy”. The intergenerational company is looking for new performative perspectives to approach the complex of themes and cultivate “WE” feelings.



Artistic direction and choreography | Silke Z.

Performance | Daniela Riebesam, Vivien Kovarbasic, Caroline Simon, Florian Patschovsky, Dennis Schmitz, Angus Balbernie, Bettina Muckenhaupt, Jimin Seo, David Winking, Lisa Kirsch, Karel Vanek, Rebecca Bednarzyk, Hanna Held

Music composition | Nikolaj Grunwald, André Zimmermann

Lighting design | Wolfgang Pütz

Dramaturgy Consulting | Barbara Fuchs

Dance education | Andrea Marton, Caroline Simon

Administration/Management | Olivia Bott

Public Relations | Vinya Cameron

Press work | Kerstin Rosemann

Photo documentation | Jacqueline Stade

The overall concept is supported by the following partners:

Co-production: Fokus Tanz e.V. / Think Big! Festival Munich, Junges Schauspielhaus Bochum.

Cooperation: Albertus-Magnus Gymnasium, Cologne, Ruhr University Bochum, German Sport University, Cologne, ehrenfeldstudios e.V.

Funded by the State of NRW as part of the 3-year concept funding and the City of Cologne as part of the multi-year project funding.

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Based on interview recordings with children, a lovingly conducted dialogue unfolds about what counts in life: Family, home, nationality and gender, happiness and sadness … musical taste and pizza toppings. “Chalk about” for two performers plays with the English “to talk about” and “to chalk,” which means “to mark with chalk.”

Situated between dance and theater, it develops into a vibrant, life-affirming manifesto about human difference, staged with the simplest of means.

The piece was the result of a collaboration between choreographers Leandro Kees from Argentina / Germany and Christine Devaney from Scotland.

Due to the great success of the production, the artists decided to develop two versions with different performers in different languages. The “German version” features Marcela Ruiz Quintero and Constantin Hochkeppel.

„Chalk About“ has been performed in both versions a total of about 200 times worldwide and received, among others, a 5-star review by The Times at the Fringe Festival Edinburgh 2014.




Thu 09 & 10 Dec 2021 I 10 am

Sat. 11 & Sun. 12 Dec 2021 I 4 pm



Concept & Original Choreography: Leandro Kees and Christine Devaney.

Dance: Marcela Ruiz Quintero & Constantin Hochkeppel

Production design: Karen Tennent

Sound composition: Martin Rascher

Lighting design: Tom Zwitserlood

Dramaturgical advice: Moos van den Broek

Booking & PR: Laura Klatt

Management & Technique: Martin Rascher

Photos: Pipo Tafel, David Zuschlag, Tanzhaus Zürich

A production by Performing Group and tanzhaus nrw as part of Take-off: Young Dance, originally conceived by Leandro Kees and Christine Devaney (Curious Seed, UK).


Take-off: Junger Tanz is sponsored by the Cultural Office of the State Capital Düsseldorf

and the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. A Curious Seed production, funded by Imaginate and additionally supported by the Edinburgh by the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund of the Scottish Government. Produced by

Catalyst Dance Management and co-produced in collaboration with tanzhaus NRW.

Supported by Fresh Tracks Europe, the Lyra Theatre, Edinburgh and The Work Room, Glasgow. 

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