choreographed and directed by:
Daniel Aschwanden and Yosi Wanunu

performed by: Daniel Aschwanzen, Elisabeth Löffler, Conny Scheuer, Christian Polster and Sabina Holzer.

Performance Schedule:
23rd - 7:30pm
24th - 7:30pm
25th - 2:30pm & 7:30pm
Annex Theatre

For one week only!

Bilderwerfer from Vienna, Austria will make its New York debut with "back2private," a performance and chat installation in which a differently-abled cast of five, equipped with head mikes and an on line connection to IRC chat rooms, performs a totally unique kind of dance theater: riffing improvisationally to different channels and conversations from around the world.

The troupe's motto is "Every body is perfect! Against the perfect body!" The ensemble of five performers is totally bilingual, but three of the company are handicapped and of these, two require wheelchairs. The troupe was founded in 1994 by choreographer Daniel Aschwanzen as an ensemble for actors with different disabilities to work in an artistic combination of new dance, contact improvisation, acting techniques and video. Bilderwerfer (literally, "image throwers") develops new aesthetic approaches and innovative movement techniques that fundamentally change the classic body image in dance. In their performances, the company intends to project new pictures and to challenge outdated body images. In its first two years, the company produced three full-length performances, met with considerable success at international dance and theatre festivals in Europe and the USA, and became known for ingenious installations in public spaces.

Two years ago, the company teamed up with Yosi Wanunu, an Israeli-born stage director, to re-invent itself as a dance-theater company. At the time, Wanunu was an expatriate from New York, where he had worked at the Ontological-Hysteric, HERE and Ohio Theaters. The current production debuted in November, 2000, in Vienna. Wanunu writes:

"In the last year we stole some people's identities without their knowledge, we spoke their words publicly, we aired their confession live on stage. We pretended that we were the exiled Shah of Iran, an inmate on death row, a deaf housewife who likes to collect porcelain dolls, a woman who gave her son for adoption, a young girl who likes rabbits. We pretended to be Christopher Reeves before the accident, Rosemary, a housewife, no kids, nice husband, loves Italy, drinks a lot of grappa, Matrix, a guy who is crazy for action movies. We seduced a young man from the Philippines who ran away when he discovered that our last boyfriend left us because he discovered that he was gay. We got kicked out from a Muslim chat when they discovered that we are also in a sex chat at the same time, we contaminated many rooms with the phrase "mama bussi". We built fake houses from cardboards and plastic in shopping malls all over Germany, we bought cheap Persian rugs and turned them into our living rooms, we rolled office chairs pretending we are a modern version of a Greek chorus, we played golf, soccer and whatever everybody played that night. We did all that and we continue doing it night after night."

The performance operates with Instant Relay Chats, which are projected live on stage. It works with the integration of conversations, channel talks and online-separees as well as video chat as a theatrical event. Every night, new texts are being projected, therefore the performance changes according to what's going on. This Babel of speeches and conversations by ordinary people from all over the world, as well as the integration of the daily use of computer technologies, comes together in a performance that "translates the mode of being online into a fluid performance space." The performance evolves in workshops that are dedicated to two purposes: finding new modes of performance that bring chat text into a life event, and working with materials that do not represent futuristic ideas about new media, but the use of computers as an integrated part of daily life.

This amounts to a live interaction between the stage and virtual world. The performers enter chats and muds, scan the input of an anonymous user and turn it into live text on stage. Conversations, flirtations, intimate chats and political discussions appear in real time. triggering and changing the action patterns of the performers. The stage is connected via high speed phoneline to the net. The chat text is projected and the audience can read the virtual/real text while they see and hear the performance on stage manipulating this text. The performers are equipped with a transmitter that enables them to get the net live and decide moment-by-moment what to repeat, change, paraphrase or just ignore.

Daniel Aschwanzen is a video and performance artist, choreographer and founder of the dance festival Tanzsprache. He has performed with sculptors Tone Fink, Walter Lauterer, the jazz-band Ohmnibus and the Catalan performance company La Fura dels Baus. Yosi Wanunu was born in Akko, Israel. He studied History of the Arts there and worked as an theatre director and stage designer in New York. He founded the theatre company Toxic Dreams 1997 and has collaborated with Bilderwerfer in several projects since 1999.

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