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“A fantastic work with sign language…. Monten has created a production with dramatic rigor, first-class dancing, and atmospheric flair — leading the viewer on a fascinating journey into the realm of signs…. The dancers go for broke, dancing with intensity and precision, even in passages of tenderness and humor. The expressive physicality never loses its thematic focus…. Virtuosic, emotionally gripping, and intricately wrought.”
Steffen Georgi, Leipziger Volkszeitung, 4 June 2013

Dance-theater production about the intersection of dance and sign language

Short and easily understandable sign language dialogues, repeated often, transform and mutate into a journey through the vicissitudes of human communication. The phrase begins in the hands, new intonations and subtexts begin to sprout up, the rest of the body joins in. The performers get uncomfortably closer and closer, emotions start to rise, understanding turns into anger, then to desire, and finally into the emptiness which is left when everything has already been said and yet needs to be said one more time.

The rehearsals began by asking the following basic questions: How do gestures function as a form of communication? What value does sign language have when it is freed from the conventional role it plays in the deaf community and becomes available for all sorts of playful choreographic manipulations? How can dancers’ talents for full-bodied physical expression be used to enrich or transform the practice of communicating with gestures?

The results of this research were fitted together to form a heterogeneous and multilayered dance piece. The choreography is meaningful for both hearing and hearing-impaired audiences — but in different ways. Staring into this thick, swirling cloud of meanings and movements the viewer may glimpse an opening into an unknown world, or, finally, may understood what was being said all along.



Joshua Monten


Derrick Amanatidis
Ariel Cohen
Fhunyue Gao
Eugene W. Rhodes III
Simone Detig [alternate]
Joshua Monten [alternate]
Nicky Vanoppen [alternate]


Brigitte Schökle Staerkle
Nadine-Sara Lüthi


Kathy Brunner


Mirjam Berger
Tonio Finkam


Tae Peter


Christian Glaus
Sabine Majer


Marion Allon/lurelure


Tough Love


Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia
SWISSLOS/Kultur Kanton Bern
Kultur Stadt Bern
Stadt Bern – Direktion für Bildung, Soziales und Sport
Migros Kulturprozent
Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung
Ernst Göhner Stiftung
Burgergemeinde Bern
SIS – Schweizerische Interpretenstiftung
Tanzhaus Zürich
Tanzzentrale Nürnberg
Bayerischer Landesverband für zeitgenössichen Tanz
WR&E Brändli Stiftung
Max Bircher Stiftung
IGGH – Interessengemeinschaft Gehörlose, Hör- und Sprachbehinderte der Kantone Bern und Fribourg
Stiftung Corymbo
Oertli Stiftung


Martin Lehmann
Heidi Aemisegger
Sabine Majer
Abigail Cowen
Stephan Fuchs
Cynthia Gonzalez
Silvia-Maria Jung
Daniel Ziegler
Michael Röhrenbach
Gabriela Uhl


28 September 2012 (try-out) — Tanzhaus Zürich (CH)
11 October 2012 — Tojo Theater, Bern (CH) (premiere)
12 October 2012 — Tojo Theater, Bern (CH)
13 October 2012 — Tojo Theater, Bern (CH)
14 October 2012 — Tojo Theater, Bern (CH)
19 October 2012 — Tanzzentrale Nürnberg (DE)
19 October 2012 — Tanzzentrale Nürnberg (DE)
20 October 2012 — Tanzzentrale Nürnberg (DE)
11 April 2013 — Theater am Gleis, Winterthur (CH)
2 June 2013 — Tanzoffensive Festival, Lofft – Das Theater, Leipzig (DE)
3 June 2013 — Tanzoffensive Festival, Lofft – Das Theater, Leipzig (DE)
21 June 2013 — Fête de la Musique, Geneva (CH)
22 June 2013 — Fête de la Musique, Geneva (CH)
20 September 2013 — Internationales Zürcher Theaterfestival YEAH YEAH YEAH, Rote Fabrik, Zürich (CH)
21 September 2013 — Internationales Zürcher Theaterfestival YEAH YEAH YEAH, Rote Fabrik, Zürich (CH)
27 September 2013 — Südpol, (CH)
4 October 2013 — Performa Festival, Fabbrica di Losone, Losone (CH)
9 November 2013 — Hiver de Danses, ADN, Neuchâtel (CH)
10 November 2013 — Hiver de Danses, ADN, Neuchâtel (CH)
27 November 2013 — Kaserne Basel (CH)
29 November 2013 — TanzTheater:now, Phönix Theater 81, Steckborn (CH)
30 November 2013 — TanzTheater:now, Phönix Theater 81, Steckborn (CH)
5 December 2013 (2x) — Dock 11, Berlin (DE)
6 December 2013 (2x) — Dock 11, Berlin (DE)
11 December 2013 — Théâtre de l’Octogone, Pully (CH)
5 May 2014 — VISUAL: 15. Europäisches & Internationales Visuelles Theater Festival, Schauspielhaus Wien, Vienna (AT)
20 November 2014 — NO BALLET! International Choreography Competition, Theater im Pfalzbau, Ludwigshafen (D)
23 November 2014 — Tanz in Olten Festival, Kulturzentrum Schützi, Olten (CH)
21 September 2015 — FEIA: Festival do Instituto de Artes da Unicamp, Campinas (BR)
3 June 2016 — Studio2, Lausanne (CH)