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Pas de deux between bodies and text

Whoever said that dance has nothing to do with language? We beg to differ! The unconventional dance performance “How to Do Things with Words” is a captivating pas de deux between language and movement, between bodies and graphic text.

How does one dance with text? What new meanings arise when dancers manipulate objects printed with words and phrases? The results range from the simple to the sublime. Printed signs may be flat, but they add surprising depth to a dance performance. The choreography is rich in fancy footwork, pulsing rhythms, delicious absurdity and playful word games.

Both indoor and outdoor versions of the performance are available.


“Virtuosic and fluid, poetic and absurd…. There’s no doubt, one finds here the same mixture of offbeat humor and demanding classical vocabulary as in certain work (like “Nelken”) signed by that high priestess of Tanztheater, Pina Bausch….  A marvel of singular strangeness.“
Bertrand Tappolet, Gauchebdo, 4 August 2022

“How to Do Things with Words” is the first part of the “Counterfeit” trilogy, in which the Joshua Monten Dance Company explores their favorite kinds of fakery and falseness. Martha Graham never tired of claiming that “the body never lies.” We beg to differ! Our bodies are adept instruments of deception. The very act of performing is inextricably implicated with telling lies — and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The “Counterfeit” trilogy has been supported by a multi-year production grant from the City of Bern for the years 2022-2024.

full-length performance video (English version)

full-length performance video (French version)


Joshua Monten


Angela Demattè
Katharina Ludwig
Jack Wignall
Edoardo Brovardi [alternate]
Sandra Klimek [alternate]
Joshua Monten [alternate]
Larissa de Villa [alternate]
Riccardo Zandonà [alternate]


Guy Cools


Manuel Justo


Franziska Lüthi


Catherine Voeffray


Tough Love


Dampfzentrale Bern
Centre de Création Helvétique des Arts de la Rue (CCHAR)


Pro Helvetia
Kultur Stadt Bern
SWISSLOS / Kultur Kanton Bern
Loterie Romande / Corodis
Burgergemeinde Bern
Migros Kulturprozent
GVB Kulturstiftung
Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung
Fondation Nestlé pour l’Art
Schweizerische Interpretenstiftung
Stiftung Anne-Marie Schindler
Stiftung Pro Scientia et Arte
Oertli Stiftung


27 July 2022 — Centre de Création Helvétique des Arts de la Rue, La Chaux-de-Fonds (CH) — try-out
3-5 August 2022 (6x) — La Plage des Six Pompes, La Chaux-de-Fonds (CH) — try-out
11-13 August 2022 (9x) — Buskers Bern Festival, Bern (CH) — premiere
26-27 November 2022 (video showings) — Dança em foco Festival, Rio de Janeiro (BR)
21 February 2023 (2x) — Krokusfestival, Stedelijke Academie, Hasselt (B)
11 May 2023 — La Fête de la danse, Bulle (CH)
12 May 2023 — La Fête de la danse, Fribourg (CH)
12 May 2023 — Das Tanzfest, Brig (CH)
13 May 2023 — La Fête de la danse, Hôtel de Ville, Neuchâtel (CH)
14 May 2023 — Festa danzante, Lugano (CH)
26 June 2023 — Fête des écoles, Victoria Hall, Geneva (CH)
28 June 2023 (video showing) — American Dance Festival, Movies by Movers Film Festival, Durham, NC (US)
8-9 July 2023 (4x) — Festiwal FETA, Gdańsk (PL)
19 July 2023 — Kilowatt Festival, Piazza della Repubblica, Cortona (I)
20-22 July 2023 (8x) — Pflasterspektakel, Linz (AT)
29 July 2023 — Garden Parties, Parc de Mon Repos, Lausanne (CH)
23 August 2023 (3x) — Cradle of Creativity, National School of the Arts, Johannesburg (ZA)
27 August 2023 (2x) — Cradle of Creativity, Market Theatre, Johannesburg (ZA)
8-10 September 2023 (6x) — StraMu Festival, Würzburg (D)
27-28 September 2023 (2x) — Young Dance Festival, Zug (CH)
30 September 2023 (2x) — Young Dance Festival, Luzerner Theater, Luzern (CH)
26-27 October 2023 (4x) — Festival Trame, Brescia (I)
28-29 November 2023 (2x) — Mosaikschule Munzinger, Bern (CH)
14 December 2023 (2x) — Festival Internacional del Centro Histórico de Campeche (MX)
15 December 2023 — Dzitbalché (MX)
15 December 2023 — Hecelchakán (MX)
18 December 2023 — Champotón (MX)
18 December 2023 — Seybaplaya (MX)
4-5 May 2024 (4x) — Zürich tanzt, Münsterhof, Zürich (CH)
22 June 2024 — Caffeine Festival, Paderno d’Adda (I)
10-13 July 2024 (8x) — Chalon dans la rue, Chalon-sur-Saône (F)
21 August 2024 (2x) — Fondation de convergence, Geneva (CH)
22 May 2025 (2x) — Augenauf, Winterthur (CH)

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