Die Unbändigen – Meetings

Choreography of a band as improbable community

Meeting #4 in Vienna / Pinkafeld (Grauraum, d.id / dance identity), August 2012

How to create frames of emergence in rehearsal and on stage?

In order to clarify dramaturgical questions, DIE UNBÄNDIGEN embark on a boating trip on the danube, visit a circus exhibition, watch films about rock’n’roll, voodoo and slapstick, hold heated ideological debates on Yoga versus Feldenkrais over coffee and cake at aida, visit humana for costumes, fantasize about stage and lighting, write down their desires for one another to explore materials, figures, performance attitudes and group constellations, and accumulate more fundamental questions, of which the most important is perhaps this: what promise does the stage hold for us?


practise steps and animal sounds,
finetune their individual practices and materials further, create fictitious folklore dances and songs together, wonder how they can really work on stage and maintain a spontaneous energy, get rid of contemporary dance habits in durational sessions, let themselves be guided by an archive of index cards (with images, stories, memories) that speaks to them like an oracle.

Aiming to negotiate living together beyond individual practices, DIE UNBÄNDIGEN venture into creating a shared, living, embodied culture, a common sense or folkore that holds a promise with artistic and political overtones. DIE UNBÄNDIGEN are not preparing themselves for presenting signs, they are eating and digesting the material in a process of becoming, tapping into a field of unbound energies.


Explosion, moonshake, cutting, drumming, becoming animal, ping pong, voodoo folklore, brown rain, birds, free jazz folklore, dowser, salamander, showgun, mapping, yoko ono, out of the box, minor, earthquake, ping pong, love dive, green bag, cutting, enlightenment, woodshedding, the who, won’t get fooled again, throwing, pete and gustav, schwanz tanz,
soothsayer, stargazers, rhythms, mouth preparation, checking, vibrations, voodoo folklore, watusi, parade, monstrous encore, catching dreams, bangkoker, ping pong pokal, mike patton, basilisk’s poisonous breath, blackout.

Meeting #3 in Brussels (Bains: connective, Sarma, Workspacebrussels), June 2012

DIE UNBÄNDIGEN gathered again in Brussels for a whole month.Many fundamental questions came up. What is DIE UNBÄNDIGEN? How do we share our individual practices in order to work together? What does it mean to share our practices as a band? What is our material? Why and how do you makes dances? How to combine clear frames with noise? Are we doing or showing? How do we use the theatre space and its contract?
These questions were discussed by creating maps with file cards, to then serve as a spring board for developing materials and scores, figures and situations.

Halfway this process, we engaged in a workshop by Jennifer Lacey:“playing dilettant dramaturge, or what criteria for what purpose?“ It is documented by DIE UNBÄNDIGEN on sarma’s website infusing authentic movement sessions with charged reading activity,
inventing alternative dramaturgical viewpoints (e.g. from the gardener, the digestive system,…), challenging rehearsal habits by creating temporary frames of generosity — all this informed our practice in an oblique way.    

In the last week, Jennifer Lacey joined DIE UNBÄNDIGEN to continue these wayward practices and help us clarify our questions. Auto-etnography appeared to be an apt approach to reveal and hone our interest in rituals and folklore. Starting from individual artistic practices, DIE UNBÄNDIGEN discover themselves step by step as a motley crowd, an expanding band with their own rituals and folklore. A manifesto ends up in the garbage, a soothsayer meets a flying monkey, a walking woman and an idiot are passing by, sponges and ping pong balls join the noisy parade. As an improbable community, they celebrate the possibilities of creating songs and dances together.


Meeting #2 / Artist in Residence Im_flieger, Dec. 2011

Revisiting our collective memory recorded on A6 file cards, we started to explore composition with such heterogeneous materials. The cards were shuffled in conversation games or mapped onto the dance floor, with some of the materials eventually spilling into the space, resonating in our bodies, or being identified as “instruments”. How could we develop scores from there? How to share this particular process with an audience? How to honour the arbitrary principles of collecting and composing? What could conducting mean for us in performance? More cards with signs and colour codes allowed us to experiment with conducting scores.

After ten days we invited an audience into our space world. We opened pandora’s box with yoko ono, projected ping pong balls, followed by circus knives, ideas, voices and bodies ricocheting across the space. – bang! We performed an auscultation upon a shot body, scratched records, let a feedbacking microphone go haywire, embraced more noise and dreamed with sun ra. As if wielding a soothsayer’s staff, one of us conducted the score, tracing, prompting, cutting and framing its unfolding in real time. To then repeat it all over, devoting ourselves to the gesture’s madness, to what Roland Barthes called “the totally ritual and totally arbitrary preparation of a meaning.“


Meeting #1@ ImPulsTanz; July 2011

We collect ideas, images, perceptions and movements of which we keep track through
an A6 file card system, which allows oneto “reduce” heterogeneous materials to an exchangeable format. the file card system includes quotations, stories, keywords, scores, newspaper clippings, postcards, photographs, etc. in a sense it functions as a collective notebook throughout the process, but equally forms the basis for the choreography and scenography.

With these cards we create maps, as a way of visualizing and negotiating possible and unexpected relations. These maps will be placed in the space and constitute the shared ground in which common ideas out of field trips, poetic actions and philosophical reflections are developed. We can move inside these maps as a way of investigating them, or take distance in order to gain an overview. They function as a shared system of orientation.

Freejazz Night @ Wohnung Miryam van Doren, July 2011

As on a winternight an alligator crawls over the hill…

A free improvisation game piece performed at Wohnung Miryam van Doren, Vienna – 21 July 2011, 8.00 p.m. – 4.30 a.m by



Jack Hauser as “Aufleger”
Jeroen Peeters
as “Mitschreiber”
Sabina Holzer as
“dog, plant, ant, horse, strange dance, new york, nameless, shameless, blue eyes, street,
drugstore, always far out, drop out, listener, woof, party, needle, green leaves (a.o.)“
Satu Herrala as
“Miss Such”

We don’t know what free jazz is…

“Protest from new york, a box with musical file cards turned side down, shuffled into a wild mix: John Zorn’s godard. Ça vous chante? The explicit, violent, interruptive editorial process, both Godard’s and Zorn’s, expose another violence, that of mainstream culture’s
status quo. Zorn taps into history, not to develop an authentic language for the future, but to embrace the arbitrary contract and the idiosyncratic gesture as disturbing musical truth – yet not without promise: the music is gestural on the level of composition, with musicians conducted in the studio to improvise the jiggsaw puzzle of fragments, ride the waves of history as available in a myriad of idiomatic bits and pieces, a rough crystalline surface.
Does it ‘sing’ to you? Allowance of a broad palette, literalism, noise, rubbish, bullshit, showing off, virtuosity, failure, daring, ineptitude (or not quite), film, a voice, yes, sometimes. But: the file card box is a machine, it cuts and pastes, combines improbable snippets, or better: it brings the familiar into the foreign through improbable combinations, hybridizations, juxtapositions. The method is one of shuffling, which is done by the hands.
Surgery, history, genealogy, editing: the hand wields the knife; they’re an affair of cutting.” (Jeroen Peeters)

“Improvisation also means to let go of preparation, to unlearn and shed history, paradoxically though it may sound, all of this to seize the moment and tune in to the co-players in the band and into the physical and acoustic environment.
Four needles in one space, listening, scanning, concatenating bodies and things.
‘Writing with’ like ‘being with’ or a small community, an ‘unbändige band’.
Difting, into ‘the multiplicity of other types of destinies.’ what is the power of imagination?” (Jeroen Peeters)


“rubbing, pulling, scratiching, hitting, stomping, fiddling, strumming, flashing, out of the bag, into the bag, a light-sensitive skin, carrying, shielding, gnawing, applauding, rumbling, fumbling, ticking, frolicking, knistern, sliding, gliding, reverberating, voicing,
creaking, tingling, ringing, anticipating a stroke, drumming, cupboarding, shuffling, speaking, rattling, tapping, blowing, cutting, sanding, toot-toot!-ing, sweeping, caressing,… the wohnung miryam van doren becomes an instrument itself, literally a musical instrument, if not a drumset. Pillowing, cardboarding, beerbottling, fanning, writing, scribbling, glueing, book throwing, sirening, djun-djun-ing, tiptoeing, armpitting, bird’s eye-ing, bending, leaning, hailing, threading, hugging, listening, wavering, vibrating,
bridging, lying, awaiting, fingering, pointing, fluttering, wrapping, auflegen.”

(Jeroen Peeters)

„This is a house. The house of noise. People are wondering through the house like clouds.
They tumble up and down the scale with crystal breath. Writing is happening in the space. Seething writing. New words appear. Sounds of difference. Sounds of silence.
This is the house of breath. Of ghosts and whispers. And shouting. And funny walks. Hippe de hopp. On hold. Some tiptoes. Some light connection. Foreverness nevertheless listed. Oh my, what a beautiful day. An angel is passing by. Even we can’t say.
We are just about to turn the page.“ (Sabina Holzer)