About the Dance 

I will give an overview of my previous dance practice and choreographic work, which result into the current project.


My stile of dance is not stylistically schematised, i.e. it is not informed by one of the big movement stiles like Ballett or Modern Dance, and is less orientated towards the satisfaction of aesthetic expectations.

The ongoing development of the independent movement type orientates on the contents worked with, and is with all its differenciated articulation not exclusive, but accessible for the most different people.

Moreover the dance is sometimes humorous by its intensity of involvement with the material.


Often, the entities of idea, form and movement are formed like monads as carriers of meaning and danced intensities, and are strung together. Those lists deal with themes the dancer is involved reflexively.

One further aspect of my work is the endeavour of processing the material in order to evoke actual transformations.

The perfromances and projects reach beyond a pure representation and include the audience through the transparent structure into the creative process during it.


The philosophical dimension of my work relativises always with the concrete being of humans with their capabilities and incompleatness.

In coherence with society the individuum stays in the focus as a reflecting and constituting being.


Necessary for a consequent execution opf art seems to me to expose onself  entirely to the situation.

This is a precondition for the development of own practical and theoretical processes. Artists can not only benefit from those, but are able to take responsibility for them in the further context.

Without ones own developed processes, it is hardly understandable to see the term art applied.


A dance which is liberated from the human burden, as it is practiced in abstracting Modernism, modern Ballett and pure intellectual works, seems to be theoretically more acessible, because no barriers of identifications, e.g. sexual stereotyping, psychological properties, class distinctions, etc. are ostensibly set up.

Interstingly enough, the theme of trancendency of humans is here adopted repeatedly in all stiles, cultures and historical periods in their specific form, so that it is possible to speak of trancenency as a major factor of dance.

In my choreographic work it is essential to include these identifications and letting them appear transparently.

In any case the audience identifies themselves, more or less conciously as a human with the other dancing human  to take part in the performed trancendency.

In previous works like "Schreibstück"(2002), "Better to ..."(2003), "Funktionen"(2004), "Lehmen lernt"(2006), "Schrottplatz"(2010) and some other pieces and recently in "Bitte..." (2012) I worked out foundation stones for reflexive, commuicative choreographies. I could gather experience with these works to transpose one idea into different cultural contexts and vice versa how the context applying itself to the idea.

The difficulty in such systematic works in collaborations in other contexts lies therein to let the artistic structure being influenced, since such idea arises from a certain cultural context, and on the other hand it is the aim to enable dancers to influence and create structures.


Hence I speak in this cases about choreographic systems in a sense of communicative autopoietic systems, instead of restrictive directed systems.


In these considerations one question is central for me: If I put people on stage, with which kind of people do I want the audience to identify themselves?

Which form and kind of involvement on stage allows which participation of the audience and which construction in the mind of the audience is possible?

Is it aboutte reproduction of schematically arranged thinking patterns and behaviours, psychological reactions, or the appearence of the sublime?

Or is it about people who are able to participate creatively and intelligent in a construction, as we expect it so often from our fellow human beings outside of the theatre?

The latter needs a uncomparable higher extra effort of creativity and responsability o the side of the dancers, as in pieces which reduce them to mere executioner of previously fixed ideas.

The intended sustainable freedom of the transcendency seeking human seems not attainable, without the participants taking responsability for their latitude.


To avoid misunderstandings, I dont intend to deminish the artistic value of other choreographic methods. This would be a illogical, since the processes of creative perception and construction of reality are always in all performances happening.

Hence each perception is a creative act. The difference may lie in the transparency to let the spectator being aware of their own creative act.

This needs an intellectual-spatial tranparency of the elementary components of a piece, so that the spectator can take part in the construction of sense in the interspace.


"Funktionen", in this thought so far the most consequent and complex project goes beyond a dual reciprocity, by virtue of a rotating devision of functions.

The abstract functions Material, Observation, Interpretation, Mediation and Manipulation become content-related through their encounter with ideas and intentions of the dancers, which work within these functions.

Between all lies the communicative interrelation itself, which enables the system to work. All restrictions of participants to take part on the construction of reality become obvious in this transparent constantly changing structure.

But this "incapacity" is no deficit. It is the actual potential of a joint creation.


The other works focus more on a traceable reflexive attitude of individuals, partly solistic, partly within a group, with themselves and their surrounding.

Already in these works a cultural comparison and a relativization is made.

Common in all works is to have "to undergo" the emerging threshold transparently and fearlessly.

This is a fundamental ability of a medium to perform transcendency and transformation of the material and themes, to put this traceably into actual practice for the audience, eventually engaging them in the process, instead of presenting "only" the illustration.


As more and more central and important developed the principle of creative relations amongst all dance aspects, of physical and ideational kind, and equally in a reciprocal way with dramaturical aspects.


In "A Piece for You" a variety of all the above mentioned aspects are combined:

devision of functions, reciprocity, encounter with the potential of the unknown, diversity generating serial structure, application and variation of one idea in different contexts, entity of simplicity and complexity and likewise the endless variety of analoque physical work.

Furthermore this is extended with the concrete coherences of found realities and a world spanning structure. Movement is not only a purpose for its own, but a central function pervading all aspects of the project.

The different kinds of movement in dance, locomotion, and motion intellectual agility depend on and influence each other. They form a complementary developing entity.

The principle of creative relation brings merely and simple emergent results, where movement is happning.


The consistency which creativity is applied withcauses high transversality: Dance is no longer autolectic, but expands in all areas of life. This transversality is  originally a function which is inherent for dance. Here it unites dance with plain old and contemporary themes and concerns.

Contact: thomaslehmen@thomaslehmen.de                                                                              © Thomas Lehmen 2013