Frank Schmid, kulturradio vom rbb, 14.07.2017

Tanzfabrik Berlin | Open Spaces Festival

Christina Ciupke & Ayse Orhon: "At Close distance"

Two people, drawing closer to one another and retreating from each other. Closeness and distance, overwhelming proximity and the impressions that remain after an encounter. These are the themes in Christina Ciupke’s new choreography “At Close Distance”. The Berlin choreographer’s new dance piece with her new partner Ayse Orhon premiered yesterday at Tanzfabrik’s Open Spaces Festival in the Uferstudios in Berlin Wedding. An evening in which both are very close and yet very far from each other, with the highest possible intensity. An evening in two parts, first as a reworking of a six year old duo, originally performed by Christina Ciupke and her long-time stage partner Nik Haffner, then as a presentation of the new material, produced by the encounter between Christina Ciupke, active in the Berlin dance scene since 1989 and for years now at the top, and Ayse Orhon, less well-known in Berlin, a dancer and choreographer who lives in Berlin and Istanbul. The second part of this evening is more personal and more vivid than the more formally staged first part.

Closeness and distance, the central theme in every dance duo, are approached by Christina Ciupke and her new partner in her factual and sensual and sensitive style, with an interest in the fragile and the uncertain and the seemingly inconspicuous and an interest in the influences between people and between people and space. As here in the enormous, entirely empty expanse of the studio, where the darkness is only cleaved by a single, fraying corridor of light - a twilit shadow realm in which both seem to dissolve at times.

Always short encounters, like a mutual sandpapering, from which they draw something, a small gesture or even just a memory of the recent interaction. Pure dance, without performance, not psychological, not narrative, gentle and earnest, focused on the smallest details of movements and their changes, all of it in complete silence, without music, the intimacy of the duo only occasionally disrupted by the outside world through split-second snatches of sound.

In the second part, Christina Ciupke shows her great strength: she can turn minimal formal movements through diverse variations into an ever-expanding, ever-surprising cosmos - as here with the motif of running into and jumping onto one another.

Overall, once again an excitingly suspenseful choreography by Christina Ciupke in her clear aesthetic, almost perfectly composed, very reduced and very precise, in all its abstraction still delicate and sensitive. An evening which is geared more towards an experienced dance audience and which redirects and answers significant questions regarding the practice of duos in dance: which moments are the more intense, the approximation, the proximity or, after all, the experience of separation? How do we experience others, how do experiences of closeness and distance change our bodies and our knowledge about ourselves? Questions and answers, transformed into perfectly structured and yet dramatic choreography.




Your impact, my distance

By Alexandra Hennig, 16.07.2017

Christina Ciupke and Ayşe Orhon expose themselves to an encounter through movement. Of divided rooms and strained closeness. “I invest, I waste time, in order for something to grow”, Christina Ciupke says in her interview with Tanzforum Berlin. This waste of time is particular in that it does not remain ineffectual. This squandered time releases extraordinary forces.

Collaboration with other artists lies at the heart of Ciupke’s work – togetherness as a motor for the collective work, open, collaborative processes and a shared squandering of lifetime. The works that are produced in this manner carry their development process onto the stage, they continue to negotiate, they resist spectacle and in doing so they seem to find their clarity of form almost incidentally.

That she truly takes her time also explains why one part of the current collaboration “At Close

Distance” with Ayşe Orhon ventures a reworking of the meanwhile six year old material from

“Kannst du mich umdrehen” - a duet by Christina Ciupke and Nik Haffner. Themes of closeness and distances, togetherness and intimacy are maybe particularly suited for timelessness - in any case, they are once again at the centre of this work, which addresses the foundations of collaboration itself.

In a two-part evening Ciupke and Orhon expose themselves to their togetherness and begin in a wide, dimly lit, entirely empty stage area illuminated only by slim diagonals of light. Their bodies are initially divided in two - wide, vibrant tops are carried through the space by athletic, exposed legs. In this space they perform concentrated, simple movements through which they define the distances and connections between them. Taking steps. Exploring forwards, turning away. Vast space. Their bodies emerge again and again as sculptural objects that reference each other.




Sasha Amaya, Viereinhalb Sätze, 19.07.2017

Christina Ciupke & Ayşe Orhon: At Close Distance

14.07.2017, Open Spaces Sommer Tanz, Tanzfabrik/Wedding, Berlin

In two pieces strung together under one title — a restaging of Christina Ciupke and Nik Haffner’s 2011 kannst du mich umdrehen preceded by a new work by Ciupke and Ayşe Orhon — two dancers experiment with stillness, velocity, trajectory, weight, and sound in pursuit of understanding kinetic memory and the „impossible past of a physical encounter“. Playing with a deeply affecting extension of the stage — the removal of traditional seats and trappings to create a deep and narrow space — the newest half is composed around symmetrical and asymmetrical balances, exploring positions which obligate the viewer to decide what they see and where their focus lies. Dressed in sheer beige stockings and bold sweaters, the dancers‘ movements are, despite varying in scale from the minute to very large, precise and controlled, but perhaps most alluring is how little sound their movements elicit: Ciupke in particular is eerily silent, giving the impression of watching some sort of modernistic sci-fi semiotic scenario unfold in a world of different physics from that of our own. Parallelograms — principles — proximities. If Ciupke and Orhon’s purported subject is memory, these fragments are fitting: each thing is almost unremarkable in the present moment, yet each thing etches itself with meaning on the memory of the viewer.




Hartmut Regitz, Tanznetz, 22.07.2017

Faraway, so close

Berlin - A space, infinitely vast. Decked out in black by Christina Ciupke and Ayşe Orhon.

Only a portion of the back wall remains white and Christina Ciupke increases it, pulling back a part of the curtain, imbuing everything with theatricality: a tiny detail on the margins of a production at the Berlin Uferstudios and yet characteristic for a performance that aims to „excavate the impossible past of a physical encounter“.

This sounds very abstract, for a start, and in fact both of them inititally hold back. Separately, they roll their arms: a movement that seems simple in all its complexity, concentrated, pure, free from all formality – like the duo itself, which conveys distance and closeness in a studio illuminated at first solely by a fraying corridor of light. Much remains in the dark during this evening but both continue to be present for the audience.

While spatial distance is overcome almost explosively in „kannst mich umdrehen“ from 2011, here it find its path in different ways. Sometimes the women draw close almost lovingly, sometimes the clutching seems like an act of desperation. But the encounters are always exciting, even if the almost hour-long duo is stingy with spectacular effects. It forces you to observe, which is a good thing.