Der Geist aus dem Körper

WHAT ROLE DOES THE BODY PLAY IN SPIRITUALITY?

WHAT TOUCHES PEOPLE IN THEIR INNERMOST BEING?

HOW DOES THE SPACE INFLUENCE ONE’S SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE?

“THeology is Theater”
– Mathias Rux

‘Der Geist aus dem Körper’ was a movement research that sought to ask questions about the role of the body within Christianity, spirituality and other religious practices.

Using our knowledge as dancers and movement practitioners we sought to understand how the body is present within different spiritual practices, how it enhances the spiritual experience and how to express it choreographically.

The research was carried out in dance studios as well as religious spaces in which we explored the physical effect of the architecture on the body. An integral part of the research also went beyond the artistic world integrating members of theology and other spiritual practices through conversation to enrich the artistic work.

Furthermore, as creators we were not only interested to discover how movement and physicality can transform the consciousness of the dancers but also how we, through our movement can transmit the power of the body in spiritual practices to an audience.

“Rituals are performative”
– Anne Hilpert

Thank you to the following people who joined us in dialog:

Anne Hilpert: Theologian – focusing her PhD dissertation was on the performativity of dance and religion. She is a trained dance teacher and completed training in dance, improvisation and performance at TIP (Freiburg, Germany).
Pfarrer Joachim Koffler: Parish priest and head of the Freiburg Nordwest pastoral unit (Freiburg, Germany).
Esther Hernandes: Feminist academic, public policy expert and activist from the Dominican Republic. MA in Public Policy (MPP) at Harvard University and MA in Gender and Development at INTEC Santo Domingo.
Prof. Dr. Meinrad Walter: Musicologist and theologian, lecturer and deputy director in the office for Church Music Office of the Archdiocese of Freiburg, honorary professor at the Musikhochschule Freiburg, Editor and writer in the border area between music and spirituality (Freiburg, Germany).
Josefina Baez: Storyteller, ArteSana, performer, writer, theatre director, educator, devotee. Director of Latinarte/Ay Ombe Theatre.
Matthias Rux: Theologian – research focused on liturgical science, which deals with various forms of liturgy/worship and especially with rituals and symbols. PhD in Catholic Theology for Liturgy at Freiburg University (Germany).
Sharmila Biswas: Choreographer, dancer and teacher of the classical Indian dance form Odissi. Founder and Artistic Director of Odissi Vision and Movement Center in Kolkata. Tracing the many facades of  Traditional performing arts of Odisha, and in that context viewing Odissi Dance and its intrinsic links with its roots is the foundation of the Training system and productions of her institution.
(Kolkata, India) 
Eva Espeita: Yoga teacher since 2003 as well as vocal teacher specialized in Indian music, singer and artist. Founder and Co-director of AUSHADHI YOGA and Ambassador and collaborator of the international magazine YOGA JOURNAL (Madrid, Spain).
Thomas Mayer: Lecturer at the Buddhistisches Zentrum Freiburg der Karma Kagyü Linie e.V.

And thank you to the Heilige Familie Kirche, the Herz-Jesu-Kirche, the Buddhistisches Zentrum Freiburg and the Botanischer Garten for allowing us to move and research in their spaces.

“You don’t start with spiritualism and get into dance. You start with the physical way…physical performance will lead us to spiritualism.”
– Sharmila Biswas

“Religious acts are tools, but one needs to be open to them for them to work/have an effect.”
– Anne Hilpert

“Something Performance Autology also teaches us is that you must also make room for when nothing is working.”
– Esther Hernandes

“Then the question for the music is, how do I still improvise purple while also adding a little pink?”
– Prof. Dr. Meinrad Walter

“When I hear the words body and spirituality, my feeling is that there is no other way.”
– Eva Espeita

“Performance Autology…to co-create from a joyful and healthy place & space, following your own inner guidance. In our path, we get closer and closer to the cycles of nature, with joy, utmost respect and gratefulness. Performance Autology is a safe, fertile and joyous ground to include in one’s journey, for the good of all, for the Highest good of all in joy and gratitude.”
– Josefine Baez

“To make a person understand movement and the spirituality of movement is hard.”
– Sharmila Biswas

“Music and everything of expressive art are based on the phenomenon of resonance. Jesus says in the New Testament, ‘We have played and you have not danced. This is wrong. That is not resonance. When we play, you must dance. When we clap, you must prance.'”
– Prof. Dr. Meinrad Walter

“The cross represents both the vertical and the horizontal connection.”
– Father Joachim Koffler

“Shiva communicates very lovingly, I am beyond the beyond the beyond the beyond. The consciousness, the source of this universe is beyond all possible human conception….. but all this emanation, all this world that you see, all that you are – because it is Shakti, energy – all that you represent is my emanation. It is all born from me. So even if I am beyond my emanation, it is through my emanation – which is the imprint of my emanation – that you can reach me.”
– Eva Espeita

This research was carried out between May and July 2021. It was the base/pre-liminary research for our up-coming project “In uns bewegt” which will premier November 18th, 2021 in the Heilige Familie Kirche.

This research is part of the #TakeCare NEUSTART KULTUR funding program, supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.