I AM A WITCH – A dance production about Valeska Gert
I am a witch – a dance theater product about Valeska Gert
Valeska Gert (1891 – 1978) was a phenomenon: In the 1920s, the Berlin-born dancer became world-famous and launched an international career as a dancer and anti-performance artist. In 1933, she fled from the Nazis via a circuitous route to America, where she caused a sensation with her nightclub “beggar’s bar” in New York. When she finally returned to Germany in 1947, her idiosyncratic art was no longer in demand. Although she revolutionized dance theater with her choreography of the lives of ordinary people and the failed, Valeska Gert and her work were completely forgotten – unlike contemporaries such as Mary Wigman or Lotte Lenya. In Kampen on the island of Sylt, of all places, Valeska Gert became an insider tip with her “Ziegenstall” and the most bizarre nightclub owner in Germany.
In the piece, the Israeli dancer and choreographer, Shirly Barbie, honors the spirit of Valeska Gert, while Stella Jürgensen (recitation & vocals) recites texts from Valeska Gert’s autobiography “Ich bin eine Hexe – Kaleidskop meines Lebens”, mixed with quotes from interviews and other sources. They will be accompanied on this evening by Frank London (composition & trumpet) & Shai Bachar (piano). Their work and legacy will be re-examined in context and through the lens of Jewish German culture, identity and history.