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A-Zone Cyborg, by Andressa Cantergiani

Interdisciplinary dance research project + choreographed film

July-December 2022

Artistic ensamble

Concept & Artistic direction: Andressa Cantergiani
With dancers: Pêdra Costa, DaddyPussyRex, Julia B.Laperrière, Mzamo, Maque Pereyra, P.G.L  
Movement Research I _ Self Defense workshops:Clarissa Fontana, Movement Lab Athens / Fight back club (Margarita Pita & Aris Pitas)
Movement Research II_ Motion Capture workshops: Mert Akbal
Research & dramaturgical support by: Paz PonceDirection of video choreography by: Maryna Marenko
Project technical assistant coordination: Gabriel Vallecillo


I'd Rather be a Cyborg than a Goddess
Cyborg Manifesto, Donna Haraway
This is my body. It has been an armor / With it you can't swim or fly. / Poor body, this one of mine, so close to the ground.
“Cyborg. This is my body, Luisa Miñana

A-Zone Cyborg is Andressa Cantergiani’s new interdisciplinary dance research project and choreographed film using digital techniques, inspired by the Greek myth of the Amazon warriors. Self-defense as a self-care practice is the axis of the project, funded by NPN Joint Adventures, which departs from a year long work in progress (AMAZONA or a dance of resistances) in the frame of Fellowship Weltoffenes Berlin 2022, hosted by the culture organization neue häute e.V.

In this frame Cantergiani, in collaboration with Paz Ponce, carries out performative and aesthetic research on both the iconography of diverse women warriors and the symbology of feminist militant struggles as dramaturgical base for a parallel movement research exploration: through self-defense and body practices workshops, addressing women and self-care practices, to support the development of a new dance piece and 3D video performance.

Collective struggle, individual biographies and self-defense are then the base material for the creation of this new choreographic and video performance piece “A-Zone Cyborg”. This time we are mapping a new reversed hero-journey from the body to the fiction, from individual memories to a collective genderless space, where we play with our identities inverting the projection logic of mythification processes that historically monsterize the women’s body as a deposit of fears, taboos and repression mechanisms against emancipation and freedom.

This piece will be performed by Andressa Cantergiani and 7 invited Berlin-based dancers (Pêdra Costa, DaddyPussyRex, Julia B.Laperrière, Mzamo, Maque Pereyra, P.G.L), 2 experts in martial arts and feminist/lgbtqia+ self defense research (Clarissa Fontana, Barcelona; Margarita Pita & Aris Pita, Movement Lab Athens), in collaboration with curator/dramaturge (Paz Ponce), and several advisors (Mert Akbal, Ana María Millán, Gabriel Vallecillo) guiding the intersection between digital space & body (motion capture technology, AI, computer games, and cyberspace). This exchange of knowledge from the dance field, the visual arts and new media techniques together with an activist intersectional femminist approach through collective and biographical experiences, support the creation of the piece in order to form a “dance of resistances”. Video and editing become expanded choreographic tools in this performance (Maryna Marenko).

Via the open and free participation in the self defense workshops, the project seeks to connect with people who have experienced gender based violence and discrimination. Specially targeting women and lgbtqi+ both from the district of Wedding and the local migrant community.

Calendar of open community workshops

Participation is free!
To sign up we only ask to comit to the times of the workshop of your choice. Intensity is part of the programme.
Please register via email: community[at]neuehaeute.org 

Dates: Tuesday 05th July 19:00 - 21:30 / Thursday 07th July 19:00 - 21:30 / Friday 8th July 19:00 - 21:30
Location: Ana Conda am Ufer (ACaU) c/o Uferstudios.
Uferstr.23, 13357 Berlin

Event 

Description: Feminist self-defence means, for me, a radical way of generating social change, providing tools to a collective to solve a very serious problem in an efficient way. It is a space to facilitate women's empowerment, breaking stereotypes about our weakness and vulnerability. It is about intelligent self-defence, involving the development of strategic ways of using our bodies and perceiving space, as well as keeping calm in order to make decisions. The aim is to acquire tools to respond to physical, verbal and/or psychological aggressions present or potential in our daily lives.

The idea is that participants learn to defend themselves from the natural potential of each one of them. For this, in addition to learning martial techniques, communication and adrenaline control, we will also work on creating controlled simulations of physical and verbal aggressions, thus putting into practice their innate and learned skills in a resolute way.

Dates: FRIDAY 07th October 19:00 - 21:30
Location: Ana Conda am Ufer (ACaU) c/o Uferstudios.
Uferstr.23, 13357 Berlin

Event 

Description:  A workshop around the topic of setting boundaries, for self-protection and self-defence, particularly seen from the perspective of femininities. It is more of a functional workshop to introduce the practice of self-protection in everyday environments.

Fight Back Club is a feminist/antifascist community that makes reality-based self defense training accessible to people who have been chronically excluded from such training, due to sexist, far-right, racist, and homophobic elements in the martial arts habitat.

Movement Lab is a safe space for physical theater laboratory training and movement-based projects against gender-based violence, and a staunch ally of the LGBTQI+ community.

The participation of Margarita Pita in the workshop was supported by Onassis AiR. 

Bio of facilitators: 

Clarissa Fontana
, Brazil 1977– One of ITKA’s Chen Taichi Chuan teachers, follower of Master Lucian Vida since 2011, has studied martial arts since childhood (Karate Do, Northern Shaolin Wu Shu, Yang Taichi Chuan). Clarissa has dedicated her martial arts studies to Taiji Quan since 2008, and since 2018 she has also been focusing on feminist self-defence, following Master Karin Konkle. She teaches Chen Taichi Chuan, Qi Gong and Feminist self defence in Barcelona.

Margarita Pita is a freelance lawyer, a mediator and a dramaturg based in Athens. She is a creative multi-hyphenate woman with a strong knowledge backbone in the legal field, a creative brain flourishing in the arts sector and a life-long commitment to physical theatre and martial arts. She has been the creative producer of numerous projects in Greece and Europe spanning community arts, cultural integration, arts programming, research, management and non-profit sector consultancy. She is the co-founder of Movement Lab. Her personal projects include Lets' keep in touch, a library project at the refugee camp of Skaramangas and Daddies don't cry, a performative research project in London on parental alienation through the eyes of a child of divorce. She is currently developing the performative research project “self, free, illusions, of, will / please place in the right order” with the support of the Onassis Air residency program.

Aris Pitas is a martial arts teacher, self defense instructor, physical educator and storyteller based in Athens. He is the founder of AKBAN Ninjutsu Itten Dojo, an inclusive martial arts dojo in Athens, as well as Fight Back Club, a self defense initiative against gender-based violence, currently active in Athens, Thessaloniki, Larisa and Crete. Aris is also the co-founder of Movement Lab. He has been working closely with Athens Pride since 2018, running workshops and consultation on self protection, boundary setting and self defense matters. He has also created the Handful of Rain storytelling game for kids ages 4 to 16, geared towards developing creativity and social, emotional and cognitive skills in an non-authoritative environment, and aiming to encourage honest, equitable, self-organized and solidarity-oriented interactions among children and teenagers.


Funded by: NPN-Stepping Out / Neustart Kultur
Sponsors: xm:lab experimental media lab / Hochschule der Bildende Künste Saar; Onassis AiR / Onassis Foundation.
In cooperation with: neue häute e.V.
Hosted at: Ana Conda am Ufer Café/Resto/Bar/Collective research space + Studio 16 + Heizhaus (Uferstr.23, c/o Uferstudios. 13357 Berlin),
Communication partners: insurgencias.net Berlin-based platform for socially engaged artistic practices & activistic positions from the South.
Project coordinator: Paz Ponce (neue häute e.V.)
Project accountant: Gaby Hundermarkt