“Disorder” is a commonly-used term in modern medicine and has been the basis of a long-term, interdisciplinary research project by the Theater Freiburg. To conduct this special type of “artistic research”, the theatre had teamed up with the Excellence Cluster “BrainLinks-BrainTools” at the University of Freiburg, the dance company headed by the choreographer Yasmeen Godder in Tel Aviv and five neuroscientific research institutes in Israel.
Dancers in Israel and Germany artistically collaborated with individuals who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. When it comes to neurological disorders like Morbus Parkinson, the scientific and medical community often focuses merely on the brain as a technically and chemically treatable organ. This research project differed in that it built on the experience of dance classes for people with Parkinson’s disease. Dancers – as experts for movement – artistically applied their knowledge regarding the control of movement. Based on the “movement disorder”, the participants explored the limits and the possibility of controlling movement. For the first time, junior researchers specialising in this field have been strongly integrated into the artistic process and have had the chance to intensively work with the participants. For the fields of science and philosophy, this form of artistic research was a way to become acquainted with entirely new forms of knowledge.
In 2015 experts from the fields of neurology, medicine, microsystem technology and ethics collaborated with dancers and people suffering from Parkinson’s as a “research team” for an entire year. The dancers documented their experiences in “physical diaries” and condensed them into several performances.
The results have been presented at two conferences in Tel Aviv and Freiburg in the form of project presentations, lectures, performances, installations, film and reports.
Supervising artistic director: Barbara Mundel
Artistic director: Josef Mackert
Project management: Oliver Müller
Choreography: Yasmeen Godder (IL); Yasmeen Godder Dance Company (IL), Itzik Giuli (IL) (dramaturge) and others
Cooperating institutions: Excellence Cluster “BrainLinks-BrainTools” at the University of Freiburg: Oliver Müller, Gunnar Grah, Ad Aertsen, Ulrich Egert, Weizmann Institute of Science (IL), The Leslie and Susan Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center (IL), Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) (IL), Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (Hebrew University) (IL)