Those who have experienced a lot have a lot to tell. And those who are still at the beginning of their story are often looking for orientation. Especially now, at this particular moment, when the insecurity we always live with is so obvious and palpable, it can be inspiring to hear what others have experienced, how they have shaped their lives. But especially now, when we are even more isolated from each other than before, we often don’t get to know much about each other either.How do we access our wealth of experience and how can we invite others to share it with us? What new perspectives open up? And how can we use our bodies and movement in remembering and sharing our memories?
We are looking for people over 60 who would like to develop short cinematic self-portraits with us – carried by their own narratives and translated into movement. We are Julia Riera (choreographer) and Magdalena Hutter (documentary film director and cinematographer).

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MIRA 10_Icon is a new digital format developed especially for this year’s tanz.tausch festival. A solo by performer Odile Foehl – or already a duet with the camera? In any case, an experiment with the camera – a choreographed recording for the audience.

In this first part of the production MIRA 10_Icons, the choreographer Julia Riera visualises the female gaze in art as well as the gaze of women on women. Inspired by the impressive works of female photographers such as Danna Singer, Sally Mann and Elle Pérez, MIRA visualises this female gaze in a pre-produced video.

The solo is the first part of the full-length choreography MIRA 10_Icons planned for September 2021 and at the same time a digital test format of the livestreaming planned then.

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The ninth production of the Cologne dance company MIRA is dedicated to emotional connections, sensitive separations, visible and invisible borders.
Especially in today’s times when borders and separations are essential for survival, the question of the emotional and social power of relationships that are shaped by borders arises anew.

In MIRA 9_what separates & binds us, 4 dancers deal with states in which they go beyond their own boundaries in order to build new bonds.
MIRA 9 spins a web of threads between individuals and exposes networks of relationships that shape our social system in all areas of life.
How must boundaries in relationships, networks and encounters be designed so that they not only constrict but also provide stability?

Where and how exactly do boundaries in relationships, networks, encounters run – how must they be in order to find support?
In MIRA 9, threads are spun into a web of individuals, a network of relationships is uncovered that shapes our system. How can they be spun tighter?

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In this production, the dance company MIRA creates a space that looks for whether there is an essence that can exist, that must exist. If so, what does it look like? What disappears, what transforms, what remains?
 In close collaboration with the performers, MIRA deals with the shifting and changing values in today’s world.

MIRA collected snippets, interviews etc. of the production and the audience voices after the premiere in the MIRA 8 blog.

Click here for the MIRA 8 blog

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as if you stood by the shore of the lake … as if you felt the richness of the melodious sound in the silent moment … as if the past translated itself into the present to presently be past …

(Quote from „Home“ by Christian Schüle)

We got on the move and were forced to be on the tramp – through exterior and interior spaces.

Five friends meet while in search of their own self.

At Thuley.

MIRA7_Thuley is a production with five dancers of different cultural background and different ages. Three of them are adult, professional dancers while the other two are young people from Afghanistan. What they have in common is their difference and their excitement for a dance experiment of contrasts.

MIRA develops multi-layered productions of high sensitivity and intense imagery. The inside and outside are brought into direct dialogue, what goes under the skin becomes visible and what is not tangible becomes noticeable. Experimentally and sensitively MIRA explores boundaries – imaginary or spatial – between genres, personal or interpersonal.

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In the interactive dance performance MIRA 6_89° MIRA combines inner and outer with visible and emotional spaces in an installation made of fragmented plastic body parts. Plastic covers – shrink-wrapped for eternity -show imprints of fleeting movements, of a fading moment.
Connected to sensors and micro controllers that are triggered by the live performer and dancer Dong UK Kim, a mesh of artificial body shells is created. Through this interaction between the objects and the performer the dancer acts as a musician at the same time, he operates the musical happening with the existing controller.
The plastic object represents places of memory, connection doors and memory shells between the immediate moment, the “Now” and different time frames, before, after and inbetween.
MIRA 6_89° combines object art, live performance and sound installation as well as sensory processes in a interdisciplinary dare and experience space. How do we communicate within this created space concept? How can an exchange, a collaboration between performer and audience be formed through this technology?

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The objects of this installation are based on an idea of Julia Franken and Julia Riera during their research phase „Plastic Surgery” 2016 – funded by the SK Cultural Foundation.

We were alble to do this research thanks to the SK Cultural Foundation.

We worked at the intersection of video/object art and performance and have come a big step forward in doing so. 
Technically we have stepped into the field of interaction by working with sensors and the necessary software. Our basic material was heated formable plastic for the design of the objects. 
The result is an interactive installation with fragmented body parts made of plastic that float in the space like imprints of a fleeting movement, a fading moment.  
These floating body parts are connected to sensors that can be triggered by different signals. These signals are then translated into video and sound signals that become visible and audible for the viewer. 
We are planning to develop this work over the next few years.

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Falling down and getting up again – a recurring cycle

In their latest work MIRA looks for the causes that make us get up and what it physically means to get ourselves to carry out this act.  Are we being made to get up or is it an inner force that sets us in motion? What obstacles are there in the moment of getting up? A sensitive act of balance dancers confront themselves with over and over again. For how long does the getting up- figure resist the influencing energies?
The suspense build ups of this work link to the dynamic of the movement that subjects to the never-ending and ever changing getting up and falling down-cycle. To lie down at a certain point, to sit, to remain there – when, how and with which motivation and from which force does the human being rise again?

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Since 2014 MIRA is working with young people. Thanks to the funding of Chance Dance in 2015 und 2016 we were able to work with the Dortmunder U-Center for Arts and Creativity and the Filmwerkstatt located there. That is how Docdance was founded. Within 2-3 months the young people plan and complete dance films in this workshop. This means that they learn both the dancing and cinematic expressions. With this workshop we want to pass on the collaboration that defines MIRA.

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Thematically WISH is an examination of the pursuit of happiness. How does this happiness look like and what is the key to it? For the first time ever we tried to work with prerecorded footage in this performance that contentwise and visually presented a fictitious castle in the air. Based on this idea we developed the spacial concept for the stage performance that followed later on. We built a three-dimensional cinematic room from 4 projection surfaces in which Julia Riera`s solo performance took place and the audience was allowed to move around as well inside of it.

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The desire to produce a work at the KOLUMBA Museum existed for a long time.
As it happens our subject “shadow” matched perfectly with the exhibition concept at that time and so we were given the opportunity to develop our piece in the premises of the museum.
The echo of the past, the traces of history – the shadows – are still present and noticeable through the history of this place.
This in combination with the works of art was a huge source of inspiration for our performative and cinematic ideas.
We created a performative course the audience could follow through the different rooms of Kolumba.

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This work is about the subject of identity in the crowd. What makes us individuals? How much are we determined by our genes?
The artist Claudia Konold created a stage design consisting of 113 shirts for this piece that served as a projection surface for the video installation and at the same time as a playing surface for the performers.

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