Due to current Covid-19 regulations, the original concept, in which audience members can move freely in the space, had to be replaced by a fixed seat allocation.
In the original version of Habitat / Halle E – which first premiered last autumn – the naked bodies of 120 people slap, vibrate and clash with each other to the sound of electronic and abstract techno tracks. Such a utopian place, where bodies can freely interact, touch each other’s sweaty skin and breath together, seems far, far away in view of the current pandemic. However, Doris Uhlich is prepared to accept this challenge, to find out where and how this utopia can still exist in times of Covid-19. What does the impossibility of physical intimacy mean? The performers – in this version there are only 41 – celebrate their unity in diversity, even while being socially distanced. The bodies are in search of real, communal experiences and create opportunities to connect with the collective energy. Habitat remains to be an unashamed hymn on the naked body that takes us beyond cultural inscriptions and normative beauty ideals. The body will not be reduced to a fetishized object, but we will encounter it in its materiality and it will thereby be shown in all its glory, mass and fragility.
This “pandemic version” of Habitat will not only adhere to the Covid-19 regulations but it will take them as a starting point to find new ways of connecting with each other.
has developed her own projects since 2006. The choreographer’s work frequently focuses on examining everyday gestures but also artificial ones, such as the strict code of movement of classical ballet in SPITZE (2008) and Come Back (2012). All her performances are investigations into beauty ideals and standards of body image. Since her performance more than naked (2013), Doris Uhlich has also been working on the depiction of nudity free from ideology and provocation. Music – particularly electronic dance music, from new wave to techno – plays an important part in her explorations.
The production Every Body Electric, which premiered at Tanzquartier Wien in 2018, was this year invited to the Venice Dance Biennale and to the Bienal Sesc de Dança in São Paulo among others. This was followed by her solo TANK at ImPulsTanz 2019, which will also be shown in a site-specific version at Naturhistorisches Museum in February 2021. In the autumn of 2019, Uhlich’s Habitat was the first production of a local choreographer in the history of TQW to be presented in Halle E. Her latest piece at TQW was stuck, a study on immobility and standstill, which was linked to earlier works of Uhlich through its minimalist choreographic approach and metaphorically charged imagery.